He's only been here for six days, but White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham has already caused quite a stir in the Windy City. In that time, he's managed to elicit plenty of chatter from Chicago's media machine while igniting fans' hopes for the team's near and distant futures.
He says being under the microscope has nothing to do with his hitting woes, but Beckham is just 2-for-20 in his first six major-league games, and has garnered some stern warnings from manager Ozzie Guillen -- produce, or else. Wednesday night, his second career hit in the seventh inning was promptly followed by his first failed stolen base attempt after Detroit catcher Dane Sardinha gunned him down.
If it's getting to him, Beckham's not talking about it -- at least not to the media. Meanwhile, he said that off the field he's been able to get out some and enjoy Chicago during his time here so far.
He cited speech patterns as the main cultural difference he sees between Georgia and Chicago.
"I talk like this," said Beckham in his southern drawl. "Y'all talk a little different." The Atlanta native admittedly has yet to perfect his Chicago accent.
And what about the fans who buoyantly cheered his groundouts during his first couple of games?
"The fans have been great," Beckham said after Wednesday's game. "It's not easy for them to cheer for me when I'm hitting as bad as I am. But it's one of those things where they've treated me great wherever I've been. It's been a blast. I love Chicago and I want to play here for a long time."
Of course, Beckham wants to stay in Chicago, but that will depend on whether his performance at the plate picks up. Asked whether he could see himself making Chicago his home, Beckham said he'll stay tied to his southern roots.
"I'm going to call [Chicago] home for about six months," he said, "and then I'm going to go back to Atlanta and call that home for the rest of the time."
On the upside, Beckham will enter Thursday's game against the Tigers riding a career-high 2-game hitting streak with Edwin Jackson on the mound. Which is, at the very least, something for the run-starved Sox faithful at U.S. Cellular Field to cheer.