Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rob Neyer has some things to say about Berkman

Regarding Lance Berkman's contract year, Rob Neyer has an interesting take:

...As annoyed as Berkman might be, the Astros have every reason to let things play out, see what the Lance Berkman of 2010 tells them about the Lance Berkman of 2011. Considering the recent market for sluggers in their mid-30s -- Berkman turned 34 two weeks ago -- he'll have a great financial incentive to play well this year...

...But how often is Berkman mentioned in the same breath as those others? First he was overshadowed by the original Killer B's, and then by the Astros' descent into irrelevance.

That doesn't mean Berkman is irrelevant. He's been an outstanding player for a long time, and in addition to five 100-RBI seasons he's also scored 100 runs in five seasons (and yes, those count too, even for power hitters). Thanks to a late professional start, because he went to college, Berkman hasn't piled up the big counting stats yet and probably won't reach 2,500 hits (stupid walks!) or 500 home runs (stupid line-drive doubles!), and thus probably has very little chance of getting into the Hall of Fame. But if he puts together another five or six good seasons, some of us will be making our best cases for him.