Williams: Beckham nearing crossroads

Williams: Beckham nearing crossroads

Williams: Beckham nearing crossroads
CHICAGO -- Nobody is more frustrated with his struggles at the plate than White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, who is hitting just .238 and went 1-for-13 in his team's previous three-game series against the Indians.

Coming in a close second, however, might be general manager Kenny Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen -- who both see Beckham falling victim to pitches out of the strike zone, particularly high ones.

Asked on Friday afternoon if it's still too early in Beckham's career to say he's nearing a crossroads, Williams didn't mince words.

"No, because with his current approach, I think they're going to continue to expose his weakness," Williams said. "As I've told him in the past, this is nothing he hasn't heard from me in the past, I liked the swing coming out of the University of Georgia -- the one that we saw when he first got here to the big leagues, where he was able to drive the ball and pound it into the right-center-field gap. And any high fastball, he could get on top if it with his top hand."

Guillen was also quick to point out the pitches Beckham's been swinging at are up in the zone.

"I think the only thing about Gordon is chasing bad pitches," Guillen said. "He can't lay off of the high ones, and the longer you do that, you're going to be in the same situation."

Williams, however, said he's trying not to get too involved with the situation.

"As the general manager, you sit back, you have to respect the work that your coaches do and you have to respect the desire from the player as to what he thinks will work," Williams said. "It doesn't matter what I think, it doesn't matter what you think or anybody else thinks. It's what he takes from that on-deck circle to the plate with the most confidence that's going to ultimately yield his failures or successes."

Thursday night's loss to the Indians was particularly galling for the 24-year old former No. 1 pick. Beckham, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, struck out with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, with the White Sox trailing by just two runs.

"I could not have been more frustrated," Beckham said. "I want to do well for these guys, the coaches and myself, and it didn't happen. I'm very frustrated. I wanted to break everything in the bat rack. I wanted to break everything in the cage until everything was broken, and that's basically the extent of my frustration [Thursday] night. But it's a new day, so I've got to put it behind me."

Beckham, who started at second base and hit ninth against the Rangers on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field, took extra batting practice before the game and continues to search for answers at the plate.

"It's a matter of not swinging at balls," Beckham said. "Just swing at strikes. If I can swing at strikes, I'm going to be fine, but you know, you're 0-2 and you got there by swinging at two balls ... you know it's really hard to hit. You've just got to swing at strikes, and I've got to do a better job of it.

"I wish it didn't take this long and wish it wasn't happening right now, but I've still got a lot of time [in my career]. I've played good defense and I hang my hat on that right now, I guess. I've got to find a way to help this team. It's not about me. It's not about my stats or anything like that. We've got to win this division. I know if I can get going, I know I can help and be a force to help win it. That's the main goal. It's about winning games and that's why last night was so frustrating."