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An open letter to Lance Berkman

Dear Lance,

Hey bud, how are you? You don't know me, but I'm a Yankees fan who followed your three-month stay with the team last year.

I'm just checking in to say hi, and also to see what's been going on with you lately. I was at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, and I must tell you, I was shocked by your appearance. You looked like a new man — fit, muscular, a modern-day Thor in baseball pants. It made me wonder if you spent the entire winter on one of those Ivan Drago treadmills with the 87-degree incline. Do you have one of those machines? I bet LaRussa made you get it. That dude's such a commie!

Not to dwell on it, but I have to tell you pal, you don't look anything like the Lance I knew. That dude had the mobility of my 91-year-old grandfather. I remember one game last summer where you backpedaled to retrieve a pop up behind first base and tipped over like a 15-year-old girl at a keg party in the woods. I wondered if you'd ever be able to get up. You did. In a way, we all did. It was like a little snapshot of the human spirit.

Six months later, you're chasing down balls in the gap as the starting right fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. Imagine that!

Your marked improvement in appearance and agility isn't the only thing that's caught my eye. I notice you're raking at a prodigious rate, which is a lot different than your Bomber days! You have six homers and 15 RBI this month, which — impossible as it may seem — is already four homers and six RBIs more than you had in 42 games in New York.

If you keep up this pace, you'll finish with 54 homers, 135 RBIs and a 1.104 OPS. I definitely could have used that guy when my starting first baseman's hamstring exploded in the playoffs last year! Oh well!

Last thing: I'm supposed to let you know that, in addition to your probable berth on this year's NL All-Star team, you've also been named to the Carl Pavano Underachiever All-Stars, a team of MLB standouts who succeed everywhere but New York.

Pudge Rodriguez will speak at your induction dinner, an event at which you'll probably eat steamed vegetables and a protein shake before checking out early to get in some cage work. Hey, and if you see Rafael Soriano, can you tell him we've already extended an invitation for him to attend next year's event?

Good times!



Dan Hanzus is obviously bitter and also a writer for Pinstripe Alley. He can be reached at or on Twitter @danhanzus.