Aug 10, 2012
Durham, N.C. — The goal for any player on the Durham Bulls roster is a trip to Florida -- a call-up to the Big Leagues and the Tampa Bay Rays. Tim Beckham spent a lot of time in Florida this season, but not a time he remembers fondly.
Four years ago, the Tampa Rays made Beckham the No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball amateur player draft, but his progress was blocked this year after a second positive test for drugs.
"I went about my business every day,” Beckham said. “I took ground balls and hit BP. I did whatever I could and five times plus that because I couldn't play in any games."
The shortstop was sent to the Sunshine state to serve a 50-game suspension at the Rays training facility. It was his second offense for what Major League Baseball calls “a drug of abuse.” In others words, it was not the performance enhancing kind.
"Everyone goes through things in life, I really don't look back on it at all,” Beckham said. “I go about my business every day. Worry about what I need to handle here."
Now back in Durham, Beckham has a lot to prove to live up to the top-pick billing. His play on the field, which hasn't yet lived up to the hype, coupled with the recent suspension, has many in the baseball world labeling him a bust. He says he doesn't really care.
"No, no. I know what I am capable of doing and what I'm going to do,” Beckham said. “There's no pressure at all."
Not short on confidence, Beckham is hoping his next trip to Florida will be for the right reasons.