Originally written on Cardinals Diaspora  |  Last updated 11/15/14

If Lance Berkman’s 2011 was a career zenith, (great numbers, clutch post-season, World Series win, defying everyone who thought he was done and the Cardinals 1y for 8M contract was stupid, etc al) then 2012 might just be his nadir. 

Berkman decided early in the off-season that he wanted to re-run it for 2012. And the Cardinals rewarded him with 12M to do so. Many in Cardinal Nation wondered if this was the right move.

After all, the previous 2 seasons with the Astros and Yankees, Berkman averaged .250 with a paltry 48 RBIs and 14 HRs. His career OBP was off 40 points. Candidly, there were times watching the Yankees where I was like “whoa, forgot they had Berkman!” 

2 out of the past 3 years had been pretty bogus. Just so happened 2011 was a dream.

To fans, rewarding past performance is easy. To teams, it’s the riskiest business.

You have to calculate your risks versus future rewards. No doubt Berkman had earned a raise. He was a value at 8M and if he replicated 2011, he’d be a value at 12M. But was this an aberration? A last huzzah for a guy you could make a Hall of Fame case for?

Unfortunately, at this point… yes, 2011 was anomalous. 

64 at bats, with most of July in the books. 18 hits. 3 errors as a shaky first baseman. Obviously an extended stay on the DL after a knee operation and a frustrating start to his re-boot after the All-Star game have not helped anything.

Earlier in the week, Berkman indicated that he “didn’t want to retard the progress of Allen Craig”. Last night he was hit with a pitch in his still healing knee and left the game. Nothing is going Mr. Berkman’s way. Everything that went well in 2011 has soured in 2012. And at a certain point, sadly, it might be time to wonder if it will get better? Or is this train off the tracks for good?


If the Cardinals make the post-season in 2012 and Berkman is healthy and coming through with some signature moments, then he’s worth it. His time off just provided some more time for the Allen Craig’s and Matt Carpenter’s of the world to develop. But if the Cards are watching the Reds and Pirates in the playoffs because they invested 10% of their payroll in a guy that couldn’t contribute anything meaningful?

Well that’s a lose/lose situation. 

Let’s hope Lance’s knee is good. Let’s hope he gets 2011 back on track. He’s a charismatic player- the type of guy that you’d want to hang with. Hell, the kind of guy you want to root for. 

Time, though? It’s becoming a scarce commodity.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Falcons being investigated for fake crowd noise

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'


Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

Patriots' footballs were 'just a few ticks' under limit?

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Did the Falcons pipe in crowd noise?

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.