Beckham scoffs at criticism of Ventura hire
October, 7, 2011
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham was out hunting Thursday, sitting in a tree stand in fact, when the White Sox bagged Robin Ventura.
Beckham’s first notification that the White Sox had a new manager to replace Ozzie Guillen came in a text from his agent. Mere minutes later, two media members called with interview requests.
Beckham kept his silence. He was hunting after all, and it wasn’t like deer would be attracted to a ballplayer’s musings about his new manager.
In the end, Beckham blamed the warm Georgia day for coming away empty-handed on the hunt. The afternoon wasn’t a complete loss, though, since Ventura is now in the fold.
“Definitely I didn’t think it would happen this quick, but it’s nice to figure out who your manager is,” said Beckham, echoing the thought of other White Sox players. “I know Robin is a good guy.”
But don’t they say that nice guys finish last? And what about his lack of experience?
“I think people are hammering the White Sox on hiring somebody that hasn’t coached, but it isn’t all about a manager’s skill, it matters how you motivate your players,” Beckham said. “There is about one crucial moment in a game that matters, and that’s where the manager has a big impact on a daily basis, besides inspiring his payers.
“If Robin can inspire us, and we want to play for him, which I know we will, it will be a good situation.”
While much of the attention on a manager change has focused on Guillen asking for an extension he knew he wasn’t going to get and then running to the Marlins, Beckham notes that player performance is a big reason Guillen is gone.
“I think change is always going to happen when things are bad,” Beckham said. “When things didn’t go the way we thought, change is the option instead of retrying it and keeping doing the same thing. Obviously change has been good for Ozzie. He has a four-year deal in Miami. And I think change can be good for us.
“Having a new guy and a new voice, it never hurts. We might end up the same way, but it definitely won’t be worse. Sometimes it just takes a different way of looking things. Ozzie was a fun manager and was great for us, but sometimes it’s just time.”