As we all know, Lance Berkman has had quite the presence around the various Major League clubhouses he has been apart of over the years. Here, Richard Justice discusses some of the notable stories he has heard from over the years.
On his time with the Cardinals:
“He fit with the Cardinals. His sense of humor and easygoing personality were great medicine for a clubhouse in which the biggest star at the time, Pujols, led by example instead of words. Even last season, when a bad knee limited him to 81 at-bats, Berkman was probably the most popular Cardinal among his teammates. He was easily the most popular among the media because of his honesty and his ability to put things in a blunt perspective.”
I would have to agree. From my experience with him, he always made an effort to be available to the media and never tried to dodge any questions or put on a different perception from the reality. He is a pleasure to be around. Of course, sometimes he can be a little too honest. Earlier today, I was reminded of what he said about the Rangers after signing with the Cardinals before the 2011 season. From Jeff Wilson’s article this morning:
“He said he thought the Rangers were going to be an average team in 2011, that they had been somewhat lucky in their 2010 run to the World Series, and thought that the six-year, $96 million contract they gave Adrian Beltre was a reach.”
Berkman responded to those comments by saying the following:
“I’m prepared to let bygones be bygones, but I understand the fans remembering those comments. Ultimately, I had to eat some crow and I was happy to do that. I tend to share an unvarnished opinion and not everyone was going to like that answer. It was my honest opinion and I was proved to be incorrect in my assessment, and it was not the first time I’ve been wrong. This is a different team and a different scenario and I’m happy to be a part of the Rangers organization. It’s a winning team. Hopefully by playing well, I’ll be able to win over some of those fans I ostracized by shooting my mouth off before.”
And that’s the kind of thing I love about Lance Berkman. He’s outspoken and honest when he wants to be, and he’s humble enough to admit when he’s wrong. He’s a class act and a great guy. I trust that he will do very well in Texas.