Richard Justice's article on the impending Berkman trade reads more like a eulogy:
When the Astros were good, Berkman was a brilliant offensive player, an on-base machine who also hit with power and was at his best with the game on the line. He has a .321 batting average in 29 postseason games, including .385 in the 2005 World Series.
And yet, it would be impossible to define him by his play.
He is also smart, funny and thoroughly decent, a voracious reader and a devoted husband to his wife and a doting father to his four daughters. He is a Texan through and through, growing up in New Braunfels and attending Rice, where he joked his major was “staying eligible.”
His idea of a perfect day is a morning of chores around his Brenham ranch, a steak for lunch and four hours on the sofa watching college football.
His sense of humor got him in trouble because fans misinterpreted his devil-may-care quotes, which said he didn’t care that much. Inside the home clubhouse at Minute Maid Park, his teammates knew the opposite was true. He was obsessive about his game, and when he was going badly, he dwelled on the problem.
His legacy will be hard for anyone to match, and these last two seasons when he was no longer a great player should be weighed against the body of work.