Posts Tagged ‘2011 World Series’

Lance Gets His Second Chance

October 18, 2011

Berkman Hit Over .300 for 1st Time Since 2008 This Season.

It’s one of those ancient western plot scripts: Local hero loses his magic touch with the six-shooter and has to get out of Dodge to either lose himself completely or find himself again. And that’s pretty much how Lance Berkman rode out of Houston in 2010. For a while there, it looked as though he had locked up his  loss of self in The Bronx Zoo, but he apparently had not gotten the whole picture at season’s end and he took a step back that was based totally upon illusion and delusion.

Lance tried to come back to Houston and make himself available to the Astros again after 2010 at some kind of veteran home boy rate, only to find that there was no longer an extra hitter’s badge hanging on Sheriff Wade’s office wall that the club could spare. It was time to either hang up hope – or else, get out of Dodge for good. Lance chose the latter when the LaRussa Gang up in Missouri let him know that they had a hot plate waiting in their bunk house for an old foe from Texas.

Lance Berkman promptly went out there for St. Louis in 2011, as we all well now know, and put to rest that the idea that his batting gun was done. He hit .301 with 31 homers and 94 RBI, picking up the slack in an early season Albert Pujols down year and also teaming up with the latter year Prince, Matt Holliday, and David Freese as one of the most feared group of hitters in the National League. Now Lance stands on the brink of his second shot at a World Series ring, even if it doesn’t come with the home town Astros who had given him up for dead as a major league slugger.

At this stage in his thirteen season major league career, Lance Berkman rests his case for future contracting on what he’s done this year as proof of his comeback from the injuries that limited in his production in 2010 (.248 BA) and may have also played a part in his 2009 slip (.274 BA). At age 36 going into next season, the evidence from 2011 rests on the side that Berkman has some good production left in him.

His career batting average is now .296. He also has an OBP of .409, 358 home runs, 1,822 career hits, and 1,193 runs batted in. My guess is that he has about three good years left in the tank, if he can avoid injuries, stay in shape, and not lose his legs and bat speed to aging, but that the St. Louis Cardinals will be first in line to make sure he has a decent playing contract, at least, for 2012.

Good luck to Lance Berkman on his 2011 quest for a World Series ring. I, for one among the local many, am just sorry that you had to get out of Dodge to find yourself again. We could have used you here in Houston during the baseball spiritual drought of 2011. To walk out on the streets of our town this year was to get shot at by disappointment from just about every nook and cranny of the Houston professional sports world.

Go Cardinals! Go Berkman!