NEW YORK — They expressed surprise given how late the trade occurred but mostly Gordon Beckham’s former White Sox teammates offered praise.
Shortly before they returned to action Friday night without their former second baseman — who was traded to the Los Angeles Angels a day earlier for a player to be named later or cash — the White Sox focused on what they’d miss most about Beckham.
One of Beckham’s closest friends, Paul Konerko, said he’d hopes a change of scenery can give his former teammate that little push that would reveal how good of a player and teammate the former first-round pick can be. Konerko said he respects that no matter how much Beckham struggled, his goals for the club never changed.
“He’s a great person, great kid,” Konerko said. “You want that guy to do well. You want him to succeed. He’s not a (jerk). He’s not like a lot of the guys that are good players that don’t have the attitude, that aren’t team players. That’s the guy you want to see do well. So hopefully it’ll click for him.”
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez, Beckham’s longtime double play partner, hopes that he and whoever becomes the team’s new second baseman can find a similar type of rapport on the infield and fast. Ramirez said he’s impressed by how Beckham always stayed focused on the infield in an attempt to make an impact.
“That was a great quality he had,” Ramirez said through a translator. “He was always positive on the field and tried to do something on the field even though things weren’t going as good offensively.”
Adam Dunn thinks Beckham handled the adversity of his situation extremely well. Trade rumors existed long before the 2014 season began and Beckham’s demeanor never changed. Dunn tried to put himself in Beckham’s shoes and hopes he could have handled similarly.
“He probably realized that something was going to happen whether it be this year or the offseason,” Dunn said. “He’s a smart kid. He realizes things hadn’t panned out like he had hoped.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes out and really does what he’s capable of doing. I’d take him on my team.”
Konerko would too.
Beckham had plenty of struggles in his tenure with the White Sox. By storming out of the gate in 2009, Konerko thinks Beckham put out unrealistic expectations for performance that he never could seem to match. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a valuable player and Konerko hopes that finally shines through.
“He is a good big league player in a lot of ways,” Konerko said. “When you look at what he does in the field, where he’s got to get to be considered doing well is really not that far away when you look at the numbers, his defense and everything else he brings to the table. But I also know you’ve got to go out and do that too and he knows that. It wouldn’t surprise me if wherever he lands, if it’s not with the Angels next year, or whoever he’s with, that it all starts to click and happen that way. I hope that happens for him and it’s not the White Sox fault if that happens. These things kind of happen sometimes and it is what it is.”