07/27/10 11:10 PM ET
Beckham assured he's not going anywhere
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
The talented second baseman, who has fought his way back close to respectability with the bat, won't be going anywhere before or after Saturday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"I've been pretty much told I'm going to be OK in the White Sox uniform after July 31," said Beckham, who received said message from general manager Ken Williams. "I'm not too worried about it. I wasn't worried about it. It's fun for all the speculation, and that's about all it is."
Beckham entered 2010 with lofty expectations, following an exceptional 2009 campaign during which he captured two American League Rookie of the Year Awards as voted on by his peers. Those expectations took a hit when Beckham was batting .199 as late as June 23.
But Beckham didn't lose his confidence, and the White Sox didn't lose their faith in Beckham. Courtesy of a .400 average in his last 15 games, Beckham now has a .239 average following Tuesday's 11-0 drubbing of the Mariners.
Some in the White Sox organization project Beckham to be a Michael Young-type of hitter in his prime, which would explain the team's desire to keep him around.
"Really, I've got nothing but the best stuff to say about the White Sox," Beckham said. "They've been in my corner all year and didn't have to be. They could have given up on me. I hope to reward them for that during the rest of the year.
"It's nice to know I'm wanted, and I've enjoyed my time here. I want to keep it going."
Thomas impressed by White Sox turnaround
CHICAGO -- Count White Sox legend Frank Thomas as one of the many who didn't see this team's 30-11 run of success coming when it sat at 9 1/2 games out and nine under .500 on June 8.
"This has been amazing," said Thomas, after being named a White Sox ambassador on Tuesday. "I've never seen anything like it, to be honest. Everyone thought this team was dead and done, and we were going to break it up like everything else, and now we're looking at whatever we can, because this is a special team and has worked out the way we want it to work out.
"Very athletic, speed everywhere, great pitching. It's one of these pitching staffs that you look back on -- it reminds me of the 1993 Blue Jays. When you get to the sixth inning, you don't want to see the bullpen. And that's the type of team you're seeing this team is."
Kotsay burns bats to spark luck
CHICAGO -- After having a line drive turned into a double play and watching Ichiro Suzuki jump over the right-field fence to take away a home run Monday, Mark Kotsay and his White Sox teammates went a non-traditional direction Tuesday to bring the left-handed hitter some luck on offense.
They set up a fire pit during batting practice and burned his bats, in a salute to Pedro Cerrano from the movie "Major League." According to Kotsay, the ritual was executed by Mark Teahen.
"I walked out and saw what was going on, and obviously I wanted to find out what was going on, but I had nothing to do with it," Kotsay said. "There are quirky things like changing your uniform or your undershirt or your shoes, but never burning bats."
"He's old enough. He's a veteran player. I don't think he should be panicked about what happened to him right now," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "He swings the bat very well with no luck."
As for the voodoo part of the ceremonial burning, it's an area holding great familiarity for Guillen.
"You talk about voodoo and you are talking to the right guy," Guillen said. "I do a lot of voodoo when I go back to Venezuela. When you do voodoo, it's for your health and stuff, but not for your hits."
Reliever Threets trying to prove himself
CHICAGO -- Although Erick Threets has not allowed an earned run over 8 1/3 innings since being called up from Triple-A Charlotte to the White Sox, an outing from July 5 sticks with him. The hard-throwing left-hander was called upon by manager Ozzie Guillen to retire left-handed-hitting Hideki Matsui of the Angels with runners on first and second and two outs in the eighth, but Threets walked him on five pitches.
"That game definitely was frustrating for me," Threets said. "It was an opportunity to show I could complete the job. Then I come in and face a guy and don't get it done, and I come out and sit and think about it for a couple of weeks. It becomes tough upstairs.
"Mentally, I know I can do it. My goal is to show Ozzie, [White Sox general manager] Kenny [Williams], [pitching coach Don Cooper] I'm the guy and I'm the right guy in the spot. They made the right decision. I can contribute and be a situation lefty or a long inning guy or a mop-up guy and do what it takes to get to that point."
Threets' debut performance on June 30 marked his first big league outing since April 18, 2008, at St. Louis. Guillen has talked about needing to have more confidence in Threets to help fellow left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, but quickly added how he really hasn't given Threets a chance to truly show his ability.
During the last road trip, Threets made four appearances overall covering 6 1/3 innings. The lone run scored against him came courtesy of his errant pickoff throw on Coco Crisp on Sunday.
"Basically, I'm the 25th man on this roster," Threets said. "I know there will be skepticism in such a close race we are in right now, having someone come straight from Triple-A into this situation. But I've talked to Coop, and I know it's all about staying ready. My goal is every day to get a little closer in the games -- take steps forward to be the guy."
Third to first
The 2010 Arizona Fall League club and staff assignments were announced on Tuesday, with the White Sox tied to the Peoria Saguaros in the West Division. Ted Simmons will manage the team, while Richard Dotson, the pitching coach for Triple-A Charlotte, will hold the same role for the Saguaros. ... Frank Thomas would like to see Tim Raines, his one-time teammate and close friend, receive genuine Hall of Fame consideration. "There was only one guy at the leadoff spot who was better," Thomas said. "So, I do think Rock deserves it." ... Paul Konerko has a Major League-leading 17 homers at home this season after going deep in Tuesday's 11-0 win. ... Matt Thornton made his 16th consecutive scoreless appearance on Tuesday.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.