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THE HEART OF A COMEBACK
JOE LEMIRE
November 10, 2011
HEALTHY AND FULL OF VERVE, THE SLUGGER REVIVED HIS CAREER AND HIS NEW TEAM
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November 10, 2011

The Heart Of A Comeback

HEALTHY AND FULL OF VERVE, THE SLUGGER REVIVED HIS CAREER AND HIS NEW TEAM

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There's a folksiness to Berkman's words—and, more important, to his reasoning. "I'm not afraid of public scrutiny," he says. And what about his comments about the Rangers? Was that having respect for an opponent? Maybe not, but his self-deprecating apology did help soften the lingering sting. "The one thing I regret about the whole deal is I forgot about a little thing called the Internet," Berkman says. "Those comments were made on a Houston radio station. I felt like they would appeal to Houston fans, and [they] turned out to bite me."

Of course, it's not really what Berkman says about other teams that matters in St. Louis but rather what he says about his own. During the World Series, when many Cardinals—including himself—received criticism for leaving the clubhouse without speaking to reporters after a Game 2 loss, Berkman called in to a national radio program to defend their actions. On a team without a dominant public voice among its players, that kind of responsibility-taking carries important weight.

So it was for his rejuvenated bat, his adequate glove and yes, his confident voice, that the Cardinals extended Berkman's contract in September, locking him in for 2012 at $12 million. That was a nice raise for a player who a year ago seemed to be nearing the end but who now has a home—and a championship ring—in St. Louis.

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