White Sox’ Adam Dunn disputes Yahoo! story, says he’s no quitter
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 23, 2011 12:29AM
Adam Dunn said he still enjoys coming to work every day. He had two singles in the Sox’ win Friday. | Nam Y. Huh~AP
Updated: October 27, 2011 12:33AM
CLEVELAND — Adam Dunn hadn’t seen the story, so he was stunned to hear about it when reporters followed up in the visitors clubhouse at Progressive Field on Friday.
‘‘I did? What did I say?’’ Dunn asked.
Dunn apparently told a Yahoo! Sports columnist he would walk away from baseball if he was no longer enjoying the game. He was quoted later in the story as saying he wouldn’t do that.
‘‘Yeah, no chance,” Dunn repeated Friday.
He glanced up at the Cubs game on the clubhouse television in amazement, and not because the Cubs were beating the Astros.
‘‘That’s unbelievable,” Dunn continued. “That’s why you don’t talk to those kind of people.
‘‘Yeah, I guess I could chop up and write whatever I want and make it sound however I want. How I meant it was, if I have to continue and sit there and not have fun doing what I’ve done my whole life, I’ll go home. But that’s what I’m saying — I’m having too much fun.
‘‘I enjoy playing the game, so I’m not doing it. It’s stupid. I don’t know what this [reporter] is trying to accomplish.’’
Baseball’s fun meter moved up about three notches for Dunn in the Sox’ 3-0 victory against the Cleveland Indians. The big lefty had two sharp singles, scoring after the second one on Carlos Quentin’s three-run homer, and he flied out to the warning track in right field. With Gavin Floyd pitching 72/3 scoreless
innings, the Sox claimed an important series-opening victory against a team they’re chasing in the AL Central.
‘‘I thought right before the [All-Star] break he was starting to look like himself,’’ hitting coach Greg Walker said before the game.
Dunn was coming off a three-day rest, sitting out against two left-handers in Kansas City before an day off Thursday. On Monday, he had his sore left knee drained, but no thought was given to going on the disabled list.
Walker said there’s nothing physically wrong with Dunn, who is batting .163. And there’s nothing wrong with his bat speed, as some have suggested.
‘‘There are times when his body is in the wrong position where you don’t see as much but that’s with everybody,” Walker said. “If you’re uphill or have a sweeping swing, your bat speed is going down. But for a man of his size, he has tremendous bat speed.’’
After leaving two runners on base in each of the first three innings against Carlos Carrasco (8-8), the Sox exhaled after Quentin hit a 409-foot homer, his 20th of the year.
‘‘I saw him pretty good the first three pitches, I knew he didn’t want to get behind 3-1,’’ Quentin said. ‘‘Got a pitch middle in and put good wood on it. Gave my team a chance to win today. But Gavin was the story of the game.’’
Floyd (8-9, 4.11) left in the eighth with runners at the corners and two out. Ezeqiel Carrera hit Matt Thornton’s first pitch deep into left-center field, but left fielder Juan Pierre made a running catch on the warning track. Floyd gave up four hits, walked none and struck out five.
Thornton got two outs in the ninth and Sergio Santos got the last one for his 19th save.
Seeing Dunn just miss a homer and get two hits fired up the Sox dugout.
‘‘These guys, they’re part of your family,’’ Walker said. ‘‘The last thing you want to see is somebody you care about going through this. But he’s going to figure it out and, when he does, he’s going to carry us, contribute to the second half. And he’s going to be here for a long time. The people of Chicago are going to see Adam Dunn. He’s going to do some great things for this city.’’
Through the horrific slump, Dunn has kept his head up.
“This isn’t quite the easiest of things but it’s still a game,” Dunn said. “I still enjoy coming to the park every day and working.
“It felt good today. I was using my legs a lot more and stayed back on some pitches I would have been way out in front of missed. Hopefully I’ll stay the course.’’