GLENDALE, Ariz. — As he scuffled through a second straight season in 2011, Gordon Beckham was getting advice from a variety of people.
He focused in on one voice — his father’s.
James Gordon Beckham Jr. was a standout college quarterback at South Carolina and he was spotted at U.S. Cellular Field several times last season while his son, James Gordon Beckham III, was batting .230 and striking out 111 times in 499 at-bats.
After the season, there was a serious father-son talk.
“It’s hard to hear from your dad that he didn’t even recognize who you were,” Beckham said Sunday at the White Sox’ training camp. “That’s hard, but it’s what I needed to hear. It wasn’t just that. I knew I needed to change and I changed. You’ll see.”
Beckham changed his diet, he changed the load in his swing and, most important, he changed his attitude.
How that translates to the field remains to be seen.
“I talked to some people, talked to my dad,” Beckham said.
Beckham asked his father: “What do you see?”
The father said: “Not (you).”
“It’s like, you can either act like the guy you’ve been acting like and roll over and die or become the guy you were and let it loose,” Beckham Jr. told his son.
Back to work:
Adam Dunn checked in at camp Saturday in advance of Tuesday’s reporting date for position players.
On Sunday, Dunn took groundballs at first base before heading to a batting cage to work with new hitting coach Jeff Manto.
“He was fine,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Dunn. “Just get him out on the field, let him swing the bat. I’m not taking too much into exactly what he did today or even tomorrow. We’ll see once we get into the games and guys have been together going through a full day of doing stuff.”
With two, possibly three, spots in the bullpen up for grabs, pitchers like Zach Stewart, Dylan Axelrod, Simon Castro, Nestor Molina, Jacob Petricka and Eric Stults are all trying to make favorable early impressions.
“There is opportunity,” manager Robin Ventura said. “They know it. It’s tough to see it right now with guys just all lined up in the bullpen throwing, but you can tell they know it’s there, and they’re trying probably a little bit harder than they normally would just playing toss.
“That’s fun to see. This is about competition, so it’s fun to go out there and watch them throw.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.