Texas Rangers player Lance Berkman is deciding soon whether to shut it down for the remainder of the season, and possibly his career, or continue playing. Right now he has been doing some hitting to try and determine whether he can still be effective.
“I have got to come to grips with what my true physical capabilities are at this point,” Berkman said, “and then make a decision based on that, and not based on an unrealistic expectation of performance.”
It is frustrating for Berkman to watch his career end sooner than he’d like. It’s never fun to walk away on terms other than your own. Berkman was going to hit on the field to try out his injured left hip but instead elected to hit in the cages. Rangers manager Ron Washington didn’t sound to optimistic on Berkman’s future.
“It’s coming along slow,” Washington said. “When we had him and he was healthy he was very productive. He’s not that 22-year-old or 28-year-old that he used to be. Let’s hope that he progresses to the point where he can get back and help us. That’s not happening right now.”
The biggest problem isn’t even the hip, it’s a surgically repaired right knee that he can’t straighten out like he wants to. Besides being a pain while running, it’s affecting his bat speed as well.
“Mechanically, my swing is not in a good place because of the inability to put it in a place I need it to be to hit with any kind of authority,” Berkman said. “Even if you have a high on-base guy, that’s not going to do any good if a guy can’t run out of sight in a week. I have to figure out a way to generate more bat speed and or power, and if I can’t do that it limits my effectiveness and use for this team.”
“You have to fish or cut bait, and we’re getting down to that point rather quickly,” Berkman said. “I don’t want to let this thing linger and linger and linger because I’m not doing the team or myself any good by doing that. There does come a point in time where you have to make a decision, and it’s either yea or nay and that’s it.”