CLEVELAND -- Following Tuesday's postponement of the White Sox-Indians contest, Gordon Beckham walked into manager Robin Ventura's office and made a humorous plea for his lineup status Wednesday.
The White Sox second baseman was set to leadoff Tuesday night for the first time in his Major League career and didn't want to lose eight spots in the order back to No. 9 for Wednesday afternoon's contest.
"He might not be in there," said a smiling Ventura of Beckham staying at the leadoff spot. "He might be upset."
"I've done it somewhere," said Beckham of hitting in the top spot. "You want to get up there, get on base any way you can. It's more about getting on base, whatever you can do."
While Alejandro De Aza probably will be back in center on Wednesday and hitting leadoff against Cleveland's Justin Masterson, Ventura said that Kosuke Fukudome will remain in the starting lineup somewhere in the outfield. Ventura isn't trying to send any messages with these early lineup changes, but instead trying to get everyone involved and trying to find the most effective match for the long haul.
"For me, the way I'm thinking the first 20-25 games, you're trying to figure out more of a steady lineup," Ventura said. "But this early, I feel like I can still move guys around and nobody is reading ... I told them, 'Don't read into anything. There are no signs. We're just trying to get guys in and put you in where I think you can be successful.'"
"There's a purpose, but he's just trying to get the best lineup to produce some runs," Beckham said. "If De Aza's not in the lineup, you look up and down the lineup and maybe one other person who can fit there. I'm excited, it will be fun."
Fun, for another game apparently.
Ventura watches 'tough day' for friend Ozzie
CLEVELAND -- Robin Ventura and Ozzie Guillen have been good friends since the two played together on the same side of the infield with the White Sox from 1989-97.
So Ventura felt for his friend, moreso than his managerial brethren, during Guillen's press conference in Miami on Tuesday to apologize for insensitive and hurtful remarks he made regarding Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in a recently released interview with Time Magazine.
"Yeah, it's a tough day for him, but he looked sincere and meant it," Ventura said. "It's one of those things he'll have to get through, and he's a friend, so it's not always easy to watch, either."
Guillen had been quoted as saying that he loved and respected Castro, causing protests outside the Marlins' new ballpark and even calls for Guillen's job in an area with a large Cuban base and following for the team. Instead, Guillen was suspended for five games by the Marlins and spoke from the heart, in both English and Spanish, for nearly an hour.
White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham played three years for Guillen. He explained Tuesday that while Guillen might have been quoted accurately in the Castro topic, it probably wasn't what he intended to say.
"All of the guys in this clubhouse knew what he meant when he said that," said Beckham. "I really don't believe he meant any harm in the way he said it.
"'He's been in power for 60 years and people trying to kill him and he's still there,' that's what he said. Sometimes Ozzie will say more than he should."
At Tuesday's press conference, Guillen vowed that politics now would be an off-limit topic. Sticking to baseball is the best way to avoid any sort of these troubling controversies for managers.
"That's what I'm going to do," said Ventura with a smile.
Third to first
The White Sox acquired infielder Jose Castro from the Reds for cash considerations. He was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.
Monday's win gave the White Sox a 1-0 record against the American League Central, after finishing 32-40 within the division last year. The White Sox play 26 games against the AL Central in April and May.
A limited number of standing-room-only tickets are available for Friday's home opener against the Tigers.