Texas Rangers DH Lance Berkman isn't too thrilled about the Rangers' series with the Cubs in Chicago this week. In fact, Berkman not only hates Wrigley, but he hates Chicago as a whole, too.
“If they’re looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up, I’ll do it,” he said. [...] "Chicago’s one of the worst places in baseball … really for anything," he said.
Well, isn't that just lovely? Berkman has spent nearly his entire career playing for teams in Texas, aside from a 37 game stint with the Yankees in 2010, an MVP caliber 2011 with the Cardinals, and an injury-plagued 2012, also with St Louis. The 355 plate appearances Berkman has logged at Wrigley are his fourth most in any stadium behind Minute Maid Park, new Busch Stadium, and Miller Park. and he's struggled terribly there, with just a .215/.355/.377 statline. That .732 OPS is Berkman's lowest in any park where he's played more than 16 games. Ironically, he's raked in six games at US Cellular Field on the South Side of Chicago, posting a 1.159 OPS in 27 plate appearances.
Since the game is at Wrigley and the NL is still DH-less, Berkman figures to not get much playing time this week. He hasn't played an inning in the field yet this year for Texas, and while the Rangers would love to keep his bat (1.111 OPS in 11 games this year) in the lineup, his injury history might prevent Ron Washington from penciling his name onto the lineup card. But with Mitch Moreland continuining to struggle at first base, Washington might have to start Berkman to generate some offense.
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