7/28 Lee puts family first

Derrek Lee said he “agonized” over the decision about whether to accept a trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim but decided his family came first. Lee invoked his 10-and-5 rights and rejected a proposed deal to southern California, GM Jim Hendry confirmed Wednesday.

“When the trade was presented to me, I felt for me and my family the best thing to do was to stay here,” Lee said. “That was a decision we made. Jim and I had a great conversation about it. That was the decision.”

Lee is building a home in southern California but that wasn’t a factor. The house, he said, isn’t ready yet.

“It’s not as simple as you have a home there,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of thought that goes into it outside of just a home.”

Lee has been traded twice before but never in-season.

“I thought about it for a good 24 hours and really kind of agonized over it,” the first baseman said. “I think the bottom line is family. I like Chicago, I enjoy my teammates. It was the decision we made.”

Cubs manager Lou Piniella found out mid-game.

“I did talk to Derrek in the seventh inning today and asked him about it,” Piniella said. “He said he wanted to stay here. As a manager, I couldn’t be more pleased.”

The Angels were looking for another bat after Kendry Morales was injured. Lee does have a full no-trade clause and is owed about $4.95 million for the rest of the season. But he also has been in the league for 10 years and five with the same team, which gives him the right to veto any deal.

Lee, who will be a free agent after this season, is batting .248 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs, well off his usual pace. In 17 games since July 6, he is hitting .333 with 17 runs, seven doubles, one homer and eight RBIs. Someone asked if Lee had considered retiring after this season.

“That hasn’t crossed my mind,” he said.

But what about next year? Lee said he touched on that briefly with Hendry but the focus was more on the possible trade.

“There’s no secret I enjoy Chicago,” Lee said. “But also understand that’s out of my control. That didn’t go into my decision. There are other things that went into the thought process.

“You guys know I’m having a terrible season,” he said. “We’ll worry about other stuff later.”

The Rangers also were looking at adding a right-handed bat who could play first but Lee, 34, was not a good fit.

“It was very tempting,” Lee said of going to the Angels. “I didn’t say ‘no’ right away to Jim. There was a lot of thought that went into it.”

– Carrie Muskat

14 Comments

I’ve got say, after being a Cub fan for twenty some odd years I’m slumping into the “Let’s void them out and start caring about something worth giving a damn for” mode. Loved the Sandberg, Grace, and Dawson era. Started to gain hope in the Sosa, Alou, Wood, and Prior era. Have endured the “This fading star” and “That fading star” era and lived through the Tribune’s Corporate ownership to see the day that a fan buy’s the team. A fan. And that fan, the true Cubby Blue that he bleeds is ready to trade away two of the team’s cornerstones. What the hell. Let’s relive the Bulls of the Jordan, Pippen, and Phil Jackson are gone days. At least they won a championship . . . or two . . . or three.

Thanks Derek… for nothing.

I have never understood the reverance that DPLee is held in by the Wrigley masses.

This was an opprtunity for the Cubs to recoup enough money (from this trade and Lilly’s) to package out Fukupdome before the trade deadline and start next year with a cleaner slate and more money in the bank.

DPLee whilst acknowledging he has been poor this season – and as such has been a fair part of the Cubs not contending even into July – decides he’d rather his home comforts for the next 2 months than have an opportunity to play with a contender.

It says everything about the man that he is, that winning isn’t everything, compared to playing housey and finishing off the season in mediocrity.

I know he has a young family, but he will be away from home 50% of the time with the Cubs, so surely an extra month away contending would help to feed the competitive fires that surely burn within every real sportsman?

Derek, I and I’m sure most fans who bleed Cubbie blue are disappointed in you! But then do you care crying all the way to the bank?

I wouldn’t be too harsh on Lee for nixing a trade, a deal is a deal. Besides, it’s not like he’s clogging the path for a promising young first baseman that we have in the system. I’ve heard talk that Colvin may be moved to first next year to make room for another young outfielder such as Bret Jackson but that’s next year. The only benefit for the Cubs by Lee accepting a trade would be to free up the remainder of his payroll and now that he won’t be traded it just leaves Hendry in the same old corner he painted himself into in the first place. In the long run this will will expose even more so how poorly he handled the payroll. Just another chicken coming home to the Hendry roost. LET A NEW GM GET US OUT OF THIS MESS. When Lee does say stupid things about next year being “out of his control” that irratates me because it’s as if he has no say in returning next year at a bargain contract? B.S. he can take the classy route ala Andre Dawson (THE class act as long as I can remember) and tell the Cubs to fill in the amount and years of a contract if he loves to play for the Cubs. ALL major league veterans have more control of their destiny than they want us to know. Poor me, I can’t play where I want because it’s out of my control? What a slap in Dawson’s and us fans’ faces. C’mon Lee, excersice your right to stay but if and when you do exit show some tact and class.

Joey – we will have to disagree.

I cannot accept that a Professional athlete will pass up on the opportunity to contend… and to not help his present team when he has admitted that he has been part of the root cause of them not contending.

Yes it is a Hendry Designed and Signed shambles – but the loafers haven’t helped one bit.

And to top it off Ramirez says he wants to exercise his option – another flop who owes the Cubs most of this year’s salary.

You could almost see Jim signing up as Steve Carell’s replacement/double on The Office… except funnier. Crane Kenney as Dwight; I can’t work out if Lou would be Crede or Stanley…

And Tom Ricketts played by Kathy Bates…

O.K. we’ll disagree about Lee who I never would label a loafer like Ramirez has been at times and Soriano is for the most part. If I was going to look the other way for anybody it would be Lee, especially for just two month to go. I am not in any way condoning bringing him back next year however. On that I think we agree? There may well be reasons we are not privy to in the Lee household. Now if Soriano or Zambrano did the same for the remaining YEARS on their contract I would be mad as hell. Years vs. months, big difference. Either way Hendry screwed us big time.

I still think this whole thing doesn’t make any sense, unless the Cubs plan on resigning him….ummm, excuse me I just choked. Derrek has exactly 2 months left on his contract and he has a chance to go to a team that wants him and leave a team that doesn’t want him…..OK. He says no because he doesn’t want to move his family? Let me translate…even though I’ll be leaving in 2 months anyway and the Cubs can recoup some of my overpaid salary, I simply don’t want to because…hey what have the Cubs done for me? It’s called SPITE. Derrek was always a…Shrug your shoulders “oh well” “tip your cap” kinda guy. In the end, Mr. Doubleplay is not a winner.

You know, it couldn’t have anything to do with his young daughter who is seeing specialists in the Chicago area could it!!!! Hmmmm?!

Very laudable… however he is still a professional sportsman… just one who is hopefully is in his last 2 months as a Cub.

The following excerpt comes from MLBTR regards Kerry Wood when talking of his move to the Bombers…

Wood doesn’t know what role he’ll have in Joe Girardi’s bullpen, but he’s excited to be joining a team that has a chance to win the World Series. “”That’s why we all play the game,” he said.

And that is why we wish a fully fit Kerry Wood was still a Cub… his desire to compete. Which stands Wood aside from the Me Me Me of DP Lee – who chose to stay and collect $4-5million in a race for 3rd in the NLCentral rather than compete in a pennant race.

Yes its great he can be with his daughter / family … but how about helping out the team that you have almost stolen money from this year. Because of Lee there was not enough money in the pot to offload Fukupdome in a sweetened trade. So thank DP Lee for leaving us high and dry.

It didn’t really bother me that much that Lee nixed a trade because who would Hendry have gotten? It would have been just dumb luck that anybody in return for Lee would would turn out better than the Bakers, Fontenots, Howrys, or any other midling AAAA player Hendry gets his hands on (need I mention the worn out RYAN FREEL???!!!) But martisnow you saying that Lee stayed because of his daughter seeing specialists in the Chicago area is laughable because Lee in all his Milloinaire status would not have to disrupt any medical care for two lousy months would he? He has the means and finances to fly in fly out over night if he just wanted to lend fatherly support. The remaining two months of the season playing in LA would be pretty much just a long “road trip” if he were on the Cubs, besides what’s he going to do after the season play for only the Whitesox or retire IN CHICAGO??? I don’t think so. The family/daughter/medical thing is a little weak but like I said going to the Angels doesn’t seem like a sure playoff bet either so he probably said “screw it Jim, It’s not even worth packing a bag, THAT’S the best deal you got” and then hopefully he laughed in Hendry’s face.

Woah, let’s slow down a bit folks. First of all, this guy has been pretty darn consistent since coming to the Cubs from a Marlins team that HE basically helped beat our beloved in the NLCS not so long ago. He’s having a bad year…actually a horrible year in relation to his years in the bigs. Now, we just want to throw him out like the trash that is left behind in the bleachers? We’re not Yankee & Philly fans, we DO give guys our support, even when they are playing poorly. The Cubs aren’t getting much out of Ramirez and Fukodome, two pretty big salaries…and with ARam’s injuries, it is time to get rid of him and Fukudomes. Since everyone else seems to be throwing in the towel, then Hendry should move them in the offseason. I’ve been impressed with Soriano’s performance this year, and Byrd/Soto are playing great. The Theriot deal…that’s been in the cards since Castro arrived. Darwin Barney will be at 2B next season, and I personally hope to see DLee next to him. It’s not about being selfish…give the guy a break! Many of us in the blog never played beyond HS or college, so we have no idea. Personally, if my employer wanted me to go to a bigger and better place where I don’t know anyone or am not comfortable in my surroundings for the same amount of money just so he would save some, I wouldn’t go either. Let’s back off of DLee, show him and the rest of the boys in blue some love, and hope they can make it respectable and maybe even interesting these last 2 months! From what I’ve been reading, a lot of you should be losing the “die-hard cub fan” moniker!

It is because of being die-hard that we are hardnosed.

I played sport in the UK to a professional level… I know the fire that burns inside all true winners.

I expect the same from those guys representing my team.

Caring has got us to 101years. Unless we display pragmatism and ruthlessness it will be 201.

Lee had the chance to atone for a season that started with turning up as one of the latest to arrive in Mesa, snubbing Jaramillo’s help and basically stinking throughout the season. He chose the ME option.

Sport is a 2 way thing… Not ME ME ME…

I for one never said to throw out Lee like trash nor do I think my fellow commentators have done so either. If he left he left if he stayed for two more months and hardly produced what’s the difference THIS year? Lee is a non-factor whether as a run producer or a tradeable commodity as only the Angels offered anything?? Did we hear any other substantial suitors for Lee offering talented minor leaguers? No. Anybody “impressed” with Soriano’s play this year loses a little credability in their commenting…impressed? How low do you set the bar? My God, Byrd was impressive considering he’s playing for a new team that tolerates less than 100% from their players, Colvin & Castro are impressive considering their rookie status, but Soriano? Impressive? Give us all a break from justifying his worthless, unmovable contract. Jim Hendry’s pink slip should be written on a copy of the Soriano contract.

Guys…Soriano is having a much better year than he did last year (numbers are better & at least he’s hustling). Byrd is a welcome addition…the most consistent in the line-up. Colvin and Castro came in expected to make it into the line-up mid-season, and they’ve done a respectable job since being inserted. Lee is having a bad year, absolutely, and I for one don’t want to see him go for he’s a solid clubhouse guy who will go at it for the team. It is about winning, and the fire is in all those guys or they wouldn’t be there. I agree that he should have made more of an effort with Rudy and not be so stubborn (like Rami), but I wasn’t impressed in what LA was willing to give the Cubs in return! The best point that is consistently being made is for a new GM…and I agree 100%. I have followed baseball my whole life, played at the college and semi-pro level, and coached for years. The bottom line is that we will never see the type of teams we did in the 80’s and 90’s…guys move around too much and teams are willing to spend too much $$. We won’t see another Hawk (except maybe Albert P. – it pains me to say). The Cubs do need to shake things up, and this season is painful to endure…but I am not giving up on them. I just don’t think it’s fair to criticize a guy who didn’t want to leave his team. You think Saunders wanted to leave the Angels? I bet he would have invoked his 10-5 to block the trade to Arizona…and not because he wanted to stay with a winner…because it was his family, his home. Can’t fault a guy for that.

With the way they’re playing tonight, it’s time for some shake-ups. Sorry for the rants earlier…I guess you guys are right and changes need to be made now. Lou – step down now, not at the end of the season. It’s running away from you, so get out while you can save face. The vets – take a seat for the youngsters. There’s no shame in getting some quality PT for the guys who are the future. Wow…they look like the Pirates!

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