8/18 Demp: Let's cheer for D-Lee
There’s one more thing Ryan Dempster wants Cubs fans to do on Friday when the team opens a three-game series against the Braves: Cheer for Derrek Lee.
“There hasn’t been a lot to cheer about,” Dempster said, “but if
there’s something to cheer about it will be Friday when Derrek Lee
takes his first at-bat. I hope everybody in the stadium gives him a
standing ovation for everything he’s given in the past seven years he’s
been here. He deserves that at the very least.”
That will be Lee’s first game in a Braves uniform. He was traded to the NL East leaders on Wednesday for two Minor League pitchers. It’s been tough to cheer this month. The Cubs are 4-13 in August after losing 5-1 on Wednesday to the Padres. The crowd of 33,267 at Wrigley was the lowest of the season, and smallest since April 16, 2007, when the Cubs drew 32,126. Four rookies started and six rookie pitchers appeared in the game, the first time in Major League history a team has used a half dozen prior to September call-ups.
“I think a lot of the fan base understands we have to find out about the people we have before we move forward,” GM Jim Hendry said.
Micah Hoffpauir will join the team Thursday from Triple-A Iowa. Expect more young players, even before the Sept. 1 call-up date. Lee appreciated his time in Chicago.
“I grew as a player, grew as a person,” Lee said. “I didn’t achieve the ultimate goal. Coming in here, it just seemed like we were going to win a championship so that part is disappointing. The rest of my experience is nothing but positive. My family enjoyed it here, Wrigley Field was great. It was just a great experience.”
— Carrie Muskat