Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Ozzie finds plenty of reasons to start Dunn
By Doug Padilla
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Sometimes it's pitchers in the midst of a Cy Young season or hitters running down an MVP award that get plenty attention late in the season from the media of the opposing team.
Getting that treatment for the White Sox lately has been free-agent bust Adam Dunn, who has been the subject of stories in the New York Times, Washington Post of late. Add the Los Angeles Times to that list.
The questions tend to vary, but there always seems to be a similar inquiry made in some way, shape or form: At what point does Dun and his sub-.170 batting average simply get shown the bench for the rest of the year?
Manager Ozzie Guillen had Dunn in the lineup for Tuesday’s series opener against the Angels and was asked that very question.
“If I have a better choice, I might change my mind,” Guillen said. “I don’t make out the lineup because of who he is, how much money he makes. I [want] the best guy out there to play. That’s my job. I’m going to go with the best lineup for that day.”
Guillen said that because Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin all were dealing with injuries, he felt he had no choice but to start Dunn.
Konerko can’t play the field requiring somebody to play first base, Pierzynski’s absence required some left-handed hitting in the lineup and without Quentin a power-hitting type was desired.
“No matter what kind of season he’s having …. in the back of your mind [as a pitcher], he’s on deck, he’s at the plate,” Guillen said. “He’s having a very, very bad season. We all know that. But hopefully he’ll have one good month. That’s what we need from him, a pretty good month. Everything else is over.”