Heartfelt Thanks to the Texas Rangers


News broke yesterday afternoon that should fill fans of the Cincinnati Reds with joy.  My heart is overflowing.  The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a one year contract with Lance Berkman.  Lance Berkman is gone, may he never terrorize Reds fans again.  Couple this news with this mornings revelation the National Hockey League appears to have reached an agreement with the NHL Players Association and the weekend in sports is near perfect for me.  (Sorry Bengals fans but did you really think they would win?)

Let’s look back across the years at what Lance has done to our Redlegs.

The numbers highlighted in Boldface type indicate the statistics where Berkman did more damage to the Reds than any other team in his career.  Consider the teams he did the next most damage too:

  • Runs:  He scored 115 runs vs the Pittsburgh Pirates, 22 less than he scored against the Reds.
  • RBI:  He drove in 118 runs against the St. Louis Cardinals, 26 less than he drove in vs. the Reds.
  • Hits:  He recorded 6 fewer hits against the Milwaukee Brewers than Cincinnati.
  • Triples:  In this unlikely statistic, the man occasionally referred to as “Fat Elvis” had 4 triples against the Reds, the Brewers, and the Washington Nationals including his lone triple last season that he hit against Cincinnati.  (I should note that he recorded the 4 triples against Washington in just 70 games.)
  • Home Runs:  He affinity for hitting home runs against the Reds is legend.  St. Louis is the runner up here allowing 39.  Thirteen less than he hit vs. Cincinnati pitching.
  • Total Bases:  In possibly the most incredible stat.  Berkman collected 59 more total bases against the Reds than the second place Cardinals.

Keep in mind that the teams in the NL Central, who faced him the most, saw him for approximately the same number of games with Houston being the obvious exception:

St. Louis Cardinals pinch hitter Lance Berkman (12) salutes the fans after receiving a standing ovation as he came up to bat during the 7th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 1-0. Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

  • Chicago Cubs:  177 games
  • Cincinnati Reds:  174 games
  • Milwaukee Brewers: 171 games
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: 167 games
  • St. Louis Cardinals:  154 games
  • Houston Astros:  11 games

Also, giving credence to the idea that Lance really does pay attention to who he is playing.  In his short time with St. Louis he took the field just 11 times against the Astros at a time when his career is allegedly waning and has 10 runs, 15 RBI, 5 HRs and 36 total bases.  His OPS is an unimaginable 1.377.  They can not be happy Berkman is following them into the American League.  Here are a few more numbers:

The worst part of these numbers are the strikeout tally.  While he did face the Reds more than any club but Chicago the only NL Central opponent to strike him out less was Pittsburgh.  In fact the Cubs struck him out 62 more times than the Reds and the Cardinals, who faced him in 20 less games still managed to retire him on strikes 14 more times.

I thought I would also provide the service of alphabetically listing the Reds pitchers Berkman has homered off of both as a way of understanding his longevity and his ability so here goes:

  1. Bronson Arroyo:  5
  2. Jose Acevedo:  4
  3. Homer Bailey:  1
  4. Matt Belisle:  1
  5. Jim Brower:  1
  6. Johnny Cueto:  2
  7. Ryan Dempster:  1 (of 6 total, guess he likes Ryan)
  8. Seth Etherton:  1
  9. Jared Fernandez:  1
  10. Danny Graves:  2
  11. Joey Hamilton:  2
  12. Aaron Harang:  7
  13. Jimmy Haynes:  3
  14. Luke Hudson:  1
  15. Kyle Lohse:  1 (of 4)
  16. Nick Masset:  1
  17. Ramon Ortiz:  1
  18. Elizardo Ramirez:  1
  19. Ramon Ramirez:  1
  20. Brian Reith:  1
  21. Chris Reitsma:  1
  22. John Riedling:  1
  23. Jose Rijo:  1
  24. Kirk Saarloos:  1
  25. Brad Salmon:  1
  26. Tom Shearn:  1
  27. Scott Sullivan:  1
  28. Todd Van Poppel:  2 (0f 4)
  29. David Weathers:  1
  30. Paul Wilson:  1
  31. Travis Wood:  1 (0f 2)

I must add that just typing this list helps me appreciate the pitching staff we currently have.

So for my part, I wish him well with the Rangers but I hope they never see a World Series with Lance on the team…because I don’t want the Reds to ever face him again!

Follow me on Twitter @JohnHeitz