Lee Looks To Prove Doubters Wrong

Derrek LeeDerrek Lee doesn’t deny that his numbers dropped off last year and he doesn’t use his thumb injury as an excuse for the disappointing season. But after undergoing successful offseason surgery to repair a torn UCL ligament in his right thumb, the 35-year-old is ready to return to form. And he wouldn’t mind proving some of his doubters wrong in 2011.

"I have a little chip on my shoulder," Lee said on a conference call with reporters. "People say I'm old and declining so I want to prove them wrong obviously."

Lee signed a one-year, $7.25MM deal with the Orioles this week after hitting .260/.347/.428 with 19 homers for the Cubs and Braves last year. He drew interest from other clubs, including the Padres this offseason, but he decided to join the Orioles instead. Lee says manager Buck Showalter is an attraction and suggests the O's will have an improved lineup in 2011. But early in the winter, before the Orioles acquired Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy, Lee did not expect to play for Showalter.

"Honestly, Baltimore wasn't on my radar earlier this offseason," he said.

Lee arrives in the American League after 14 seasons in the senior circuit and he says he's extremely excited to make the transition. He admits he might not recognize every middle reliever in the AL, but expects to adjust relatively quickly. 

The Orioles, in Lee's estimation, have lots of confidence and the potential to surprise people in the competitive AL East. At 35, the slugger aims to do the same.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


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71 Comments on "Lee Looks To Prove Doubters Wrong"


Peter_Gammons
4 years 7 months ago

Ooooh…. pictures.

jpatlee
4 years 7 months ago

LOL…I can see Peter Gammons saying that, making me chuckle hysterically.

4 years 7 months ago

As you get older as a player you either go one of two routes

(1)I need a chip to prove the “haters” wrong
(2)I’m not what I once was, let me just be a piece of a championship puzzle

I guess Lee is going #1.

I actually like where Baltimore is going but the pitching is still 1-3 years away from helping the team contend. Wasted a year of his career IMO(unless $ is the motivating factor, in which case be my guest. I’m all for getting paid.)

4 years 7 months ago

I’m thinking it’s more of a less stressful place to play. He doesn’t have to be the guy, he can just go out and play. Plus if he does do good, he’ll do it against the AL East teams.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Hitting in the AL east isn’t particularly anymore difficult than any other division. I would argue that there are more well rounded divisions for pitching. AL east is known more for having potent offenses.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

he probably got sick of carpenter, wainwright, ubaldo, lincecum, cain, kershaw, yovanny, he saw that the brew crew added zack and took one look at the phillies rotation and said…”screw that im gonna go to the Al and take a chance there, hey at least i can Dh every once and while”

Taylor Maricle
4 years 7 months ago

Not to mention Johnson, Strasburg, Santana, and Latos.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

i didnt mention strasburg because he wont be pitching next season but the others are all the more reason to move to the AL…he also probably realized that by moving to the AL and showing he can hit against AL starters and relievers he could land another AL deal and extend his career by eventually moving to DH if he wanted to

wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

You left out the Barry Bonds route.

4 years 7 months ago

Loving the pictures lately!

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

oh you fancy huh?

lug
4 years 7 months ago

Senior circuit that term is almost laughable these days.

MetsEventually
4 years 7 months ago

I mean, the Senior Circuit did just win the All-Star game…and World Series…

briantalletsmoustache
4 years 7 months ago

It’s called that because it’s older than the American League. Make the NL, quite literally, more senior.

Dynasty22
4 years 7 months ago

Damn, I had no idea MLBTR was into pictures.

Oilcanoworms
4 years 7 months ago

Way to go Orioles – someone’s got to give the Yanks a run for 4th place in the AL East!

LifeLongYankeeFan
4 years 7 months ago

Yes lets count out the Yankees how many times in the past decade have people done that by saying they’re too old or they don’t have the pitching or chemistry etc. and how many times have they missed the playoffs in the past 10 or 15 years once. Jesus the Red Sox aren’t perfect they have issues too they’re not winning 162 games like everyone is predicting well maybe not everyone but it’s getting tiring to listen to. Everyone bashes the Yankees when they signed CC, Burnett and Tex but lets not bash the Red Sox or Phillies. It better be a Phillies Red Sox series no excuses or oh well if they don’t make it the Yankees and their fans have to hear it year in and year out. I need a drink. If World Series were won on paper the Yankees would have a lot more then 27.

4 years 7 months ago

One of the big differences between the Red Sox, and Phillies v. the Yankees is that: The Yankees have been buying players for a long, long time. The Red Sox, and Phillies have just started to do it. I heard a good point on Hot Stove that in 10 to 15 years the Phills, and Sox will be like the yanks. They’ve only been doing this for a few years now.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

everyone has been buying players for a long time. giants and zito and bonds. dodgers and manny extension. redsox manny then manny again. cubs and soriano, sox and peavy and rios(yes trades but took on the huge contracts) twins and mauer(extensions count) bosox lackey-adrian-crawford-drew-ortiz phillies-halladay-lee-oswalt-howard-ibanez-utley….the yankees are not the only team that throw money around at a ton of players and for the first time in years this off season they are not doing it and yet people are still trashing them.

LifeLongYankeeFan
4 years 7 months ago

Thank you and I’m not expecting anyone to feel bad for the Yankees or the fans me one of them but its always a lose lose situation with the Yankees and everyone knows it true whether they want to believe it or not.

mstrchef13
4 years 7 months ago

Hmm… sounds like a Yankees fan who realizes they aren’t the kings of the hill anymore and is a little upset about it.

LifeLongYankeeFan
4 years 7 months ago

I’m not upset or jealous bcause other teams made themselves better and the Yankees didn’t make a major move which rarely happens but the bashing is ridiculous after a while. The Red Sox, Phillies or Yankees haven’t played a single game yet. A lot can happen over 162 games trades can happen injuries can happen etc. I’ll admit I’d probably be less crabby if the Yankees had signed Lee or someone else but they didn’t and thats how the game goes. The Yankees have won 1 World Series since 2000 I’m used to them not winning the World Series but appreciate that the Yankees put a playoff worthy team on the field every year or try to and thats why I’ve been a Yankee fan for 15 years.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

The Yankees had 4 future hall of famers (Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Posada) all come up the same year (1995). This is the primary reason for all their success the past 15 years imo. All other reasons for their success (deep pockets, etc) come a distant second. You take away those four homegrown players and the Yankees are perhaps only marginally better than the Cubs or Giants on the high end (three other deep pocketed teams that were not able to promote 4 future hall of famers in one season in recent memory, if ever) were during that same time period. And without those 4 players, the Yanks are likely significantly weaker than the Red Sox over that same period.

Will the Yankees still be dominant after those four are gone? Maybe, but if they are it won’t merely be because they can outbid everyone else for free agents. It will be because they get back to developing top young talent, which they are starting to do again. People overestimate how wealthy the Yankees are and underestimate the incredible fortune they had when the likes of Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Posada all simultaneously appeared in 1995. Not that those four did it by themselves, but an injection of that kind of rookie talent all at once in one year is huge. It may have been unprecedented.

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

i have a hard time believing posada is a hall of fame catcher. Not if a guy like Ted Simmons who is similar to Posada and played in a pitcher’s era gets snuffed. Sorry, just don’t see it.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

You may be right. Though if Posada misses the HOF he will have just barely missed. Baseball-reference.com cites Carlton Fisk as the player that most compares to Posada. And Fisk, obviously, is a Hall of Famer. I think Posada gets in.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

You may be right, but if Posada does not get in to the HOF then he will just barely have missed. Baseball Reference shows Carlton Fisk as the player that most compares to Posada. And Fisk is clearly a Hall of Famer.

JTT11
4 years 7 months ago

Posada got Rings. Trips to the post season. Played his entire career with one team. (yes – this matters.) Better stats. Simmons doesnt have that

METfan201
4 years 7 months ago

U got a good point “HEFTEN”

4 years 7 months ago

What? Are you upset? Well, welcome to our world. Just try to imagine for one moment that you are the fan of “another team”. You know the ones, or maybe you don’t. We’re the “other” teams. The ones not located in Boston, New York, LA, or maybe Chicago. We’re the ones that the media doesn’t know exist. Our teams do something, ya never hear of it, one of “those” teams signs a 8th reliever, and the media drools like it’s Cy Young. Yeah, welcome to our world.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

well…. at least you’re not bitter

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

the north side of chicago please….southsiders get disrespected and forgotten about every year and yet they usually are doign better then the north siders

LifeLongYankeeFan
4 years 7 months ago

Well at least you’re saying welcome to our world and not saying cry me a river or something I can’t say on here cuz I’m not allowed lol. I feel for ya it would anger me deeply if my teams owner didn’t put his money towards the team and towards signing good players. Believe it or not it always kind of upset me when the smaller market teams trade all their great players for good prospects and then when some of those prospects become great players they do the same thing all over again. It’s not right to do that to their loyal fan bases as far as I’m concerned.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

you realize that the yankees had career down years from 3 of their biggest offensive weapons right? Expect arod, jeter and tex to get back to at the very least close to their career norms. Swisher might have yet another monster year in hopes of getting a big contract. Granderson seems comfortable and should get better and Gardner is showing why the yankees never traded him expect an even better year with him leading off this year. And with Jorge being the primary DH it will save his bat and keep him in more games. Also look for martin to have a bounce back year after being fully healthy i doubt they come close to 4th….yes the blue jays are a good team but i dont think they will get past 3rd, the rays took a huge hit and have yet to recover from it…yes the bosox got a ton better no doubt but its stilla two team race. think about it bounce back years from AJ,arod, jeter, and tex = the same thing as a new signing

LifeLongYankeeFan
4 years 7 months ago

Just thought I’d ask but are you a Yankee fan or Red Sox fan because if you’re a Sox fan its nice to meet a sox fan who doesn’t bash the Yankees. I actually have respect for the Red Sox and that they’re competitive every year and I’m sure there are Red Sox fans who feel the same way towards our team. I just wanted to get some frustration out lol.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

Well i am a sox fan but a whitesox fan. I dont hate the yankees at all its not their fault that the rules of baseball allow them to spend just a portion of the yankees funds on players. think about it they sell out every game and have huge ticket prices(yes big prices from the huge pay roll but people still pay) and then all the freaking merch they sell. I mean I’m from a suburb of chicago but currently live about 45 minutes west of the burb(which is 40 min south and west of chi) in a little farm town for school. And every day walking to and from class, on the buss or out at the bars at night i see at least 3 jeter or a-rod yankees shirts and at least 10 yankees hats…The way the system is set up is the more money you make the more you can spend…The yankees will always be an “evil” empire because they are close to a billion dollar a year business and splurge on good if not great players every year or two. I respect them and i dont care what people say. They see a player they want that will make their team better and they have enough money, thanks bud, to get said player. Also at times they realize they may not have a player in their system that will help them so they go out and trade for or sign a player. And like i said. Every team except for the padres and pirates have made at least 3 hugh signings, extensions, trades/ waivers where they take on big $$$ every year for the past 10 years at least. But its bad when the yankees do it. the redsox are only 30-40 mill less in payroll from last year and probably closer to a yankees payroll this year and projected the yankees will actually drop in payroll drastically(thanks cots) over the next few years where as the bosox go up

niched
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t think you can really “expect” better years A-Rod, Jeter and Tex to get back to their career norms. It could happen, but the pitching competition against the Yanks in the AL East has only gotten better, and A-Rod and Jeter are on the other side of 35. Tex is younger, but he’s never really been a top 15 OPS player and he’s always been very streaky. Tex’s great value is what he gives you on defense in addition to his offense, not just his offense alone.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

Fully agree but at the same time you cant not expect bounce back years. Maybe thats why cashman is banking on. Yeah the pitching is hard but it didnt get any harder from last year. It may have gotten easier with marcum being gone and potentially one of the rays starts getting moved before ST

jcrabtree7
4 years 7 months ago

Ooooooo, pretty pictures….

rzepczynski
4 years 7 months ago

I would of been impressed if he was in a orioles uni

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

I like the pictures being added.

4 years 7 months ago

Only thing he’ll prove is he’s overpaid.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

Nearly every big free agent signing this year will prove that.

4 years 7 months ago

If i read one more comment about pictures I’m gonna flip out and go postal.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Hey Glebb did you see the picture of Derrek Lee above????????!???!?!?

wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

ZOMGZ PICTURES!!!

soxin10
4 years 7 months ago

It is refreshing to hear a player actually admit a down year and look forward to redeeming themselves. The Brandon Webb quote the other day after signing a 3 mil deal of – I’m not going to rush back- wreaks of entitlement. For three million dollars I would want someone willing to chew off their arm (or someone else’s) to get back in the game.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Makes perfect sense, rush back, don’t build arm strength and sit on the DL for the rest of the year, perfect.

soxin10
4 years 7 months ago

Your right, Why rush him, he has pitched four innings in two years, none since may 09. He should be working out now, and for the past six months building arm strength. People have recovered from dying sooner than this.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

lol your reasoning is laughable. He had shoulder surgery not elbow surgery, its far more serious and takes twice as long to recover from..

I suggest before you have such a strong opinion on things that maybe you look up some facts or something. Just a suggestion

4 years 7 months ago

Didn’t Webb want to pitch in September? I remember hearing that. He wanted to throw a few innings to help his value. Now he doesn’t want to rush back since he got a contract thats 70% less then what he thought he’d get.

soxin10
4 years 7 months ago

Your correct, he actually pitched a little in the instructional league and wanted on the September roster. I couldn’t figure out if he was ok to pitch last September, why or how can he not be ready for Spring training and the season?

NWDC
4 years 7 months ago

As a Nats fan, I confess — I’d much rather have Lee. I think he has a rebound year and puts up monster numbers. Plus it is only a one year commitment. Adam Laroche will be fine — slightly above average fielding, average 1B hitting, and that’s about it. We paid too much for that but needed a 1B bad.

IHateJoeBuck
4 years 7 months ago

I’d rather have Lee too. I think he bounces back and has a solid year.

WolandJR
4 years 7 months ago

The Nats would have had like 2 left handed bats in their starting lineup if they signed Lee, and one of them is slated to be Nyjer Morgan and I don’t know if he qualifies as a ‘bat’, per se. I am not saying that Laroche is what D. Lee is, but he is more of a sure bet (to put up slightly above avg #’s that is), and he balances the lineup. The value of Laroche is higher to the Nats than the value of D. Lee coming off an injury plagued season.

With that said, I don’t know if I am looking forward to sitting through 170+ Ks in return for 25 HRs.

cbm5042
4 years 7 months ago

I like that Lee admitted to going on the website and checking out their lineup, which got him excited enough to sign here. It really is a pretty damn good lineup, and they may not be done (DH on the horizon?) Relatively inexpensively, Andy has re-tooled that entire lineup and completely renovated the infield.

2010 starting infield – Atkins (ugh) Roberts (injured soon after replaced by Lugo) ugh Izturis (ugh) and Wigginton who later moved to first and was replaced by 53K to 3BB Josh Bell (ugh)

Now they have Derrek Lee, Brian Roberts, JJ Hardy, and Mark Reynolds

That is undoubtedly significant improvement. They also added high character club house leaders in Lee and Reynolds, solid moves all around.

4 years 7 months ago

they had miguel tejada as well i believe

cbm5042
4 years 7 months ago

Oh yeah, forgot about Miggy. Scott is a good LF, so he can shift to the OF to make room for a DH if necessary.

IHateJoeBuck
4 years 7 months ago

Isn’t Luke Scott going to DH with Pie/Reimold in LF?

4 years 7 months ago

I hope Lee has a great year. Hats off to the guy.

89Orioles
4 years 7 months ago

despite the naysayers, the orioles moves this often season have been quite good. And ALL of them have been low risk high reward, allowing future commitments in better times to follow.

4 years 7 months ago

I agree. I’m cautiously optimistic going into this season. Granted, I am every year. But this year’s going to be different. I think/hope. Ha.

mstrchef13
4 years 7 months ago

Yes.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

??

4 years 7 months ago

Lee will do al’ight.

Red_Line_9
4 years 7 months ago

I hope he does have a chip on hi shoulders. The player I saw last May against the Pirates acted like he couldn’t care less if he were on the field. It wasn’t relaxed play. He flat loafed on the base paths and int eh field.