Lee unconcerned with individual marks
Slugger's mediocre season would pay off if Cubs won it all
CINCINNATI -- Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee celebrated his 33rd birthday on Saturday.
"Thirty-three is the new 23," Lee said, laughing.
Lee wouldn't mind doing a little more celebrating later this month with the team. He could use a pick-me-up, considering the strange season the first baseman has had.
"I don't think I'm having the season I would've liked going into Spring Training, but team-wise, I think we're doing real good," Lee said. "My goals are always team-oriented, so that's really all that concerns me."
Entering Saturday's game against Cincinnati, Lee was batting .292 with 18 homers and 77 RBIs. But he has just three home runs and 21 RBIs since the All-Star break. He picked up the pace against the Reds with four hits and three RBIs in the 14-9 win, which ended the team's losing skid at six games.
However, Lee's overall post-break numbers aren't much production from the No. 3 hitter.
"It just hasn't happened so far," he said. "I haven't gotten hot all season. It's just one of those years."
There's nothing physically wrong, and Lee feels healthy. No problems with his wrist or his neck. He's not alone. The Cubs have been scuffling as well.
"Obviously, we're struggling right now, but all you can do is keep playing," Lee said. "The main thing we have to do is get our bats going. We've kind of fallen asleep this past week."
This is Lee's fifth season in Chicago, and he can feel Cubs fans panicking, even though the team has been in first place most of the season.
"We don't feel it," he said. "I hear it -- 'The city's panicking.' But we don't feel anything. We're just concerned with ourselves in this clubhouse, and we just want to get back on the right track."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.