Adam Dunn has put his 2011 season behind him, but media haven’t
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com July 9, 2012 8:46PM
American League's Adam Dunn, of the Chicago White Sox, warms up during MLB All-Star baseball batting practice, Monday, July 9, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Updated: August 11, 2012 6:25AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — White Sox slugger Adam Dunn knew there was a 45-minute question-and-answer session with the media awaiting him — and the rest of the American League All-Stars — Monday at
He just didn’t expect to be put
Dunn fielded question after question about last season until he finally snapped.
‘‘Man, I’m already sick of talking about last year,’’ he said.
Dunn’s point would have carried more weight had he not had one of the worst seasons for a major-leaguer in recent history in 2011. After all, it isn’t very often a player hits .159 with 11 home runs and 177 strikeouts one season and is at the All-Star Game the next.
Make that never.
‘‘Obviously family,’’ Dunn said when asked how he got through his first season with the Sox, who had signed him to a four-year, $56 million contract. ‘‘No one cares about you like your family. Going home to the wife and kids every day . . . I don’t know if I could have handled [a slump like that] 10 years ago. I know that. That’s part of it. But then what was I going to do? Sit and pout about it? No one cares. You can tell so-and-so, but no one really cares. They feel for you, but they don’t really care. That’s kind of it — family.’’
It obviously was a good remedy, considering Dunn entered the All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium with 25 home runs and 61 RBI as the No. 3 hitter on a first-place team.
But there are still some concerns. Dunn is hitting only .208 and has been battling through a 28-day dry spell during which he has hit only .160 with five homers.
While he wouldn’t get into specifics about the last month, he admitted he was banged up and was using the All-Star break ‘‘to heal up some things that need healing up.’’
His confidence no longer seems to be included among those things.
‘‘When I picked up a bat this offseason, it felt kind of normal,’’ Dunn said. ‘‘I knew I was healthy and I felt good, so the rest was easy. I know what I’m capable of doing. When I picked up the bat and everything was healthy, felt good, I knew everything would be all right.’’
When he arrived at spring training and saw what kind of shape his teammates were in, he knew the Sox would be all right, too.
‘‘We have basically the same team we had last year, missing two or three guys,’’ Dunn said when asked to give a reason for the Sox’ solid first half. ‘‘I was figuring that I wouldn’t hopefully have the year I had last year and that Alex [Rios] wouldn’t have the year he had last year. . . . We didn’t even really have to do anything except play normal, and our offense would be fine.’’
But the media wasn’t on this
season with Dunn. They kept going back to last season.
So did he learn any life lessons from it all?
‘‘None,’’ Dunn replied. ‘‘It was a wasted season. There’s nothing positive. Nothing.
‘‘If there was some lesson to pass on, I ain’t found it yet.’’