How often is a headline so good at SEO and a horrible play on words? Sorry I just couldn't pass it up. Alas, it does sum things up pretty well. Beckham is gone from the White Sox, looking for a fresh start in sunny California. It is safe to say, for the White Sox anyway, he was a bust. The eighth selection in the 2008 overall draft, a little more is expected than a .244/.306/.374 line. I felt since at least 2012 that the White Sox needed to move Beckham, as his value declined each year. As we finally got to his departure, the return kind of says it all: a player to be named or cash. I wouldn't be surprised if the White Sox go with the cash. I can't imagine the player coming back will be more than anything but a high gamble.
It is kind of bummer, for a couple of reasons. Beckham seems like a nice enough guy, even when things were going bad, which was often, he had time for the media. He also always had a flash or two that seemed to portend better days to come, unfortunately they never did. It is one of cruel aspects of baseball, over the course of a long season, a good stretch or two will be exposed as nothing more than an anomaly. Good players are consistently good, throughout the season. Beckham never had that, except for his rookie year. Even then, it was only over about 2/3 of a season. Add in the 50+ games that he didn't play I wonder where his numbers would have been.
The other reason Beckham leaving is a bummer is that he was, along with Paul Konerko, my son's favorite player. Now by the end of this season, both will be gone. I was hoping I could have delayed some of the colder aspects of baseball, at least for a little while longer. I can only hope that in time he'll remember fondly his love of a mediocre at best, second baseman. It must run in the family, Duane Kuiper was my favorite player growing up.
If nothing else here in Chicago, the story of Gordon Beckham should have a sobering effect on the fans of the Cubs. Right now there is a lot of talk about how great the Cubs minor league prospects are, and justifiably so. The Cubs' young guns look awesome and everything through the minors points to some great days ahead. Baseball, however, is often unpredictable and callous. In the last few days I've heard two radio hosts say that it is hard to pick which one of the prospects isn't going to make it. My thought was, chances are it will be more than one. Look, I'm not wishing anyone to fail, but chances are pretty good that there will be more than one of the kids inspiring World Series dreams is going to be leaving town in 5 or 6 years for a player to be named and a question of what might have been.
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