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Berkman Does Inevitable, Hangs It Up

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Berkman Does Inevitable, Hangs It Up

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ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 10: Lance Berkman #27 of the Texas Rangers hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 10, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

Lance Berkman's Texas rejuvenation didn't quite go as he'd hoped.

The native Texan, and longtime Houston Astro, signed a one-year deal worth $11 million to return to the American League as a designated hitter coming off knee surgery in 2012, got off to a good start in 2013 then saw it all come tumbling down.

Berkman played in just 73 games with the Rangers last season and cooled off drastically after the season's first month when his 37-year-old knees and hips started flaring up. He finished the year with a .242 batting average and was basically non-existent from midseason on and even contemplated retirement down the stretch of the season. In 2012 with the Cardinals, he played in just 32 games after a big 2011 that included a huge World Series against the Rangers.

"It doesn't make sense to play in the physical condition I'm in," Berkman told MLB.com.

The Rangers took a flier on Berkman, and it was an $11 million risk worth taking considering what he'd done in 2011. It appeared to be paying off early as Berkman was an on-base machine through the first month of the season hitting third in Texas' lineup.

But after May, Berkman was awful and in hindsight, basically stole $11 million from the Rangers. But that's the way things work in baseball, so it's hard to hold much ill will toward him for that.

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