Beckham pranked by White Sox GM Kenny Williams

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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.

Report: Dodgers, Orioles to complete Manny Machado trade

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The Orioles and Dodgers are expected to finally complete involving SS/3B Manny Machado, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Orioles will receive five prospects from the Dodgers. We’ll have more details about the other players involved later.

Machado, 26, is in the final year of his contract, so this is currently a rental for the first-place Dodgers. Machado ended the first half batting .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI, 48 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 413 plate appearances. In Los Angeles, he will handle shortstop, allowing Chris Taylor to move over to second base.