Guillen to sit struggling Beckham
May, 7, 2010
By Bruce Levine
CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham, like thousands of major-leaguers before him, has had to deal with a major batting slump early in his career. However, the only distinction for Beckham that appeared on Thursday night is when he allowed his offense to affect his overall game.
Dennis Wierzbicki/US PresswireGordon Beckham is batting .198 with a home run and four RBIs this season.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen stepped in to talk to Beckham after his three-strikeout, two-error game on Thursday in a 2-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays to let him know that it's OK to struggle but not all right to lose your cool.
"He basically said he doesn't really care how many 0-fers I have or how many errors I make," said Beckham, who is batting .198 with a home run and four RBIs. "He just wants me to have a little better body language, and I agree with him."
Guillen told Beckham he would have a couple days off in order for him to filter things out and work on his physical and mental approach.
"I'm so frustrated with the way I'm playing, it's kind of gotten in my head mentally," Beckham said. "It's causing my body to look like I don't want to be out there. I've grown up knowing how to play the game the right way, and I haven't been doing it."
Guillen is still confident that Beckham doesn't need any further grooming by being demoted to the minor leagues.
"I don't think he should [be demoted]," Guillen said. "I'm behind him 100 percent. I don't believe in the [sophomore] jinx. This kid is good. I don't mind when you are 0 for 60. I'll take the blame, but I want him to be the best player he can be. That's why when he is down I will pick him up. How am I going to do it? Make him believe how good he is."
Beckham was the Sporting News American League Rookie of the Year in 2009 after batting .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBIs. However he also struggled to begin his major-league career, going 1 for 14 when he was called up from the minors last June.
If ever there was a stand-up kid at 23, it's Beckham, who will eventually start to hit.
"I struggled last year but this is different," Beckham said. "Last year I could come out of it easier because it was all new. This is a little different because my expectations are high. And when your expectations are high and you struggle it's tough. I'll regroup and definitely play the game the right way. I'm one step above embarrassed for that. It wasn't like I wasn't trying hard. It just didn't work out."
For now Beckham will work with hitting coach Greg Walker on his batting woes and with Guillen on his mental approach. With the outstanding makeup of Beckham, the rest should take care of itself.