During his two-month stint with Triple A Iowa in the Cubs'
organization this season, Rod Beck lived in a 36-foot Winnebago
parked beyond the rightfield wall at Sec Taylor Stadium in Des
Moines. Beck's RV was a popular postgame hangout for fans, but as
of last week the party was over. The Padres signed Beck to a
prorated, one-year $400,000 deal, and he immediately reported to
San Diego. (An "out" clause in his minor league contract allowed
him to accept a major league offer from another organization.)
The Padres are hoping that Beck, 34, who missed all of last
season recovering from reconstructive right elbow surgery, can
become the closer for a beleaguered bullpen that at week's end
ranked last (5.22 ERA) in the National League. San Diego's closer
for the last nine years, Trevor Hoffman, is out for the season
with a dislocated left shoulder.
Beck, a three-time All-Star who last pitched in the majors with
the Red Sox in 2001, was 1-1 with a 0.59 ERA in 21 appearances
with Iowa. However, with Joe Borowski (2.48 ERA) making good on
11 of 13 save opportunities, Chicago had no reason to call up
Beck. "All in all it's just a perfect fit," said Beck of his new
team. In his first four appearances with San Diego, Beck gave up
two runs in 3 1/3 innings, but he was living in an apartment.