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Berkman likely to retire, join Rice University baseball program

Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman told the Houston Fox TV affiliate Thursday that he is leaning toward retirment.

And if he does hang 'em up at the end of the season, Berkman wants to go back to college at Rice University to finish his degree -- while working as a student assistant coach with the baseball program.

Berkman told the Fox station he has already discussed the issue with Rice baseball coach Wayne Graham.

"That's very flattering to me that he would have that kind of trust in my knowledge of the game." Berkman told Fox TV. "I mean you're talking about one of the true legends of baseball, especially in the Houston area, and for him to want you to be a part of his program is an honor and I would be excited about it because I'm passionate about that age group."

With how far the discussion seems to have progressed, it appears likely that Berkman will in fact retire. At the beginning of the current season he said he wanted to play at least a couple more years. But his knees have betrayed him.

I'm guessing that Berkman is being positioned to take over for the 76-year-old Graham when he retires. 

"We make our home in Houston," Berkman told Fox TV. "I went to Rice. The program did a lot for me. I would love to do something for the program."

I hate to see Berkman run out of gas at 37. But he's had a heckuva career, including the cherry on top which was his 2011 World Series ring. What better post career job is there than coaching his college team in his home town?

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