Condolences to Puma.

Lance Berkman entered the clubhouse on Friday and was met with the usual gaggle of reporters waiting at his locker to talk to him about his recent trip to the disabled list.

Puma did not let on that four hours earlier, he received word that his grandfather, William Leroy Berkman, had passed away at the age of 96.

Puma, whose full name is William Lance Berkman, appeared to be handling the news well and spoke matter-of-factly about his grandfather, who, as his aunt told him, passed away peacefully, of natural causes. “He just got tired,” Puma said.

The funeral will be Monday or Tuesday, so it’s unlikely Berkman will attend any of the Astros games in Chicago. Now that he’s on the DL, he might skip the road trip entirely, although that remains to be determined.

Condolences to Lance and his entire family.

A couple of snipets from Berkman’s Q&A with the media…

On the trip to the DL:
“I wish I wouldn’t have played the last couple of days. That way I’d be a lot closer to getting back.”

“I’m disappointed. I don’t think it’s going to take the whole two weeks (to recover from the calf strain) but there aren’t many options when it comes to the DL. Heck, if it was late August and we were right there (in a division race), I don’t think I would have missed a game.”

“While this is an inopportune time, I guess sometimes you have to do something unpleasant for the overall good.”

Puma added he’ll probably hit off a tee regularly during his time on the shelf, “just to keep from rusting up.”


Other news and notes from Astros pregame Friday:

Chris Sampson, who has been on the DL since July 10 with shoulder spasms, threw approximately 25 pitches during a simulated inning. He is eligible to come off the DL Sunday and he’s confident he’ll be ready when that time comes.

Aaron Booooone is in town and working out with the Astros after working with a trainer for the last five or six weeks in Arizona. He took batting practice with the team Friday and eventually will begin a Minor League rehab assignment. GM Ed Wade told Boone that a realistic target for a big league return would be September.


Programming note: Saturday will mark the premiere of “Spotlight: Miguel Tejada” on FS Houston. Narrated by Patti Smith, the show will give an in-depth look into Tejada’s humble upbringing in the Dominican Republic and his rise to stardom in the Major Leagues. The show, which includes interviews with Tejada, his father, his wife, Alejandra, his first manager, Art Howe and Astros GM Ed Wade (among others), will air at 5 p.m. CT and again at 10 p.m. CT.

Sounds like a good one. I’ll be at the game, but I’ll be TiVOing it for sure.

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My condolences to Lance and his family.

My condolences to Lance and his family.

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