Derrek Lee had an interview with Bruce Levine that was published in an article on ESPN.com I stumbled across while looking for crap to read prior to bedtime. Here are some snippets:
I know the city and the passion they have for the team,” said Lee, who is batting .245 with one home run and 4 RBIs this season. “I thought it was too much on certain guys. I didn’t think it was right. But for the most part it was their passion. That’s why guys love playing in this city because you know you are going to play in front of great fans.”
For the most part it seemed that Lee had little trouble other than the usual boos because he GIDPed one too many times or didn’t hit 70 HR, but then there’s this:
“I never had any [hate mail],” Lee said. “But I saw it. That wasn’t all right. If a guy is not playing well, go ahead and boo him but don’t make it personal.”
Lee said it was difficult to watch his teammates go through having to deal with some of the hate mail and comments that came their way.
“These were men with families and children who were hearing and seeing these things,” Lee said. “No one wants to do badly in the field. And especially not to have racial insults or hate mail sent to you because of it. I never got any, and I am somewhat surprised I didn’t.”
So this kind of stuff does happen, and coming from the lips of a Cub who was considered a star, a leader and a fan favorite (for the most part), it’s pretty damning for at least a subset of the fans who are supposedly the best in the sport.