This Week in Baseball

Season 28 Episode 6

Derrek Lee

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Aired Saturday 3:30 PM Jun 25, 2005 on FOX
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Derrek Lee
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Derrek Lee is leading the National League in nearly every offensive category, and his hot start has prompted talk of being the NL's first Triple Crown winner since Joe Medwick did so in 1937.


But Lee also is a pretty good pool player, and he'll show his skills when the Chicago Cubs first baseman host "TWIB."


Lee, 29, began this season with a career .266 average. He has hovered near .390 most of the year, and hit .419 in April to win the NL Player of the Month award.


The secret to his success? Lee maintains he's not doing anything different. At least not drastically different.


Cubs hitting coach Gene Clines worked with Lee on his footwork, creating a better base for the giant- 6-foot-5, 245-pound first baseman. Lee also has adjusted his stroke to better handle inside pitches.


He is the fastest Cub to 100 hits in terms of games played and notched his 20th home run on June 21 against Milwaukee.


"It's been a good run and I'm feeling great," Lee said. "It's nice to contribute. To get to those things so quick is a pretty good start. I have to try to keep it going."


Lee played pool at Rockit Bar & Grill on Hubbard Street in Chicago, a sophisticated lunch and dinner spot that features a $19 Rockit burger made of Kobe beef, and soon will have a Kobe hot dog. Kobe beef is from Japan, which is a natural tie to Lee. He grew up there while his father Leon Lee played baseball overseas.


"I watch more Japanese baseball than American baseball growing up," Lee said. "I learned more over there than I did here."


The Japanese are known for their rigorous and disciplined workouts. Lee benefitted from watching that, too.


"I think [I learned] more [about] their respect of the game," he said. "They really respect the game and I think they play it the right way, so I think that's where I learned how to play."


Other highlights include:


Beyond the Fence: spotlight celebrity fans, including actor Jim Belushi, actor/comedian and Chicago native Jeff Garlin, and former Smashing Pumpkins lead Billy Corgan. who is a huge Cub fan. TWIB also will go behind the scenes of a Pepsi commercial shoot with Alex Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero.


From the Vaults presented by Chevrolet: presents c baseball superstitions.


How 'Bout That presented by Gatorade: the top moments of the week are set to the sounds of the single, "New Voices" from World Leader Pretend.moreless

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