In Which Milo Hamilton Trashes Lance Berkman

From Sports Radio 790 today comes a story in which Milo Hamilton gets on the air and calls out Lance Berkman for a poor work ethic. Astros County was kind enough to put up a partial translation, and here's what we've got:

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"I want to know, if a guy gave you $85 million, and that's what Drayton did in the last contract...and he said, 'This is your team,' and he said that...wasn't in his persona, to be a leader. Yet last night, Tony LaRussa - when asked about Berkman - 'He's now the leader on this team, he is the inspiration to the older players, he goes around an inspires the younger players," and he got in excellent shape by hiring a trainer. If he had done that the last couple of years that he was here, guys, he could have finished out a really fine career in Houston if he had given it that same dedication. I just want a simple answer - why did you think it wasn't necessary to get in shape your last couple of years as an Astro, but now for team you didn't even know, a manager you never played for, you felt it was your responsibility to get in great shape?

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This is obviously going to be a touchy subject for Astros fans. Berkman undoubtedly could have kept himself in better shape over the years. I think part of that answer probably lies in the fact that, well, the Astros weren't really a team worth going all out for the last few years. When you're surrounded in the lineup by luminaries like Kaz Matsui and Pedro Feliz, that's got to be pretty disappointing as compared to the constant playoff competition he played in during his first six or seven years in the league. Not to mention the fact that the Astros basically told him not to come back--being spurned is always great for the motivation.

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I don't mind if this is something that radio hosts, fans, writers, etc. feel like talking about. It's a subject that probably warrants discussion. But for an employee of the Astros organization to come out and say these things, true or not, it just comes off as sour grapes. It serves absolutely no good for the team, and could be used against them at later points. If I were a free agent, I sure wouldn't want to go to a club that trashed me for not being in excellent shape. (Carlos Lee joke.) Berkman played through a bunch of pain and contributed a lot of big hits (Carlos Lee joke) to the club over the years. Having a radio guy come out in public to denounce him for not being in better form just smacks of unprofessionalism.  

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(Seriously, Carlos Lee can barely move and the organization is complaining about the shape that Lance Berkman was in?)

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