The new look produced familiar results -- a strikeout and a popout to the third baseman in foul territory. If you want to be optimistic, it sounded like he roped a double the day before. Plus, Alex Rios had a lousy spring last season while trying to rediscover his all-fields approach with a new stance, but it kicked in once the season started. But Beckham's tinkering is so well-known by now that Scott Merkin turned around a detailed article about his stance's changes immediately. The crouch remains, but it looks less athletic than it did last year. Perhaps it's because the lack of a bat waggle makes it look less coily: But Beckham now has a Cal Ripken-esque look at the start of his at-bat, with the bat flat over the shoulders before being moved straight up as the pitcher delivers. As Beckham tried to explain, it basically takes him more directly from Point A to Point B in the swing, eliminating an unnecessary middle stop. There's more involved than just this tweak, though. Beckham put a great deal of work into his grip during the offseason months, per advice from the organization's higher-ups. "It was an unusual situation where when we looked at him and thought, 'Where would we start first?' The unusual part is collectively, we said we would change his top hand," said White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto of Beckham. "That's unheard of. He has such a strong grip, and like an overgrip, I guess. I don't know what you would call it on his top hand. I've never seen anything like this."