Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tonight, My Daughter Cried...
I just told her the bad news. Her favorite baseball player in the whole world, Derrek Lee, was traded from the Cubs today.
He was playing on the final year of his contract, and the 2010 Cubs just weren't the team that many in Chicago had hoped for. He was trade bait before the deadline, and was almost headed out west to the American League. But as a 10-5 man, he vetoed a trade that would have sent him to the Angels, opting to stay here. But since the end of July, the Cubs have been on a tailspin, and once he cleared waivers (in fact, I think almost everybody on the Cubs was placed on waivers), the Braves asked if Lee was available. The Braves, who are playing for the NL East crown and for long time manager Bobby Cox' legacy, needed a bat. So they offered the Cubs three minor league pitchers. The Cubs agreed, but had to get Lee's blessing to do so. And sadly, he agreed.
He was the captain of the Cubs. It was pretty much as he goes, so go the Cubbies. For the last seven years, he was a constant at first base for the Northsiders. He was the focal point of the team once a certain slugger hi-tailed out of the Windy City. And in 2005 was the team's MVP, winning the NL batting title. That was the first year my daughter paid attention to the game, and Lee became her baseball hero. She even wrote about him for a report in third grade...asking me to scan all the cards that I had of him. Which I did, so now people at my kids' school know my Hobby.
But now he's a Brave. And how the baseball gods deemed it so that the first team he gets to play against as a member of the Atlanta Braves...is the Cubs at Wrigley. He was already hurting anyway, and was going to take some time off to rest. He doesn't have to go anywhere realistically. The only thing he has to do is move his locker from the home side to the opponents locker room after the Padres leave. He should be ready to go for Friday's opener.
My daughter asked if he was coming back to the Cubs. It's possible. He is going to be a free agent at the end of the season. He could win his second World Series ring with the Braves, and then return. That would be fitting, and probably make her happy. But then again, he just might sign on with the Braves going forward, or go to any of the other 28 teams in the majors. She's going to keep her Lee cards, probably won't be getting any more unless he's wearing a Cubs jersey.
But she will always be a Derrek Lee fan. And she wishes him the best.
And so do I. Go get 'em DLee. Thanks for six (and almost seven) great seasons with the Cubs.