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Beyond the Ivy - A Cubs Rooftop Partner

Derrek Lee Season Preview

Monday, March 30, 2009

This was originally posted as part of the Goat Riders 2009 Season Preview series.

The Cubs wrap up spring training in the very near future (officially Thursday, but functionally Saturday), and no where on the diamond has the team shown more promise than first base. Their star first baseman has led the team in virtually every offensive statistic. He's racked up 5 dingers in 78 at-bats, 15 runs, 22 RBI, and a .590 Slugging percentage. Oh, and the .295 average isn't bad, although I wouldn't mind seeing that .337 OBP go up a few dozen points.

But enough about the backup (Micah Hoffpauir). Let's discuss the starter. Derrek Lee has always been a slow starter. He suffered a minor injury (I believe it was WBC-itis) this spring and has only seen limited action. In 48 at-bats, Rodan has managed just one homer, 5 runs, 6 RBI, and a .396 SLG. To finish the comparables, Lee's batting .271 with a .327 OBP. In fact, the only major offensive statistic in which D-Lee compares favorably to Micah Hoffpauir is in K/AB. D-Lee struck out in 19% of his at-bats this spring, vs. 21% for Hoffpauir.

So what does this all mean? Well, there's the obvious. Derrek's had a poor spring. Not miserable, but certainly not good. Hoff on the other hand has battled his way onto the roster like a drunken rock star... or something like that. But Spring is Spring, and over a long season, very few people would take Micah Hoffpauir over Derrek Lee.

As someone who hasn't followed the club closely enough this spring to fall in love with the Hoff, I'm obligated to point out that he's probably at his all-time peak in terms of trade value. We're talking about Google at $715, Yahoo at $108, or even Volkswagon at $208.

Now Derrek, on the other hand, could be the most crucial man on the roster. If we see pre-wrist!Derrek out on the diamond, this team could threaten the 1906 Cubs (or not, but it sounds pretty good). If we see post-wrist!Derrek, well this team could win 97 games.

Wrigley Field Scoreboard

I think going into the season, most fans are anticipating a similar performance as 2008 from Lee, while hoping for a 2005 style surge. Still, as eternal optimists, we're probably understating the likelihood that 2005!Derrek was Google, Yahoo, and Volkswagon at their peak (a fleeting sensation to be remembered for quite a while as we all wonder why the current version can't compare.) If that's the case, it's good to know we've got Hoff wasting away on the Pine if it turns out to be the case.

Posted by Byron at 4:26 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

J-Roll commercial

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I have to admit, I saw this first on a Bugs & Cranks post, but this commercial is hilarious.

Posted by Byron at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Dominican Republic knocked out of World Baseball Classic

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Are you kidding me! The Dominican Republic was knocked out in the first round of the World Baseball classic when they lost a rematch with the Netherlands tonight. This is a major shocker, on par with Argentina beating the USA in basketball.

Not only did the DR lose to the Dutch tonight, they also lost their first match to the Andreu Jones-less NED squad. (ESPN says DR makes $88 million of MLB bling while NED accounts for $400K.)

As for Team USA, they've already clinched a spot in the next round, but be sure to tune into the MLB network at 5:30 tomorrow to watch Ted Lilly take on Team Venezuela in a rematch of the USA's 15-6 smack down from Sunday.

Despite the shock value of the DR being eliminated, I'm disappointed because I was pulling for the DR to at least reach the semifinals where they likely would have played Japan, Korea, or the US.

Posted by Byron at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

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