Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Sunday, January 6, 2013
Lance Berkman hopes to win fans over

By Richard Durrett

Free-agent designated hitter Lance Berkman, whom sources said Saturday agreed to terms on a one-year deal pending a physical, wants Texas Rangers fans to know that he was wrong about his assessment of the club a few years ago and plans to win them over with his play.

Berkman said before the 2011 season began that he thought the Rangers were going to be an average team despite making the World Series the previous season, and he questioned whether the team's long-term deal with Adrian Beltre was "a reach."

He said prior to that World Series that he was wrong and reiterated that on Sunday.

"I'm prepared to let bygones be bygones, but I understand the fans remembering those comments," Berkman told ESPNDallas.com on Sunday. "Ultimately, I had to eat some crow and I was happy to do that. I tend to share an unvarnished opinion and not everyone was going to like that answer. It was my honest opinion and I was proved to be incorrect in my assessment, and it was not the first time I've been wrong.

"This is a different team and a different scenario and I'm happy to be a part of the Rangers organization. It's a winning team. Hopefully by playing well, I'll be able to win over some of those fans I ostracized by shooting my mouth off before."

Berkman, who turns 37 next month, is scheduled to undergo his physical on Monday after agreeing to a contract that would pay him $10 million in 2013, sources confirmed. The deal includes a vesting option for a second year should Berkman reach 550 plate appearances. There's a $1 million buyout on the option year as well.

"The reality is that if things don't go well this year, even if they had given me a second year guaranteed, I'm not going to hold somebody's feet to the fire if I don't think I can perform," Berkman said. "If I have a great year, it'd be great to come back and go at it again."

Read more here.