Beckham wearing thin

Beckham wearing thin
One wishes it was hard to find a photo of bummed out Gordon Beckham // Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune

Last weekend, I ran across a tweet that seemed curious.


Just so everybody who asked why I was in a bar last night knows I’m going to the cage to hit #sliders at 1230 so you guys think I’m committed

9 Dec via Twitter for iPhone

Whatever nagging of Beckham for having a social life in the off-season that prompted such a response would seem silly enough on principle, but Gordon makes a particularly odd target.  Sure, his offensive implosion was of the many holes in the White Sox sinking ocean liner of a season, but the process of his demise always seemed overtly effort-laden.

Earnest displays of perspiration can often mitigate otherwise easily earned fan hatred.  Hell, it almost even saved Juan Pierre.

Beckham’s on field mannerisms, the erosion of his once-revered plate discipline, and his comments on his mental state during his ’10 slump all made him easy to categorize as “pressing”.

Now, that’s coupled with more alarming news

Proper nutrition becomes a somewhat surprising concern for Beckham. He entered Spring Training at 205 pounds, but he fell below 185 in his final September weigh-in. Part of Beckham’s weight loss was stress-related, as White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas explained.

Beckham: “Part of the reason I lost that weight was because of my performance. When I don’t hit well and don’t do that kind of stuff, I don’t eat. I have no appetite. It was one of those things, I don’t know, bad year all the way around, on the field, off the field. But I think getting up and having a routine will help me keep weight on.”

“He’s an everyday guy. He’s coming to play. He’s leaving things out on the field,” Thomas said. “He trains his butt off every day, his strength was there. So when your strength is still there and you’re losing size, then you know it’s going to be stress related or he’s not eating enough.”

I thought Jim Margalus’ reaction did just fine: “Man. Man, man, man.”

I don’t have any actual intentions of dictating to anyone how to react to or feel about baseball players besides “Don’t commit crimes and/or egregiously break the social contract”, but it’s a somewhat rare case–and partially a result of increased exposure of players to the scrutiny of the public–to witness a player so clearly wear the strain of trying to live up to their standards and expectations.

It wouldn’t be fitting to say, “I’m pulling for him” since that’s been true from before he started giving amusing rebuttals to Joe Cowley, to when his aesthetically pleasing swing emerged in 2009.  Still, I might crave success for Beckham just a little bit more, because seeing him go without is getting painful.


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  • Z doesn't drink Gatorade (and assaults the dispenser) and Beck doesn't eat. Next we'll hear that Kenny has drafted the Olsen Twins. At least if they hit their weight there would be an explanation.

  • In reply to jack:

    If either of the Olsen twins can post a strikeout rate under 25% in Low-A Kannapolis, then I'm stoked.

  • Since being annointed the chosen-one was too much for Beckham to bear, I hope that he responds better to fan/media doubts. The bar will not be as high and maybe he'll find it easier to people wrong rather than having to prove people right.

    I'm rooting for him too. And if he opens the season with an April OPS above .750 (with the White Sox of course) I was wondering if you would be so kind James as to incorporate into your post at that time this classic line from Prince Vultan of the Hawkmen:


  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    Oh my.

    Must be done. No way around it.

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    Gordy is a solid .225 utility infielder. Once he becomes resigned to his fate and moves on to the Charlotte Knights- all will be well. Enough! rat

  • In reply to Robert Townsend:

    Come now, the White Sox farm system is waaaaay too weak for a .225 utility infielder to get demoted. Eduardo Escobar is a future .225 utility infielder, and he's one of the organization's top 5 prospects!

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