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Friday, October 21, 2011
Lance Berkman: No grudges for natives

By Jeff Caplan

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Not to rehash the whole Lance Berkman-C.J. Wilson narrative, but this is Berkman's first game in Texas since he made comments way back in January on a Houston radio station saying that the Rangers would become an average team without Cliff Lee.

More than once now Berkman has acknowledged that he was wrong in his assessment going back to the All-Star Game when he left a note for Wilson in his locker. And Wilson has said more than once that he doesn't hold a grudge.

The question asked of Berkman was whether Rangers fans would. Will Berkman, a native Texan, who played college ball at Rice and until last season his entire major-league career with the Houston Astros, get booed when introduced before Saturday night's Game 3 of the World Series?

"Probably, I'd be surprised if I didn't," Berkman said. "But, again, these are my people and I don't hold any grudges. As long as they're native-born Texans and not transplants, I don't hold any grudges."

Berkman signed a free-agent contract with the Cardinals last winter. The Rangers had interest in him as a designated hitter, who could also play first base and the outfield. Berkman has always maintained that he prefers the National League because he wants to play the field on a regular basis.

The  Cardinals provided him the opportunity to play the outfield. He produced a big season and won the NL Comeback Player of the Year.