After hitting a tie-breaking homer right-handed, obliterating Fernando Abad, Lance Berkman can say he accomplished just about everything in his destruction of the Houston Astros. Milo Hamilton came out earlier this week with some uncouth comments, and not only did Berkman handle them well, he also handled Astros pitching to the tune of 8-14, two homers, and seven RBI's. Jeez Lance, a nice "told you so!" would've sufficed.â†µ
It was already pretty clear that the Astros weren't a playoff caliber club this year, but it was startling to see them (through Hamilton) trash their former star player in the press as the Cardinals continued to soar high above the Astros. They're going nowhere fast, but it wasn't Berkman's fault. He's not the reason that the Astros signed Carlos Lee and Woody Williams, he's not the reason the Astros didn't spend the money to pay Drew Stubbs or their other draft picks.
It's painful to see Berkman in a Cardinals uniform. It's not something that should have happened, which is what I think Hamilton was trying to get to underneath his comments. But it did. The reason it did has everything to do with the talent on the club now. Hamilton talked about Berkman letting the Astros down--it was the other way around. They had an obligation to surround Berkman and Roy Oswalt with top tier talent to keep the late 90's-early 00's NL Central dynasty going, and they didn't.â†µ
That, more than anything, is the reason Berkman is wearing Cardinals red today.â†µ