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.

Marlins unveil what they’re putting in the space where the home run sculpture used to be

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Not long after the new ownership group bought the Miami Marlins, face of the franchise Derek Jeter made it clear that he wanted the home runs sculpture beyond the outfield fence gone. In October they announced that it would, in fact, be moving out to a plaza or the parking lot or someplace you’re unlikely to ever see it because who goes to Marlins games?

Today we got a tease of what the Marlins are doing with the space the sculpture is vacating:

It was only a matter of time before that green wall went away. There are a lot of things I like about the overall aesthetic of Marlins Park, but almost all of them are because of their novelty. Jeff Loria was bad for a lot of reasons, but one of the few good things he did was eschew nostalgia and traditionalism with the ballpark. Nostalgia and traditionalism, unfortunately, is the straw that stirs baseball’s drink, so any “weird” colors or flourishes were gonna be beat out of that place as the years went on. It was inevitable.

As for the “three-tier social space,” here’s hoping that tickets for it are cheap or the Marlins start winning ballgames soon, because the Marlins can’t really fill their existing spectator spaces now.