09/19/12 8:45 PM ET
Berkman isn't biting on possible return to Astros
Cardinals first baseman is focused on this season following knee surgery
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
The Big Puma has heard suggestions he could wind up back with the Astros next season to serve as their designated hitter in their first year in the American League, a notion jokingly first brought up by general manager Jeff Luhnow at the Houston Baseball Dinner last winter.
Berkman, in the final year of his contract with the Cardinals, has been limited to 31 games because of knee surgeries, but returning to the Astros isn't on his mind right now.
"Obviously that's been talked about," he said. "I'm not ruling anything out, but by the same token, as I sit today, it's not something that I'm super interested in."
Berkman had surgery on Sept. 11 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, a knee that was operated on in May. He told reporters on Wednesday there's a chance he could return to action this year, but he's not sure yet whether he's going to play beyond that.
"You can speculate, but I'm holding off until I get to the point in the offseason where I see what kind of interest there is," he said. "I think there's a lot of factors involved. The main thing is just what this feels like after it calms down from the surgery. We'll go from there."
Astros interview Bogar for managerial position
ST. LOUIS -- The Astros conducted another managerial interview on Wednesday, sitting down with Red Sox bench coach -- and former Astros infielder -- Tim Bogar in Tampa, Fla. Astros officials flew to Tampa to interview Bogar while the Red Sox were in town playing the Rays.
"I really have nothing to say about it, to be honest with you," said Bogar, who interviewed with the Astros in 2009 prior to the hiring of Brad Mills. "I'm going to respect the process. All I can say is it went pretty well. It was about two-and-a-half hours. It was good."
Bogar is the fifth known candidate to interview, joining former Padres and Phillies manager Larry Bowa, Nationals third base coach Bo Porter, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco. Bowa is no longer a candidate.
On Tuesday, Astros owner Jim Crane said the team hopes to wrap up the interviews and decide on a candidate by next week. Houston may not be able to announce the manager, however, until the new hire's team is through with the playoffs.
Former Astros lining up for Legends Luncheon
ST. LOUIS -- More than 40 former Astros are schedule to attend Saturday's 11 a.m. CT Legends Luncheon in the Union Station lobby, a celebration that wraps up the team's 50th anniversary celebration.
The luncheon, which will be hosted by Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton, is open to the public. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at www.astros.com/flashback. The deadline to purchase tickets is noon on Friday.
Among the players committed to attend the luncheon and participate in the on-field ceremony prior to the game are Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Cesar Cedeno, Roger Clemens, Larry Dierker, Jimmy Wynn, J.R. Richard, Jose Cruz, Alan Ashby, Art Howe, Terry Puhl and Dickie Thon.
The program for the luncheon will include a question-and-answer session with attending members of the Astros' all-time 25-man roster, a special video presentation commemorating the history of the Astros and a tribute to team legends that have passed away.
Raffle tickets for autographed memorabilia will be available for purchase at registration. Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Astros In Action Foundation.
Biggio, who will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this winter, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday's game.
In addition, the Astros on Friday will be giving out replica Colt .45s jerseys with the revolver on the front. The team gave away replica Colt .45s jerseys in April without the revolver, but owner Jim Crane added the giveaway for Friday with the revolver in response from fans.
Tyler Greene was originally in interim manager Tony DeFrancesco's lineup at second base for Wednesday's game against the Cardinals before being scratched due to an issue with his right knee. DeFrancesco said Greene had some loose particles in his knee.
"My plan was to get Greene and [shortstop] Jed [Lowrie] in the lineup at the same time and try to increase our home run power in the middle of the diamond, and unfortunately it's not going to happen." the skipper said. "[Jose] Altuve is going back out [at second base] and we'll see how it reacts in the next day or two."