Post slump, Beckham has 'different feel'

OAKLAND, Calif. -- It wasn't like Gordon Beckham had his head down and refused to look people in the eye earlier this year; it's just that now it's a lot easier to do.

Beckham admitted, now that he has emerged from the worst stretch of baseball he ever experienced, that he moves a little quicker down the sidewalk these days, feels more confident at things not necessarily involved with baseball and generally has a brighter outlook.

"It's a totally different feel," Beckham said. "When you have a week like I've had, it gives you a jolt of energy almost because you feel like you're back. I feel like this is what I can do. I knew I could do this. It's not always going to be this good, but hopefully it won't be as bad as it was."

After holding a .205 batting average that got him benched for three games before the All-Star break, Beckham batted .500 (18-for-36) with two home runs and eight RBIs in the 10 games before Friday's contest against the A's.

One more reason to feel good is that general managers trying to work out a deadline deal with the White Sox seem to be asking for Beckham in a return package. General manager Ken Williams doesn't appear too fond of that idea.

Asked how things were for him mentally during his struggles, Beckham chuckled. So did Paul Konerko sitting immediately to his right.

"It was not a good spot for me and it was tough to get out of it," Beckham said. "Now that I'm through I can almost look back and say that will help me figure out, I guess, how much I can go through before I crack. It's just nice to be on the other end of it."

It also let him know that no matter how bleak things look, there is an answer out there somewhere. Hitting coach Greg Walker said Beckham dropped his hands slightly to get his swing started earlier. Beckham said that helped a little, but it was just a feel that he got back when Guillen had him on the bench in early July.

The next slump could always be right around the corner, but Beckham doubts that.

"I don't feel like it's going to be as hard to maintain it as it was to get it," he said. "It took me 2½ months and that's no fun. But I feel I have a pretty good feel for it and I can keep it up and I just have to keep it going."

Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.