Berkman won’t play baseball forever. In fact, if anything can be read into his comments, there is a good chance he won’t play beyond this season.
In a recent interview with Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Berkman made it clear that retirement is a possibility:
"I don't want to rule anything out. But if you asked me right now I'm leaning toward not playing next year," Berkman said. "I don't want to say for certain because I don't want to do like Brett Favre and say, 'I retired; I'm not retired; I'm retired; I'm not retired.' I don't want to make that call right now, but if you put a gun to my head and demand an answer today I would tell you I'm probably not going to play next year."
While he left open the possibility for a return, there is still no guarantee he would be returning to St. Louis if he does choose to play again.
That leaves an important question: If Berkman retires, who is the Cardinals' future first baseman? The answer is not as black and white as some might think.