Dunn at first base, Konerko the DH for fourth straight game
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org April 15, 2013 10:34PM
Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko (14) is greeted by Adam Dunn after Konerko's two-run home run off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Brett Myers in the sixth inning of an MLB baseball game Sunday April 14, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
AT BLUE JAYS
The facts: 6:07 p.m., Ch. 26, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The pitchers: Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 5.79) vs. Josh Johnson (0-1, 11.05).
Updated: May 17, 2013 6:39AM
TORONTO — Adam Dunn played his fourth consecutive game at first base with Paul Konerko as the designated hitter.
The trend stems from Konerko, 37, staying out of the cold in Cleveland and off the artificial surface at the Rogers Centre. While neither is Gold Glove-caliber, Konerko is better at digging balls out of the dirt, and Dunn is more active and probably has a little more range, although Emilio Bonifacio’s liner to his left went off his glove for a double in the first inning.
“I think there is a lot of good in getting out there,’’ Dunn said. “With my personality, it’s good for me to be out interacting with people as opposed to just sitting around. It’s easier because you don’t have to sit and think about hitting. You have to throw it out of your head and pay attention to defense.’’
Especially with Jake Peavy, one of his closer friends on the team, Dunn said he suggests pitches and locations to throw.
“We have the cool relationship where he likes me to do that once in a while,’’ Dunn said. “ ‘Get it up, get it in there [inside] if you’re going to get it in there. Don’t freaking leave it over the middle.’ ’’
Against left-hander Mark Buehrle, Konerko moved up to fourth with Dunn dropping to fifth.
Every player in the majors wore No. 42 to honor the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.
“It means a lot to me because of what he sacrificed, the price he paid for the black community by being the first to break that barrier,’’ White Sox outfielder Dewayne Wise said. “I’m honored to wear it today. It’s crazy that there aren’t more black people who can experience this day.’’
Wise is among the 8.5 percent of players in the majors who are African-American.
In 1975, it was reported that 27 percent of big-leaguers were African Americans, although an exhaustive recent study by the Society for American Baseball Research shows the actual number never exceeded 19 percent.
Regardless, the decline is significant enough that commissioner Bud Selig named an On-Field Diversity Task Force to study how to increase diversity in the sport. Sox vice president Ken Williams and special assistant Dennis Gilbert are part of the 18-member group.
Robinson’s number was officially retired by Major League Baseball in 1997.
Viciedo needs a lift
Dayan Viciedo broke an 0-for-12 streak and 2-for-28 slump, including 11 strikeouts, with a broken-bat RBI single against Buehrle in the first. The leg lift he toyed with during spring training seems to come and go. Mostly it goes. He was 3-for-4 on the night.
“It seems like he goes in and out of that,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “The adrenaline of the at-bat, sometimes it’s not a natural feel for him, so he doesn’t do it all the time. It’s part of the rub right now. He has to find something that’s consistent to make hard contract. You’re trying to find it, but if you don’t stay with it, it’s harder to stay consistent.”
Ventura on the tragedy in Boston: “It always boggles your mind, and you scratch your head. It doesn’t make any sense ever. It’s just sad.’’