Ex Astro creates a world of hurt

Lance Berkman levels Yankee teammate Alex Rodriguez during batting practice

Lance Berkman levels Yankee teammate Alex Rodriguez during batting practice

Lance Berkman isn't exactly turning himself into New York's most popular citizen.

Forget the fact that the former Houston Astro/Rice great is hitting only .105 with one RBI in five games with his new team heading into this afternoon's tilt with Boston. That's no longer the issue. No, Berkman zoomed long past any stat anxiety when he took out Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez — arguably the best player in baseball — during batting practice today.

Berkman hit a line drive off A-Rod's left shin (accidentally of course) that staggered the New York superstar and eventually sent him collapsing into the Yankee Stadium outfield grass. Team trainers and Yankees manager Joe Girardi rushed out to attend to A-Rod, who eventually got up and hobbled off the field.

At one point, MLB.com reports, Rodriguez lay face down in center field, holding his head and crying out in pain as an obviously-stunned Berkman looked on. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is the one who called out the trainers.

Rodriguez was at third base when he was struck by the shot off Berkman's bat.

Berkman probably knew that New York would be tough. You can be sure that he never expected it to be this freakishly difficult though.

News_Ralph Bivins_Lance Berkman_Astros
Lance Berkman wanted to be deadly with his bat for the Yankees — but not like this.