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Lance Berkman to Ron Washington on 2011 World Series: “Yeah, we won that war”

Feb 19, 2013, 9:53 PM EDT

berkman getty wide Getty Images

Lance Berkman usually says whatever he’s feeling and he’s one of the most interesting interview subjects in professional sports because of it.

But he probably crossed some sort of line in Rangers camp Tuesday. Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the story from Surprise, Arizona:

Berkman, who signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the Rangers in the off-season, didn’t miss an opportunity to fire the first shot about the 2011 season.

During the team’s annual meeting before the first full squad workout of spring training, manager Ron Washington spoke about the players in the clubhouse who had been through the “war” of a baseball season.

“He forgot about me and then he was like, ‘Berkman has been through the war too,’” Berkman said. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, we won that war.’”

Berkman’s Cardinals beat the Rangers in a wild seven-game series that featured one of the craziest postseason baseball games in the sport’s history. And the “Big Puma” played a huge part in capturing that championship for St. Louis. But he is with Texas now, and all the Rangers fans I’ve met despise rehashing the 2011 Fall Classic like they’ll probably despise Berkman’s use of “we” when referring to his former team.

  1. beefytrout - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Considering no fanbase has ever had their team be that close to winning the championship but then having it slip away, us Rangers fans probably are more inclined to be a little sore about that whole thing (especially since our franchise is just now achieving any sort of postseason success).

    Now we’ve got Berkman – who doesn’t have a great history with us to begin with – who was on that team and we’re now supposed to root for… and he says that. I’m sure if he has a decent year it’ll be forgive and forget, but damn man. You’re not off to the best start.

    • Old Gator - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      You guys need a third base coach? Slobbering Ozzie is free.

    • Kevin Gillman - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:36 PM

      I saw that game, and yes you guys probably came the closest to win, but don’t forget about my Indians, 2 outs away from winning it all in 1997, until Craig Counsell, of all people hit a harmless fly ball to tie the game, and the Marlins won 2 innings later, through Charles Nagy’s hand.

      So I feel your pain.

      • beefytrout - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:42 PM

        One strike away. Twice.

      • tuberippin - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:50 AM


    • jeffa43 - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      Well… It was a war, and yes Berkman and Freese won the thing (lance was the only hitter to hit over 400 in the series) berkmans 10 pitch game tying hit with two outs was one of the greatest at bats ever.

      And Washington brought it up. So fact, fact, fact.

      Writer is digging, and his number 1 mission was to get under skin of people like you.

      Trust Nolan… Great player, great attitude, great swing… Be happy.

      From Astro fan.

      • blacksables - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:07 AM

        No, it wasn’t a war. It was a baseball series.

        A war is something soldiers fight, and often die in. Considering we have soldiers deployed around the world dying regularly, the use of the term ‘war’ by athletes to suggest they have had a difficult time is self-serving and irritating.

        If they want to ‘fight a war’, I suggest they quit their overpaid jobs, go to a local recruiting office, and see what it’s like to ‘fight a war’ on minimum wage and benefits, with the inherent danger that goes with it.

        They had a long season, and a tough World Series. Nothing more.

      • jeffbbf - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        From Merriam-Webster:
        1 (1): a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2): a period of such armed conflict (3): state of war

        2 a: a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism
        b: a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end

        So yes, it was a war. Stop being such a politically-correct pussy.

      • blacksables - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Spoken like someone who didn’t have what it takes.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      Not to split hairs – but don’t forget 1986. The Red Sox also had a 2 run lead with 2 outs and two strikes on the batter. They also had two shots were they were one strike away from Winning (Ray Knight and Mookie Wilson….before the Wild pitch to Wilson that tied the game). At earlier in that inningn it was was 2 outs and no one on base. So at a minimum, it is a tiewbetween you and the Red Sox.

      In any event, a very dumb thing for Berkman to make that public. Fine to say in the clubhouse, there may have been some good natured ribbing invloved. But not wise at all to make that public, imo

  2. ningenito78 - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Then ‘they’ need to get over it. He’s on the Rangers now. If fans need assistance in understanding what he meant and what he didn’t mean then they can go hug nuts.

    • beefytrout - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      And if they need assistance with hugging nuts, they can come to you.

  3. bmh9500 - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    His coach forgot he was on the team, so he shot back with a nice burn. Appreciate.

  4. vols84 - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Fat Elvis, ladies and gentleman. Don’t forget to tip your waitress. Goodnight.

  5. stevequinn - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    As a Cardinal fan, I will tell you Ranger fans that Lance Berkman is going to be good for you and the Ranger clubhouse. He’s a good guy and all the Cardinal players will tell you he’s a great teammate.

    Now on to the 2011 World Series. It comes down to one simple fact — Cruz should have caught Freese’s triple off the wall. I was just dumbfounded watching him go back on that line drive and totally butchering it.

    That said, the Rangers have a lot of new fans in St. Louis. I’ve read it many times in the Post-Dispatch forums, the Rangers earned Cardinal fans’ respect. The Rangers are a class organization and I hope to see you back in the World Series in 2013. Playing the Cardinals of course.

  6. halohonk - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Texas will be lucky to make the playoffs. Its gonna be a SoCal freeway series this year.

    • 78mu - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:06 AM

      Since when are the Giants considered SoCal?

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Ummm…yeah…good luck with that Honk.

      You would think people would learn to not count their chickens before they hatch.
      Didn’t last year teach you anything?

  7. miketreedy - Feb 20, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Neither have the team chemistry to win. Especially the Dodgers. I bet neither team makes it.

  8. canucks18 - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    Wow blacksables give it a rest. Next thing you’re going to say is it shouldn’t be called a sport because children play it too and everyone has to have fun so it needs to only ever be called a game. Spare us your over analyzed comments.

  9. makeham98 - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Berkman will be a great addition to the clubhouse. Just not on the field. Won’t earn his paycheck when he can’t play more than 80 games.

  10. anxovies - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    If he has another .301 BA / 31 HR season like he did in 2011, they’ll get over it.

  11. stlouis1baseball - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Ranger fans are going to love Berkman.
    Anyone getting all whoa’s me…up in arms…soap opera dramafied over this needs to get over themselves. Dude has a quick toungue. Call’s it like he see’s it. And he is genuine. As long as he has been in MLB people should probably know this.
    Equally should not open the door for him as Washington did.
    Lance simply called it like saw it.

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