Return of Fat Elvis: What I Say?

Lance Berkman Hit .571 with 2 Homers and a Double in 3 Days Home.

Berkman awaits the incoming pitch from Figueroa,

What I say? What I say about my nightmares over the return of former Houston Astro Lance “Fat Elvis” Berkman to Minute Maid Park as a member of the rival St. Louis Cardinals? Sometimes dreams come true, whether you want the fragrance or their full blossom or not. The first trip home for dear old Puma, the Rice Owl graduate and fellow Houstonian Berkman was definitively a dream come true.

All those premonitions I wrote about in my first column on this subject came true. They simply happened in greater frequency than even I ever imagined in the pits of my most pessimistic slips on the shores of Gloomsville.

The Cardinals took the series from the Astros, two game to one. Along the way, look at the statistical bling that Berkman ran up on his own personal credit account:

In three games here, April 26-28, Lance Berkman had 8 hits in 14 times at bat for a series batting average of .571.  The hit-fest also bumped his 2010 season batting average as an everyday starter in right field for the Cardinals to .410.

Berkman had no walks in Houston, but he also struck out only twice.

He cracked a double and banged out 2 home runs, giving him 8 long balls on the season. Over the course of three days, he also scored 3 runs and batted in 7 more Cardinal red runs.

Who could ask for anything more?

In spite of the bludgeoning his bat broke down upon the fortunes of our beleaguered Astros, and I was part of the crowd that got to witness that 9-run tumor the redbirds grafted on to our chances in the top of the 6th in Game Three, Houston fans seemed mostly amused to happy for Lance Berkman in his successful return home. The man says he came home simply with the desire to play well gain in front of family and friends – and no one around here, other than broadcaster Milo Hamilton, seems to blame Lance for his absence from the current Astros roster. After 2010, it was simply time for Lance Berkman and the Houston Astros to go in new directions.

Lance is hot, but Cardinal pitching is not.

The new direction of Lance Berkman bodes well for the 2011 Cardinals, if the birds can overcome their holes in pitching and defense. Those areas must improve for the Cards to win big. For now, they show other problems, the kinds you cannot overcome by waiting o the offense to come up with another nine-run-inning explosion.

Still, Lance Berkman is doing his part – way more than his part. And one more time, in the language of the famous Ray Charles lyric, I have to ask:

“What I say? – What I say about that Fat Elvis coming back to Houston?”

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One Response to “Return of Fat Elvis: What I Say?”

  1. Damo Leonetti Says:


    Thanks for opening the door again for comment on Lance. I repsponded a couple of months ago when you analyzed the upcoming season and roster hopefuls for the Astros. I said it then and I’ll repeat it now (just in case Mr. Wade and Mr. McLane happen to check your column). I have always supported Mr. McLane’s ownership and efforts to putting winning, championship caliber teams on the field for his fan base. I feel that he let Mr. Wade have his way with Lance and we are the worse for it.

    I’m a lifelong Astro fan and season ticket holder. I remain in disbelief and disappointment that the Astros did not resign Lance. I half understood about the Yankee deal to get some prospects, but believed in my heart that the Astros would resign Lance. People keep talking about his weight-humbug. Look at Price Fielder and Jim Thome. Lance was hurt last year and gave all he could to regain his beautiful hitting form. He has always had one of the sweetest swings of the modern era. I so was expecting Mr. McLane to do what he did for Astro fans previously by keeping Lance in the fold like he did Jeff and Craig. That’s what the fans want; solid hometown heroes, good guys like Lance, Terry Puhl, Craig Reynolds, Jimmy Wynn, Art Howe, Joe Neikro, Jeff, Craig, etc., etc. Mr. McLane knew that and did the right thing by Jeff and Craig. This time, he let Mr. Wade rip out our hearts. While I believe in my heart that Mr. Wade orchestrated this move, it will be a lasting blemish on the final chapter of the McLane era. What is John McMullen remembered for? …and we’re still paying for it. Remember that other local hero, icon, beloved player and citizen, NOLAN RYAN. Oh, yea…he became and remains a Ranger-yuk.

    I have not and will not attend any St. Louis games in person. I don’t want to outwardly pull against the Astros. However, I will be pulling for one of my favorite all-time players, Lance Berkman to get a hit everytime he comes to the plate, especially against Mr. Wade’s team.

    Do you think Ernie Banks, Stan Musial, Cal Ripken, etc did not have an off year along the way. Their GMs knew what they meant to the franchise and the city. My gosh, what a remarkable role model and human being Lance is, besides one of the greatest switch hitters in the history of the game. Go figure???

    Go Lance!

    Sad and Mad Astro and Berkman fan,
    Damon Leonetti

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