The dismantling of the Cubs continues....and Derrek Lee is now a Brave. The Cubs got three prospects in return, and save about $2 million in payroll. And they might just need that cash. I saw something at yesterday's game that I haven't seen in years. The center field bleachers were nearly empty. In August. In the afternoon.
I really like Derrek Lee and am disappointed that he is gone, though it probably would have happened over the winter anyway. Lee reminded me a lot of my favorite Cub Billy Williams. They were both quiet leaders who let their game to the talking, not their mouth.
Lee came to the Cubs in 2004, fresh off of killing the Cubs as a Marlin in the 2003 NLCS. But his strong play quickly won the fans over and he was a favorite almost immediately. His signature season was 2005, when he was in contention for the triple crown most of the season. He ended up leading the league with his .335 average, was second with 46 HRs and seventh in RBIs (107). Lee also won the gold glove.
But early in 2006 he broke his wrist in a collision at first base and was never really the same. Still, he was a steady presence at first base and always a threat in the three hole.
I have 92 different cards of Derrek Lee in my collection. I'm not going to bore you with all of them, but I did pick out my ten favorites in no particular order
Allen and Ginter 2006
Turkey Red 2005
Upper Deck 2007
Upper Deck 2009
The Braves will be at Wrigley this weekend. I'm sure Lee will get a long standing ovation the first time he comes to the plate.
So long D-Lee. You will be missed!