Archive for Lance Berkman

Oy Pain. Berkmaniacs are Beaten in Spirit.

Posted in Astros rivals, Ex-Astros, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2011 by Astropolithecus

In Pumorian. We weep.

It seems like our former guy, the man I loved so much to watch in the box, the man who could never really come through in the last few years for Houston, would rather pour it on now, and it seems spiteful, it seems so obvious to any Astros fan. Let Blue Jay, Brewer, or Marlins’ fans awe in Berkman’s massive one man slaughter  of the starred ones on Thursday night, we know better, Houston fans. This was the only outcome. Poetic justice and revenge play out with melancholy redundancy against our squad. The bigger the ex-player, the bigger the beating. I called this very heinous Berkman beat down to my father via e-mail in March. Should have spent the week in Vegas.

But the truth is that Lance was only going to succeed somewhere else. He had battled under too many injuries and expectations for too long in Texas, with a team “sort of” built around him, and glory fading from him in every at bat. Not to his fault, he gave everything, but  we all knew he’d never be the same in Houston, there was too much history. It was like when we went to the World Series, Berkman and the other boys of summer left us at the altar, and instead of worshipping them as our heroes, we felt embarrassed, hung out to dry by our listless ‘Stros in the biggest spotlight. This isn’t actually true, our guys played hard in that four game sweep, but after that, the fan base was stung, and the team was dismantled, forever rustling Berkman’s feathers because, let’s face it, all his buddies either retired or were traded away.

The Puma’s renaissance in St. Louis comes with fresh perspective, patience, and protection in the line up. We should only wish him the best, always, even if he enjoyed pummeling his former team a little bit too much this series.

After all, we have a new, hungry squad, out from under the Berkman and Oswalt shadow, and playing like a group that wants a taste of victory, even if their taste buds have been fried by one of the foulest flavored bullpens Houston has ever had. (I hope only so far: Really, your name is ABAD? Even that joke is too easy to hit.)  Bourn, Pence, and Wallace could not be themselves if old Puma was still holding court in H-town.

So breathe out Houston diehards, be glad you survived the inevitable with one win, and know that it’s possible, if Fat Elvis keeps playing like this, we’ll see his happy ass in Cooperstown. And he wouldn’t be caught dead there in Cardinal red, no matter what anyone says.

May Lance Hit This Well Against The Cubs,

Astropolithecus

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What Penetrates the Fog

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , on April 18, 2011 by beckeesh

Sorry to say it, Astros fans, but I’ve been away from the game for the entirety of the Padres series. Vacation/work/why do you care?  Yet some facts about this team have managed to penetrate my MLB fog.  I’m writing today with a stranger’s perspective:

1 – Astros are in last place.  Yikes, still haven’t won a single series.

2 – However, Astros are in first place in taking out middle infielders at second base.  Does this implicate some fire in the ‘Stros clubhouse?

3 – Wandy, Wandy, Wandy.  Even strangers are crying about your 7.31 ERA.

4 – Brett Myers.  Even strangers are impressed that the Astros have a solid starting pitcher in the rotation.

5 – Strangers have noticed that Lance Berkman is on fire!!!!  Oh, wait, he’s a Cardinal.

6 – Strangers have noticed that Hunter Pence is not on fire.

5 – Strangers conclude that the Astros are back to being the disastros, which is a lot better than being “the good guys.”

New York City, here they come!

It’s Official Astros Fans: Never Gonna Happen 2010

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2010 by Astropolithecus

Folks,

Though our fair broadcasters on both radio and television might gloss over  a very ugly season by not saying anything very negative or critical, I want to make an announcement. Houston is done as of today, June 19th. This is from an eternal Astros optimist.

We are a crap team this year, and for the first time since I can remember I’m questioning the effort team wide, which bothers me deeply. Oswalt wants to leave, and rightly so.

I say blow it up and start all over.  Youth movement in Houston helmed by new hitting coach Bagwell is about the best we can hope for in the next two years.   Buckle down, ladies and gentlemen, judging by the listless nature of this mediocre squad, your fandom will be tested Pittsburgh Pirates style until the blessed day in early October when this train wreck(Wooo!Wooo! my ass) is over.

I knew the playoffs would be a miracle, but I never imagined what I’ve been watching these last 3 months. Only up from here, I hope.

Onward and Upward,

Berkmaniac

Chris Carpenter is a Big, Coddled Baby

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , on May 13, 2010 by beckeesh

In the third inning of today’s game, Chris Carpenter had to be starting something with Carlos Lee.  Why?  Because he’s a big baby.  Because he has a Cy Young and pitches for the Cardinals and therefore gets coddled, his extreme need to be a jerk categorized as “competitiveness” or “fire.”

On the field today benches cleared (slowly), but after the game, Carlos Lee was left all alone by his teammates and manager.

Post game, why didn’t Berkman say something to defend Carlos?  Why didn’t Mills?

He’s having a down year for sure, but Carlos Lee has been the most consistent hitter on this team since we acquired him.  On top of that, he has never said a bad word about management, teammates, or opponents in all that time.

Now Carpenter wants to be starting something and nobody comes to Carlos’s defense?!

Tony La Russa knew what to do.  He defended his pitcher and threw more dirt at Carlos.

Our manager should do the same.

Almost Everyone Fatter than Carlos Lee

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , on February 26, 2010 by beckeesh

Geez!  I’m sick of hearing about “concerns” that Carlos is out of shape.

Almost every player on our team is in worse shape than Carlos Lee.

In fact, every player on our team is in worse RBI shape than Carlos… yes, including Lance Berkman.

People, we won 74 games last season!  Stop it already!

Astros’ Best Hitter?

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , on July 22, 2009 by beckeesh

In a post game interview after last night’s 11-6 win over the Cardinals, Miguel Tejada (2 for 3 with 3 RBIs) was asked about the importance of winning while the team’s best hitter, Lance Berkman, is out with a strained calf.  Miggy answered as expected, that it’s very important, that Lance is our best hitter and to win without him is big.

But I wonder, is Lance our best hitter this season?

His stats say, yes.  He leads the team in home runs, OBP and SLG. 

Did you have to look them up? you may be wondering.  He’s Lance Berkman!  He plays in 100 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues.  Everyone knows he’s the Astros’ best hitter.  Once upon a time there was Biggio and Bagwell, and now there’s Berkman.  Duh.

So, OK, he’s our best hitter… but still, this scene in the locker room, it rubbed me the wrong way.  And if you peek at Miguel Tejada’s stats, you’ll see why. 

Tejada’s .326 avg leads the team, as do his 30 doubles.  He has 53 RBIs (only 2 fewer than Berkman).  In July, Berkman and Tejada have almost identical stats in doubles, HR, and RBIs.  This season, Tejada’s avg with RISP is .319.  Berkman’s has been .260.  There is negligible difference between the two players on the Bill James’s runs created formula (Berkman sits at 63 in 2009, Tejada at 61).

Berkman may be our best hitter, but this season, he’s not “best” by so much.  He has more power than Tejada, undoubtedly.  And he walks a ton.  (Tejada has walked only 12 times all season!)  But if you asked me who I’d rather have on the bench for a few days, Berkman or Tejada, I’d toss a coin. 

Wait, Tejada on the bench with an injury?  Haha!  That never happens!

Is there a stat for hits while injured?  If there were, Tejada’s numbers might improve even more.

One Game Under

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Here we are again. One game from returning to .500. Not since being 1-1 on April 7th, have the Astros been winners, err… I mean, non-losers. Actually, with an extra game to be finished up, the Stros have a chance to be winners tonight for the first time all season. First, the Astros and Nationals will pick up where they left off, albeit 1,500 miles southwest. With an extra-inning win to start the night off, the Astros can either go on to be winners, or quickly follow a step forward with another step back.

During Spring training, my brother and I talked about how we thought the season would play out. I predicted that it would look pretty ugly throughout, but that somehow the old never-say-die attitude would land the team at (an over-performing) 80-82 – with scattered winning streaks to justify management’s claims that we’re still in it. My brother predicted that through the course of the season, the Stros would have great runs to get them to 2 games below .500, slipping back down each time. It appears he was one game off. Here we are again with a third chance in a week. Each time they approach the plateau, they roll back down like a car in neutral that couldn’t build up quite enough momentum along the way.

Who’s gonna stumble this time? In San Francisco, the offense was characteristically baffled by their first view of a rookie, Ryan Sadowski (who?), and against Pittsburgh, the defense faltered. Odds are, this time it’s the pitching. Lately you have no idea what’s gonna happen with Russ Ortiz, so it’s anyone’s guess. Hopefully, though, Lance and Hunter finally teach the rest of the boys that in Texas we take two steps forward before taking another step back.