Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 6/21/13
ST. LOUIS -- Lance Berkman was born, raised and resides in Texas so he looks right at home in a Texas Rangers uniform. But there is no doubt part of his heart remains with the Cardinals. This was obvious from watching Berkman hold court with his ex-teammates behind the batting cage Friday before the Rangers and Cardinals started their three-game series at Busch Stadium. He was treated like a family member who returned home as player after player came over for a hug. As he joked with several, Matt Holliday came up from behind, wrapped his arms around him and lifted him about two feet off the ground. A bear bug for a brother. "It's kind of like the first day of school when you get to see all your friends you haven't seen in a while," Berkman said. Berkman is expected to be limited to pinch-hitting this weekend, partly because of knee and "general body soreness" (he had a cortisone shot Thursday) and partly because the DH doesn't play in St. Louis. Manager Ron Washington, however, did not rule out giving Berkman a start at first on Saturday or Sunday. Berkman was hitting .311 on May 19 but a 17-for-91 (.187) skid has dropped his average to .260 to go along with six homers and 33 RBIs. Regardless of how many at-bats he gets this weekend, Berkman sounded happy just to be back. Though he spent many more years with the Astros, he said coming back to St. Louis was far more fun than returning to Houston after he had hooked on with the Cardinals. "When I went back to the Astros, it was more of an antagonistic feel, where I felt like things didn't go well there at the end," he said. "This feels more like a homecoming, where it's just a great feeling to be here and reconnect with some of the guys I've played with." But will they become enemies once the first pitch is thrown? "More like brothers that you really want to beat in a game of one-on-one in the driveway," Berkman said. As you would expect for someone known almost as much for his wisecracking as his 366 career homers and .294 batting average, Berkman hasn't been shy giving grief to his new teammates about falling to St. Louis in the 2011 World Series. "I try to get in a good dig at least once a week on somebody about it," he said. "Maybe once every two weeks, it just depends on the mood of the team. You don't bring something like that up unless things are going well. We've been through a little lull here recently so I haven't mentioned it for a while." Berkman didn't hesitate to bring it up when manager Ron Washington was holding a meeting on the first day of spring training. As Washington talked about getting back to the World Series, he started listing his players who already had been through the experience. "He said (Ian) Kinsler, you've been through the war," Berkman said. "(David) Murphy, you've been through the war. Berkman, you've been through the war. I was like, we won that war, Wash." On another occasion, Berkman said he asked Murphy "if the clubhouse was graveyard quiet after Game 6 or if it was more quiet after Game 7." Murphy's reply: "He told me to quit talking," Berkman said. Berkman tends to be a little more discreet around third baseman Adrian Beltre. "He is not amused at all," Berkman said. Asked if the players return the ribbing, Berkman replied with a snicker, "What are they going to give back?" You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: LeBron salutes Toronto fans after Game 6

FIFA Penalizes 7 countries for discriminatory acts

Report: Jets offering Ryan Fitzpatrick 3-year deal for $12M

Ezekiel Elliott bought parents a new house with his first check

Warriors, Thunder taking turns beating each other in the opposite style

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Yoenis Cespedes open to spending rest of career with Mets

Los Angeles Kings reportedly to strip Dustin Brown of captaincy

Report: Sixers to gauge interest in Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel

Rob Ryan echoes brother Rex: ‘Bring Belichick on. We got him’

Wizards will offer Beal max contract

Report: Owners unhappy with Robert Kraft's letter for Brady

WATCH: D’Angelo Russell trolled by Adam Sandler and David Spade

WATCH: LeBron jukes defender, throws down one-handed dunk

Scientists call for Rio Olympics relocation or rescheduling

The biggest questions about the WWE brand split

U.S. Women’s Soccer players demand right to strike over equal pay, as Olympics near

Pat Riley reportedly hates the Dwyane Wade-LeBron James friendship

UEFA Champions League Final: The two Madrids and history in Milan

Memphis newspaper confuses Juwan Howard for David Fizdale

The tale of Kevin Love's inconsistent play

WATCH: Raiders release video promoting move to Las Vegas

Ricky Williams opening marijuana-friendly gym

Report: Utley's family received death threats after NLDS slide

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

QUIZ: Name every NBA franchise's original incarnation

The 15 biggest playoff upsets in NBA history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker