After the Yankees decided not to exercise their option with him, Lance Berkman was out shopping for a new team. Berkman, a Texas native, eventually landed with the St. Louis Cardinals. When asked why he didn’t try to join the Rangers, Berkman got himself into a little bit of trouble. Berkman candidly stated that the Rangers were an ‘average’ team whose pitching staff overachieved in last year’s postseason. Berkman finished with a prediction that the Rangers wouldn’t make it to the World Series again this year. Oops!
When asked to comment on the insult, Ranger pitcher C.J. Wilson initially brushed it off. He said that he was ‘happy’ with the average label and the darkhorse mantra could really work for his team. However when he was prodded for more comment, Wilson expressed his dislike for Berkman’s comment and hoped he got booed in Texas.
Even though his comments were out-of-line, Berkman made it a priority to apologize to Wilson before the All-Star Game. Berkman left a note on Wilson’s locker that read “Hey, congratulations on your guys’ success. I guess I was wrong. Not the first time.”
Berkman also made a public apology to the team, and the state of Texas. He admitted that he was wrong and admitted it not be the first, or the last, time he would be wrong about something.
Berkman resurrected his career with the Cardinals this year. He hit an impressive .301 with 31 home runs and 94 RBIs (he hit only .248 last year with Houston and the Yankees).
All the words aside, this series is set to be an impressive one. The Cardinals definitely have the ‘team of destiny’ mantra about them (given their impressive run to get to the postseason, then beating the Phillies and Brewers as a wild card team). The Rangers are coming into their second World Series in a row, looking to avenge last year’s loss at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. With the added motivation to avenge Berkman’s slight, the Rangers are looking for their first World Series title for the franchise. This is going to be a great series!