Beckham's mental mistake forgivable
Four RBIs go long way toward erasing basepath error
CHICAGO -- It was business as usual for rookie phenom Gordon Beckham during the White Sox 14-4 shellacking of the Yankees on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Business as usual, that is, during nationally televised broadcasts. In the six games the White Sox have played on FOX and ESPN this season, Beckham has gone 10-for-23 with one home run and nine RBIs.
The bigger stage means greater attention for the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year candidate. It also meant an innocent mistake committed by Beckham in the eighth inning, with his team up by 10 runs, got televised across the country.
Jermaine Dye had just grounded out for the second out of the inning, scoring Scott Podsednik with run No. 14 and sending Beckham to third. But Beckham apparently became momentarily distracted and lost track of the outs, allowing first baseman Cody Ransom to fire across the diamond to third baseman Alex Rodriguez, doubling up Beckham as he strolled off the base.
Beckham's explanation for the brain cramp was as humorous as his on-field performance through 51 games has been impressive.
"That's me being an idiot," said Beckham with a sheepish smile. "It will happen every once in a while -- hopefully, not for the rest of the year."
Derek Jeter actually deserved a second assist on the double play. Beckham counts the Yankees' shortstop as one of the players he truly respected growing up, so he started talking to Jeter as he wandered away from the base.
"[I] just kind of lost track and didn't realize I was still playing a baseball game," Beckham said.
"I blame the third-base coach [Jeff Cox] for that one," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, pausing for a laugh. "The third-base coach should let him know how many outs there were."
Justice came down swiftly upon Beckham, who will be fined in kangaroo court. He will also have to buy a gift for backup catcher Ramon Castro, who was on deck to pinch-hit for Jim Thome.
"Apparently, I cost him an at-bat, so I'm going to be running around town getting gifts for everybody," Beckham said. "I'm embarrassed, but we're good."
Saturday's final outcome, giving the White Sox three straight wins over the Yankees, makes Beckham's foul-up a source of humor instead of a source of consternation. Picking up a career-high four RBIs also leaves the self-deprecating Beckham in good graces.
"Whatever. Four RBIs. What's that mean?" said a sardonic Beckham. "No, it was good to get those. Those are good hits, and it helps our team out. That's all I want to do."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.