The pain in Gordon Beckham’s hand is telling him – at times screaming at him – to go ahead and shut it down for the rest of the year.
The standings, however, are telling him to gut it out.
“It is what it is,’’ the White Sox second baseman admitted on Wednesday. “It hurts, yeah. It bothers me more when I have to use my top hand a little bit. When I can just let the bat drop into place, it’s OK because I don’t really use a lot of my top hand, but the problem is I don’t have much lag in my bat, I can’t get out there and say, ‘Oh, hold on,’ and then go. It’s more like I’m going and if it’s not … it’s going to be a struggle from now until the end of the year because every day, the first 10 swings I take in batting practice are pretty painful. It’s almost like a muscle that loosens up a little bit when I get some pills in me during the game, and then I don’t feel it as bad.’’
Beckham was hit in the hand back on Aug. 30 in Cleveland, and has missed eight games in the aftermath of it.
Manager Ozzie Guillen even visited with Beckham before Game 2 of the Twins series and wanted to find out where he was at, and if he needed a breather.
“No, until it’s over, if it gets to where we don’t have a chance, I guess we’ll make the call then,’’ Beckham said of the shutting it down scenario. “I don’t think it’s something that will get worse by playing.’’
The other incentive for Beckham to hang in there? The way he sees it, as bad as his start of the 2010 season was, he still owes the team that. Since hitting .205 through the first 10 weeks or so, Beckham has turned it around. Over his last 51 games, he was actually hitting .328 with 14 doubles, seven homers and 29 RBI.
“Obviously if I didn’t hit so terribly, I would say through the first two and a half months, I think we would have had a better chance [at the division],’’ he said. “There were a lot of times I got up and didn’t get the big hit. I know I’m capable of doing that.
“Overall, when I do look back at this season, I will say it was a positive season for me from the sole fact that I got out of the worst slump in my life, the worst mental place I’ve been in my life. To get out of that, to comeback from it, the second half has been great because it’s what I’m capable of doing. Now I just need to put it together for a whole year.
“Hopefully, 10 years from now I can say it was statistically my worst season.’’