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Beckham: 'I'm happy for a clean slate'

CHICAGO -– As tough as it was for Gordon Beckham to leave the only franchise he has ever known, he is excited for his chance to play for a playoff-contending team in the Los Angeles Angels.

Beckham spoke respectfully about the Chicago White Sox while sounding optimistic about the future in a conference call with Chicago reporters Tuesday, five days after he was dealt to the Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

“It's an exciting time, it really is, because of where this team's at and where I'm at in my career,” Beckham said about playing for the first-place Angels. “I'm happy for a clean slate, I really am, and anything I can do to help this team win is much more important than anything personally. I just want to be here, show up every day, do the work and contribute when I get called upon.”

Beckham tried to be that player in six seasons with the White Sox, but it never panned out after an impressive rookie season in which he batted .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBIs in 2009. He played in only 59 minor league games before his arrival on the South Side.

Beckham batted .244 in 2,607 career at-bats with the White Sox, hitting 61 home runs with 276 RBIs and a .306 on-base percentage.

“I think being up there so quick and not having much failure in the minors, I had to learn kind of on the big stage how to fail and how to fail with grace, I guess,” Beckham said. “It would have been easy for me to just make excuses and blame other people for my shortcomings. I'm glad I handled it like that and didn't blame anybody else. But I just didn't fail a lot in the minors.

“To come up in the big leagues and fail in front of a big league audience, it was definitely tough and it took a lot from me. But it made me a better person, it made me a better player, honestly, as much as some people probably wouldn't believe that. I learned how to play the game. I learned the ups and downs are difficult but manageable.”

Beckham knew all along that a trade was likely, especially with the White Sox heavy on second-base prospects, and despite not knowing about his own trade options he had no issues with the process.

“I had a conversation with a couple people just about trying to do well, I guess,” he said. “I didn't expect them to keep me in the loop [on trades]. As a player you go and play and you do what you're told. I didn't expect it and I didn't ask. No, there was no communication and I didn't expect that. I didn't expect them to communicate with me, saying that there's a chance I still might be traded. That's not really my place to ask, honestly, so I didn't.”

The White Sox and Angels have identified a pool of players in the Angels’ system that the player to be named later will be picked from. General manager Rick Hahn has said that decision won’t be made until the offseason.