Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Beckham-mania hits the South Side

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gordon_beckham.jpgManager Ozzie Guillen wasn't pulling many punches on Monday when the topic of the "golden child'' were brought up.
"The last thing we worry about is [Gordon] Beckham, and I don't know why people in Chicago fell in love with this kid,'' Guillen said in his pre-game media gathering. "He's a great player, he's going to be in the big leagues, he's going to be a big part of this organization pretty soon. But we don't have Beckham on our mind right now. I don't and I'm the one making the lineup. If we have Beckham here, we're in trouble.''
Well, following the 5-3 loss to Oakland, trouble has obviously hit the South Side, and this afternoon, so will Beckham-mania.
In the wake of a second consecutive loss to Oakland, the White Sox announced that their first-round pick from the 2008 draft [eighth overall] was called up after just 59 professional games, with Wilson Betemit being designated for assignment.
The natural shortstop turned third baseman will be the fastest Sox No. 1 draft choice to reach the majors since Alex Fernandez was selected fourth overall on June 4, 1990 and made his debut on Aug. 2 of that season at Milwaukee, a span of 58 days.
How he will be used? Well, that now falls on Guillen, who saw him play all three infield positions during spring training. But from the way it sounded, current third baseman Josh Fields may see his playing time significantly cut into.
"I hope I can sleep [Wednesday night] and not think about it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have some Vodka knock myself down,'' Guillen said, almost mocking the media hype surrounding the 22-year-old. "Beckham, he's going to play. Where's going to play? We're going to find out. How we're going to start him, where we're going to start him. Move him around. Play a little bit third base, second base, help 'The Missile' [Alexei Ramirez] get a rest, but I have to get him at-bats. Now he's here ... ''
Then Guillen said with a laugh, "I hope he can save us.''
The 6-foot-0, 190-pounder combined to hit .326 with 23 doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI in 45 combined games this season between Class AA Birmingham and Class AAA Charlotte.
Guillen also went on to say that Fields would start getting some work at first base and the designated hitter spot, which means there will be a lot of moving parts in the lineup from day-to-day.
"He's got some talent,'' Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said of Beckham. "He's got a chance to be a really good player. He definitely can hit. Physically he has all the tools.''
Pierzynski would know, considering he was Beckham's locker neighbor, and No. 1 tormentor, in spring training.
"We've become pretty good friends, just goofing around, so ... he's Georgia, he's from Georgia - at least [hitting coach Greg] Walker will have someone to cry on his shoulder with,'' Pierzynski said. "He's not the savior, he's just one piece.''
But can Beckham be ready this quickly?
"He was a college player, one of the best, if not the best, so these guys are polished and need a little less time, but it's quick. There's no argument there,'' Paul Konerko said. "Again, we have people that are watching the game, guys like [farm director] Buddy Bell. I have a hard time believing Buddy Bell has been watching a guy play and he's going to call him up here and say this guy is not going to help this team.''

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2 Comments

Ozzie sure does love himself some Dewayne Wise..

Joe-
what does greg walker have to do to get fired..
this is unwatchable

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on June 3, 2009 11:25 PM.

Ozzie lets critics of his lineup have it was the previous entry in this blog.

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