Tag:Lance Berkman
Posted on: October 7, 2010 8:46 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 11:15 am

History between Gardenhire, Wendelstedt not good

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's never expected when a manager gets ejected in a playoff game, but when the Twins' Ron Gardenhire was run by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt in the seventh inning of Game 2, it wasn't exactly a shocker.

The history between the two is not good.

Wendelstedt has ejected Gardenhire multiple times, and there have been at least two public spats between the two -- including a particularly ugly incident in Detroit in August, 2009.

Gardenhire, still livid following the Twins' 5-2 Game 2 loss in the AL Division Series here Thursday during which he was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing a non-strike call to Lance Berkman, insisted the history between the two men had nothing to do with Thursday's ejection.

"Hunter and I talked and we kind of straightened all our stuff away," Gardenhire said tersely. "It has nothing to do with that at all, all right?"

Wendelstedt was not made available to reporters afterward.

Bob Watson, major-league baseball's vice-president for on-field operations, echoed Gardenhire.

"That's in the past," Watson told CBSSports.com regarding whether what appears to be an ongoing feud between Wendelstedt and Gardenhire played into Thursday's incident. "That had nothing to do with tonight.

"That's all squared away. It's non-issue."

Making Wendelstedt available might have helped make that more believable.

As for the Gardenhire-Wendelstedt dust-up in Detroit in 2009, following the ejection, according to Gardenhire at the time, the umpire taunted the manager by asking, "How do you like that?"

"That's the second time I've run into this, with this guy," Gardenhire told reporters after the Aug. 7, 2009, game in Detroit. "He's got an attitude. At home a few years back, he said, 'You're just out here for showtime.' He's got a smart mouth, and tonight was ridiculous, really."

Gardenhire continued: "A lot of the calls [were] no good He had a bad night. He didn't probably think so because he's god, as umpires go. ... I was really disappointed. There was no reason for me to get thrown out of that game."

Speaking to a pool reporter afterward, Wendelstedt said, "Basically, for a manager that has been around for so long, you would think he would understand the way baseball operates, that a warning is a warning."

In what essentially was a must-win Game 2 Thursday night here, the Twins and Yankees were tied at 2-2 when Minnesota starter Carl Pavano issued a walk to Jorge Posada to start the seventh. Then, with the count 1 and 2 on Lance Berkman, Wendelstedt ruled a Pavano sinker ball two when television replays appeared to show it should have been strike three.

On the very next pitch, Berkman ripped a go-ahead double into the left-center gap.

Gardenhire then went out to the mound for a visit with Pavano, Wendelstedt walked to the mound to hurry the game along and, from there, predictably, Gardenhire walked off the mound with Wendelstedt, giving the umpire an earful.

Wendelstedt ejected Gardenhire about the time the two reached home plate.

"I went out to make sure my guys were straight on what we were going to do next and make my side of the story known," Gardenhire said, explaining his trip to the mound with Berkman standing on second, the Twins trailing 3-2, nobody out and Brett Gardner about to bat. "I thought the ball was a strike, he didn't call it a strike and I wanted to make sure he knew that.

"But I wanted to get him away from my guys because there are a lot of guys full of emotion at that time and I wanted Carl to concentrate. I wanted to let [my guys know] they were going to bunt [Berkman] over, and to get the out. That's what I told my guys on the mound, and then I said what I had to say."

The dispute undoubtedly will help catapult the umpires back into the spotlight this postseason. Gardenhire was the second manager ejected on Thursday. Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon was given the heave-ho earlier in the day.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 11:13 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 11:29 pm

Busy Yankees acquire Cleveland's Kearns

The Yankees are moving quickly toward filling in the cracks in their roster: They acquired outfielder Austin Kearns from Cleveland within hours after reaching an agreement with Houston to bring Lance Berkman aboard.

The Yankees will send Cleveland a player to be named later or cash to complete the deal.

Kearns, 30, was hitting .272 with eight homers and 42 RBI in 84 games for the Indians this season and adds depth to the Yankees' stable of outfielders.

Kearns gives manager Joe Girardi another option in left field, where Curtis Granderson has struggled badly against left-handed pitching this season. Granderson, into Friday, was hitting just .214 against lefties with a .286 slugging percentage.

Kearns, meantime, is hitting .250 against lefties this year.

"A corner outfielder that gives us depth and experience," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters in Tampa, where New York was playing the Rays, on Friday night. "A right-handed bat that has power. We can use him a lot of different ways. It will give me a chance to rest our left-handed guys."

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was thrilled to hear that both Kearns and Houston's Lance Berkman soon will be in the clubhouse as reinforcements for the stretch drive.

"That's great," Teixeira told reporters. "Two quality guys. I know both of them real well. They're both great guys. It's going to be good for the clubhouse."

Posted on: July 30, 2010 6:42 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 11:24 pm

Yankees to acquire Astros' Berkman Saturday

The Yankees and Houston have agreed to a deal that will send longtime Astros first baseman Lance Berkman to the Bronx, CBSSports.com has confirmed.

The trade is not expected to become official until Saturday because of a technicality -- Berkman has to waive no-trade rights as a 10-and-5 man, a player who has been in the majors for 10 years, the last five with the same team. But he has agreed to do so, according to a major-league official, and, barring a last-minute change of mind, Berkman will officially become a Yankee on Saturday.

In return, Houston is expected to receive two prospect, neither of them high-level. Several reports have pegged them as reliever Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes. The Astros also reportedly have agreed to pay roughly $4 million of the $7 million owed Berkman.

The move fills a DH need for the Yankees, who earlier this season lost Nick Johnson to a right wrist injury, likely for the summer. It also gives them a bit more depth.

But make no mistake, this is nowhere close to an in-his-prime Berkman. At 34 now and a life-long Astro, Berkman was hitting .245 with 13 homers and 49 RBI. In 358 plate appearances this season, Berkman has struck out 70 times and walked 60.

He's also hitting only .188 against left-handers this season with one homer in 64 at-bats. But he gives the Yankees a veteran bat, be it from the DH slot or off the bench, which they hope will aid them down the stretch.

Berkman is due roughly $5 million this season with a club option for $15 million -- or a $2 million buyout -- for 2011. It is not yet clear what the Astros will receive in return, but they are not expected to receive high-level prospects for Berkman. Also unclear is how much of the $7 million or so Berkman is owed will be picked up by Houston.

As for why the deal must wait until Saturday even though Berkman already has agreed to waive his no-trade powers, as Joel Sherman explains in the New York Post, Article 19 of the Basic Agreement provides that trades involving players with 10-and-5 rights cannot be announced until 24 hours after the player gives his consent.

Berkman, who was held out of Friday night's lineup against Milwaukee, would not confirm that he agreed to the deal earlier Friday.

"I'm from Texas," Berkman told reporters in Houston on Friday night. "Heck, I played at Rice. This city is like the womb. I feel very comfortable here. To think about the possibility of going anywhere else is kind of scary.

"My ideal situation is to win a title here. If this organization feels those aims are better accomplished by trying to strip down this roster and reload with younger guys, I don't want to stand in the way of that."

One other Houston icon who was traded in recent days, pitcher Roy Oswalt, thinks the move to New York will rejuvenate his old teammate.

"I think it would be good for him," Oswalt told reporters in Washington on Friday after making his first start for Philadelphia since the Phillies acquired him from Houston on Thursday. "Sometimes you get a change of scenery [and] it turns you all the way around. Sometimes you get in a rut of doing the same thing over and over again."

Berkman acknowledged that Astros general manager Ed Wade approached him two days ago with a list of "probably eight teams" that had expressed interest in the 12-year veteran.

"There were four yeas and four nays," Berkman said.

In the end, as we've seen in the past, the Bronx came up with the biggest yea.

"You don't always get to pick how you leave an organization," Berkman said. "If and when it comes time to move on, I'll do it with as much grace as I can muster."


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com