White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham has struggled overall this season after a stellar 2009 debut and he was linked in a few different trade rumors over the past week. With those rumors in mind — false or not — GM Kenny Williams decided to play a prank on the youngster just before Saturday’s trade deadline.
This link from the Chicago Tribune has video of Beckham explaining the situation.
A “stern-looking” Williams motioned the second baseman into a closed-door meeting room where manager Ozzie Guillen was sitting, and the general manager took over from there.
“I had Ozzie close the door and sat Gordon down in the chair and said,
‘Well, I would really like to say one thing to you before I get into the
nuts and bolts of this stuff,'” Williams said. “‘That at-bat you had
last night, where you pushed across that run, it was one of the best
at-bats you had all year. I just want to say nice job.’
Beckham replies “that’s it?” and laughter ensues. He is hitting .372/.395/.603 in the month of July with three homers and 13 RBI, but his overall numbers are still pretty ugly. Maybe the nerves he experienced during Saturday’s prank will work like a shot in the arm. For now the 23-year-old has a .664 OPS over 327 at-bats.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.