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Could Lance Berkman return to the Astros in 2013?

Feb 11, 2012, 2:35 PM EDT

World Series Rangers Cardinals Baseball

We still have an entire season of baseball ahead of us, but let’s just say the Astros haven’t ruled out the possibility.

Lance Berkman was in attendance last night at the annual Houston baseball dinner, which celebrated the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Berkman, who was honored at the event, actually had a good line about the recent mini-controversy over a potential name change for the franchise (via Brian McTaggart of

“I want to thank the Houston Lone Stars for this award,” Berkman said. “What? They didn’t approve that? It’s still the Astros?”

New Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow later took the stage and jokingly alluded to the possibility of pursuing “The Big Puma” before the team makes the move to the American League West next season.

“Let him finish out his contract with St. Louis. And when we get over to the American League [in 2013], we’re going to need a DH,” Luhnow joked.

Berkman, who attended Rice University in Houston, was a first-round pick of the Astros in 1997 and spent nearly his first 12 big-league seasons with the team before being traded to the Yankees in July of 2010.

Nothing wrong with a little joking in a casual setting, but Berkman’s return would probably cheer up some fans who are unhappy with being forced to switch leagues. For now, it’s just a fun possibility to ponder.

  1. rohlo - Feb 11, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    bring berkman would be nice to see him finish his career in an astro uni….. a true astro for life!!

  2. cur68 - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Fat Elvis might enter the building (in 2013)? Cool. Peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches on the house!

  3. xmatt0926x - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    In a bit of irony on him going “home”, remember after the 2010 season ended with him flopping in New York he was very upset when the Astros ruled out bringing him back for 2011. He then signs with St. Louis and wins his only ring. Go figure. Be careful what you wish for Lance.

  4. bouwel92 - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    come back home where you belong lance we need you back in houston and bring oswalt back with you lets get the old team back together

  5. okwhitefalcon - Feb 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Puma is one funny cat, he’s going to be great as an analyst when he hangs ’em up.

  6. astrosfan75956 - Feb 11, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Sure would love that,

  7. jwag777 - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    Still don’t understand why the Brewers aren’t just returned to the American League…oh yea that’s right, Bud Selig used to own them….

    • paperlions - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      No, that isn’t why.

  8. Old Gator - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Could Lance Berkman return as an Astro? It probably depends on how many rungs down the bardo he slides before the attending lama stalls the process for him. If he falls too far, he would probably come back as an Oriole or Pirate first, and then maybe make it back to the Astros in a following incarnation.

  9. stex52 - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    As a fellow Rice grad and an Astros fan for every one of those stinkin’ 50 years, I am a Berkman fan in long standing. Besides being one of the two or three best pure hitters in the history of the franchise, he is a thoroughly nice guy, an intelligent player, and always an interesting interview.

    But he isn’t coming back, and I don’t think he should. He is in a situation in St. Louis where he is appreciated, and he probably has two more shots at the World Series. Meanwhile the Astros are burning down the house to kill the rats. Having an aging slugger with a 10+ MM$ salary just doesn’t help them. Go out and do well, Lance. Then come back to Houston to live. You’ll be a hero.

  10. Old Gator - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    ” Meanwhile the Astros are burning down the house to kill the rats.”

    Texans just have ways of putting things that cannot be equaled by anyone else anywhere else. I don’t know if it’s genetic or the pollution.

    • stex52 - Feb 13, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Thirty-five years as a chemical engineer. I guess you would have to say pollution.

      But I spent most of those years in small towns in Brazoria county (south of Houston). I think the small-town patois picks up a lot of colorful phrases.

  11. rohlo - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:15 AM

    cards are not making a run!they are done! losing pujols is gonna be more than just a physical presence!! he was the leader and guts of that team!!! cards got hot at the right time after being basically out last year!!!!

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