Beckham shows encouraging signs

Beckham shows encouraging signs
May 2, 2012, 10:44 pm
Share This Post

Gordon Beckham goes 3-4 one night, and all of a sudden a throng of media is surrounding his locker the next afternoon.

"These questions are ridiculous -- I mean, I had one good game," Beckham said, either sarcastically or with a hint of irritation. "I know I can hit. I was happy last night. I'm going to continue working the way I've been working. Whatever happens at the end of the year is what I worked for and what I deserved. That's all."

To be fair, Beckham should've seen this coming. While Jake Peavy, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios have all got off to solid starts to the 2012 season, Beckham has floundered, entering last night with a .434 OPS. He only had one multi-hit game before Tuesday night, with that coming on a pair of soft singles against Baltimore two weeks ago.

So, yes, it was just one good game. But Beckham hadn't really had a good game until last night. And it came only a few hours after manager Robin Ventura hinted that the leash may be growing tighter for Beckham and Brent Morel.

The tone of Ventura's comments a day later was much more positive.

"That's something that can get him started," Ventura said of Beckham's game Tuesday. "It has to start somewhere and that's something that builds confidence. The home run's nice, but the two other hits for me were bigger than the home run, just the way he did it, kind of the way the at-bats progressed. That kind of stuff is more promising and looks better than just one home run."

And it's not like Ventura came out on Tuesday and said Beckham was going to hit the pine if he didn't start producing immediately. That's not Ventura's style, and it's something Beckham appreciates.

"We've been struggling, but I don't think there's been any lack of effort. I think he realizes that," Beckham said. "We've been playing well as a team. Some guys have struggled, yes, but we've still been playing well. Guys that have been struggling are going to get going and hopefully pick up some guys that have been hot and might have an off week."

A lot of Beckham's struggles have been pegged as being on the mental side of things -- for someone with so much talent, he's worried quite about about the mechanics of his approach. So perhaps it's an encouraging sign that Beckham couldn't really explain what went right on Tuesday.

"I had a different feel, it was a good feel. I don't know how to describe it," Beckham said. "It was just more me. I don't know what that means, but that's kind of what it was."

One game doesn't erase a full month -- or two years -- of Beckham's offensive malaise. He's had plenty of good games and good stretches in the last two seasons.

But with every one will come the expectation that Beckham has finally turned a corner. And until he does that, the questions will keep coming.