White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham wants to forget.
It won’t hurt to remember some, too.
“It’s always good to remember the pain and heartache because it’s been a lot of that,’’ Beckham said before the Sox played their final game of the season Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. The Sox were trying to avoid their 99th loss.
“If you hold on to a piece of that it will make you not want to feel it any more,’’ Beckham said. “If anybody comes back like ‘all right, well, you know,’ and not think like we’re going to turn this around then they need to get out. Because this was not a fun year for anybody. Nobody wants to experience that next year.’’
It wasn’t the number of losses but the way the Sox lost that Beckham will remember. Chris Sale struck out 14 Astros in one and the Sox lost 2-1 on a two-run error. The Sox led the Tigers 6-0 in the ninth and gave up six runs in the ninth inning, then lost in 12.
“The way we lost games was tough,’’ Beckham said. “It was worse than losing a lot of games because of how we lost. It felt like we ripped our hearts out once or twice a week.’’
Beckham is looking forward to a rest, getting married in November and then coming back for spring training with a fresh outlook with some new players around him.
“There has to be changes,’’ he said. “Whether or not it’s top to bottom, you have to look in the mirror and see what you have to do better. [General manager] Rick [Hahn] is really smart. He has a plan, I’m sure of it. It’s not his fault or the coaches fault. The guys on the field didn’t get it done.
“I will say we have a good pitching staff and some good players we’ve added. [Avisail] Garcia is a stud. Some people did some things we can build off of. There is light at the end of the tunnel but it’s faint right now. Any team can go from worst to first but more things have to happen than just hoping to show up next year to win.’’
It was easily Beckham’s toughest season, aside from the fact he missed 47 games after having hamate bone surgery.
“We ripped our hearts out constantly in terms of being in a game or behind, coming back and losing,’’ he said. “Or having a good pitching performance and not getting any hits. There isn’t a good way to lose but we couldn’t lose in a good way where we played hard but just got beat. I try to be positive person. We can turn it around but we need the will to make it happen.’’
Manager Robin Ventura agreed that it was his toughest year in baseball.
“Oh yeah. There’s tough things you go through, but again, nobody likes it because you’re in charge of what’s going on,” Ventura said. “It’s tough, but it doesn’t mean you can’t handle it or try to get better.
“We’ve beat this thing to death,” Ventura said, responding to the opening question of his pregame media session. “Again, it’s not a good year, and I think in some ways you get to the end and you can start making adjustments and plan for what’s ahead. And that’s going to start tomorrow.”
Beckham added that he hopes Paul Konerko, who will be a groomsman in Beckham’s wedding, returns for one more season.
“He needs to do what’s best for his family,’’ Beckham said. “That supersedes everything. He’ll make that decision. He’ll figure it out. Personally I hope he comes back because he means a lot to me, this organization and this city.’’