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Tim Beckham’s team faced the Rays and Marc Topkin can’t let him go

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Beckham’s team faced off against the Rays (although Beckham wasn’t playing because he just had his wisdom teeth out), and Tampa Bay Times beat reporter Marc Topkin simply can’t let him go.

This is article is embarrassing for a bunch of reasons:

  • Topkin cites Beckham’s overall performance (which has been good), and then argues against that being good by cherry-picking two different sets of arbitrary endpoints to show that Beckham, like all baseball players, has had both periods of good and bad production. That’s what baseball is like. Rule of thumb: if you need to resort alternating arbitrary endpoints to make your point, you should find a different point.
  • Topkin appeals to the anonymous authority of “those who watch the Orioles regularly” (translation: his friend, a Baltimore beat reporter) to say that Beckham has had fielding lapses and baserunning errors. We get it. We know. “We who watch the Rays regularly” have a pretty good idea what Beckham is, too. He makes some good plays and some bad plays. Some of those mistakes are mental, and it would be nice to see him clear those up. He’s also now proven himself to be a major league shortstop, which is kind of an amazing, impressive thing to be. The guy the Rays play at second base, Brad Miller, has proven himself to not be a major league shortstop. Why, Topkin, do you focus on mental errors so much and on overall defensive ability to little?
  • Topkin got a quote from Buck Showalter saying that Tobias Myers may be pretty good. Yeah, he might be. But don’t let us pretend this article is about Tobias Myers.
  • This article is about Tim Beckham and how Marc Topkin doesn’t like him. Maybe because of how Tim Beckham interacts with Marc Topkin. Which is maybe why Marc Topkin includes the bit about how Tim Beckham “blew him off” and “got defensive” when Topkin went fishing for a juicy quote about what was different in Baltimore. Beckham apparently said that he wanted to talk about his play on the field. Oh the horror!
  • Consider this quote:

And before ending the conversation, he made it clear he didn't like what was written when he left: "You tried to crush me over there. … I know what y'all were trying to do."

  • That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Is Beckham paranoid?!? Can we say that Beckham is paranoid when the quote that makes him sound paranoid is actually appearing in a weird, misguided article that feels like score-settling by the writer and is doing exactly the thing Beckham is “paranoid” about said writer doing? You can’t make this up.
  • Late in the article, Topkin says that Beckham was “sulking,” but then lets other Rays speak. Logan Morrison, Steven Souza Jr., and Alex Cobb all chime in to say how much they liked having Beckham and his competitiveness around. Cobb’s words:

"It did change things," starter Alex Cobb said. "Looking back, it's hard not to wonder if trading Beckham and not getting a major-league piece back … that last move is what you remember, and it's a little bit of a bitter taste in your mouth. You feel like you took away from part of your major-league team and didn't make it better.”

  • At no point in the article does Topkin mention the fact that the Rays badly needed a right-handed bat and that Beckham was a right-handed bat. At no point does he mention the important at bats and innings given to the likes of Danny Espinosa after the trade.
  • This is a lame ending: “Sometimes, it's hard to know what to think.” I think it’s pretty easy to know what to think, Topper.

Other Beckham Stuff

Just look at this clubhouse cancer.

And Jeff Sullivan threw his name into a pot with some other names as a a candidate for baseball’s most improved player.

Short Non-Beckham Roundup