Just last year the St. Louis Cardinals saw a renaissance from Lance Berkman, who set a new career-high in OPS+ at 35 and had a crucial hit in the Cardinals' improbable Game 6 victory in the World Series. This year Berkman's talking retirement after suffering an injury that appears to be a torn ACL. Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch got the quote that's set things up in such serious terms:
If I've re-torn my ACL or something like that, I'd certainly get it fixed but you don't know how psychologically you're going to come back from something like that..
Berkman has already torn his right ACL once before—in the offseason after the Houston Astros' 2004 loss to the Cardinals in the NLCS, apparently playing flag football. Since then he's suffered additional knee injuries, including the ones that made him so affordable after a let-down 2010 season split between the Astros and the New York Yankees.
The Cardinals spent some of their Albert Pujols dividend on three veterans with injury problems in the offseason—so far Rafael Furcal has been a major success, with Carlos Beltran looking outstanding in the face of increasing knee soreness. But Lance Berkman looks to have gotten the worst possible news this weekend.