White Sox 2B Beckham ready to 'let loose' in 2012

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 26, 2012
After a disappointing 2011 season with the Chicago White Sox, Gordon Beckham cleared his head this offseason. He hit .230 and struck out a career-high 111 times in 150 games last year. The problem wasn't his swing, Beckham said, but his approach. ''I was a little timid,'' he explained. ''It's not how I roll.'' Even his dad noticed he wasn't himself. Beckham's batting average has dropped each season since he hit .270 in 2009 as a rookie with the White Sox, who made him the eighth overall pick of the 2008 draft out of Georgia. His RBI totals have also decreased from 63 in 2009 to 44 last season, and his home runs dipped from 14 in 2009 to 10 last season. His dad, Gordon Beckham Jr., encouraged him to let loose. ''It's hard to hear that from your dad, that he didn't even recognize who you were,'' Beckham said. ''That's hard, but it's what I needed to hear. I knew I needed to change. I changed.'' The 25-year-old second baseman arrived at spring training Saturday seven pounds lighter and with a fresh mindset. This offseason in Atlanta, he took a month and a half off from thinking about baseball and relaxed. He said he stopped worrying about other people's expectations. ''It's not important,'' he said. ''It's not important to me. It used to be. It's not anymore.'' With a new manager in Robin Ventura and a new hitting coach in Jeff Manto, both Beckham and the White Sox are starting fresh. As Beckham and other hitters such as Adam Dunn and Alex Rios struggled, Chicago finished 79-83 and third in the AL Central last year. ''When you're struggling and the team is struggling, it's just not much fun,'' Beckham said. ''It's not easy to come to work and work and try to get over something. There's no excuses here. You show up to the field and you do your work and you hope for the best, and last year it wasn't our year. ''This is a new year. We have new coaches, a lot of people who want to do well. We're motivated.'' Ventura said he'll assess Beckham, Dunn and Rios throughout spring training. ''Their approach, you can just tell when guys are playing to potential and when they're kind of getting down because sometimes that can swallow you up,'' Ventura said. ''(We're) looking for them to do obviously more than they did last year.'' Notes: Kosuke Fukudome arrived in camp and met several of his new teammates. The former Chicago Cubs outfielder agreed Feb. 14 to a one-year contract that guarantees him $1 million. He gets $500,000 this year and the White Sox hold a $3.5 million option for 2013 with a $500,000 buyout. He'll provide outfield depth and a left-handed bat. ''I'm happy I'm able to come back to Chicago, just moving across town,'' Fukudome said through a translator. Fukudome has hit .260 in 572 major league games and was an All-Star in 2008. The White Sox were interested in acquiring him four years ago but he signed a $48 million, four-year contract with the Cubs before the 2008 season. He was traded to Cleveland last July and still owns a home in Chicago. ''The Sox gave me a chance to play, and that's all I was asking for,'' he said. ''I'm really looking forward to prove what I can do.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NHL adds meldonium to banned substances list

Report: Chances of Jonathan Papelbon signing ‘non-existent’

Chris Bosh isn’t pleased with the Miami Heat

NFL clears players in HGH investigation

NFL execs: Kaepernick 'traitor,' hated as much as Carruth

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kansas FB settling first-team reps with Rock-Paper-Scissors

Report: Vikings trainers saved Bridgewater's 'leg and career'

Baylor's Zamora suspended 3 games for beating his dog

Craig Sager to undergo third bone marrow transplant

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg expected to return next week

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about worst game of career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

Kevin Owens is the right WWE Champion at the right time

Jake Arrieta almost quit baseball before trade to Cubs

Fred Taylor: NFL doctors never told me about multiple injuries

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about the worst game of his career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker