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REWARD: For Sighting of Lance Berkman, Professional Hitter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Infielder Lance Berkman.

    The last time Lance Berkman saw the field for the Texas Rangers was more than a week ago when he went 0-for-4 in a loss to the A's in Oakland, but it wasn't the 0-for-4 you'd expect to see from the aging, ailing veteran who made his first appearance in a Rangers uniform that day in nearly two months after a long stint on the disabled list.

    In that game, Berkman had two really hard-hit balls to the outfield, including one in the eighth inning that Eric Young had to track at full speed into the gap in right-center and reach out to grab — and that was with runners in scoring position — to end the inning.

    After the game, Rangers manager Ron Washington even praised Berkman for making good, solid contact in his final few at-bats, especially that last one.

    Since then, Berkman hasn't been in the lineup and hasn't even had so much as a pinch-hitting appearance. Since then, Jim Adduci and Joey Butler have both made starts at designated hitter.

    At this point, you know Berkman isn't 100 percent and never will be again. And you know he's about 99.9 percent going to retire after this season. Remember back to the beginning of the season when Berkman was hitting third for the Rangers and giving them some serious offensive production over the first month-and-a-half of the season before hitting a wall. Well, there's 17 games left in the regular season and the Rangers are clinging to a playoff spot and are watching their division title hopes slip away.

    So why not give the guy a shot? You're paying him $10 million to sit on the bench, not to mention the $7 million you're paying Michael Young this year to play for the Phillies and now the Dodgers.

    Maybe the Rangers know something none of us do, but Berkman swung a good bat last week, and hasn't seen a pitch since. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.