Lance Berkman delayed retirement with a one-year, $11 million deal with Texas this week, a deal that at least one observer thought exorbitant given Berkman’s inability to stay on the field in 2012. Fully aware some Rangers fans would remember his characterizing the 2011 club as a probable non-contender, a contrite Berkman spoke with ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett in an attempt to smooth things over.

“I’m prepared to let bygones be bygones, but I understand the fans remembering those comments,” Berkman said. “Ultimately, I had to eat some crow and I was happy to do that. I tend to share an unvarnished opinion and not everyone was going to like that answer. It was my honest opinion and I was proved to be incorrect in my assessment, and it was not the first time I’ve been wrong.

“This is a different team and a different scenario and I’m happy to be a part of the Rangers organization. It’s a winning team. Hopefully by playing well, I’ll be able to win over some of those fans I ostracized by shooting my mouth off before.”

He said several factors made Texas the right choice for him.

“The first reason is because they have a very good team, a competitive time and a chance to win,” Berkman said. “The second is the geographic location. I think it’s easy on my family being in Houston to get back and forth to Dallas. Being a native Texan, it’s nice to be back in the state.”

“The third reason is they made me a great offer,”, Berkman added, one that will have him ensconced at DH in Ron Washington’s lineup, and should offer massive encouragement to any remaining free agents with a shred of mobility.