ESPN reported on Jan. 6 that Lance Berkman finally got his first chance to talk to the press about joining the Texas Rangers as their new designated hitter. Berkman welcomes the chance, saying he is "happy to be a Ranger."
Two years ago, Berkman helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series over these same Rangers and now hopes to replace some of the power lost when Texas let Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Mike Napoli go, in the biggest exodus of talent since they made it to their first World Series three years ago.
Berkman knows sports fans have long memories, and it wasn't that long ago that he said he doubted Texas would return to the World Series after their first appearance, calling the team average, and questioning the signing of Adrian Beltre.
The former All Star said he was wrong in that assessment.
"Ultimately, I had to eat some crow and I was happy to do that," Berkman said. "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."
While he was wrong about Texas, that didn't stop him from beating the Rangers in the World Series, proving that his team was the better at the end of that season. Now, the Rangers are betting $10 million on a one-year deal that the soon-to-be 37-year-old slugger can help them get back to the playoffs in 2013.
Berkman is excited about getting another chance in Texas, where he began his career playing for the Houston Astros.
"The first reason is because they have a very good team, a competitive time and a chance to win," Berkman said. "The second is the geographic location. I think it's easy on my family being in Houston to get back and forth to Dallas. Being a native Texan, it's nice to be back in the state."
Berkman will play DH in 2013 for the only time in his career, outside his half-year stint with the New York Yankees. He will hold down the position alongside players like Mitch Moreland and young slugger Mike Olt.
For e-mail updates whenever a new article is posted, please click here and use the SUBSCRIBE button to follow me. Also join me on Twitter: @starvingdogs, GooglePlus, or join my group on Facebook.