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Lance Berkman leaning toward retirement after the season

Aug 25, 2012, 9:15 AM EST

berkman ap AP

Lance Berkman began a minor league rehab assignment last night with Triple-A Memphis and went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. He’s expected to play in four more rehab games before rejoining the Cardinals in a limited role down the stretch, but he could be reaching the end of his career.

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Berkman acknowledged last night that he’s leaning toward retirement after this season.

“I don’t want to rule anything out. But if you asked me right now I’m leaning toward not playing next year,” Berkman said. “I don’t want to say for certain because I don’t want to do like Brett Favre and say, ‘I retired; I’m not retired; I’m retired; I’m not retired.’ I don’t want to make that call right now, but if you put a gun to my head and demand an answer today I would tell you I’m probably not going to play next year.”

And it would be tough to blame him if he does decide to hang it up. Berkman has had five knee surgeries in his career, the most recent of which was on his right knee in May. The 36-year-old is currently on the disabled list due to inflammation in the very same knee, but he was recently diagnosed with meniscus damage in his left knee. He’s just not sure whether it’s worth putting his body through it all for another year.

Berkman, a six-time All-Star, is a .296/.409/.545 hitter over 14 major league seasons. He has 1,842 career hits and 360 home runs.

  1. youjivinmeturkey - Aug 25, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    :*(

  2. willclarkgameface - Aug 25, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    leaning? on what, BOTH of his busted knees?

    sorry Lance, it was a nice career and you killed it last year, but it’s just time, man.

  3. 78mu - Aug 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    The Cardinals don’t win the WS last year without him so he’ll always be a hero in St. Louis. Freese never hits the game winning home run if Berkman doesn’t get the hit to tie the game in the previous inning. And he’s a guy you never heard anyone say anything bad about. Baseball can always use more Lance Berkmans.

    • paperlions - Aug 25, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Completely agree.

      In an alternative universe, he signed with the Red Sox and was traded 4 months later after being labelled a club house cancer.

  4. raysfan1 - Aug 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    If he does retire, hopefully he stays in baseball in some capacity. There’s a lot that younger players can learn from him.

  5. donaldduckmg42 - Aug 25, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I hope he can come back as a hitting coach maybe work with young Astros. I’d love to see the Killer Bees back in the Houston dugout

  6. stex52 - Aug 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I’m pretty sure he has a job in Houston if he wants one. He is very popular in the community. Would be great for PR.

  7. stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Here’s to hoping he comes back this year and makes significant contributions.
    Then…if he wants to call er’ quits….great. But I hope it’s on his own terms.

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