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Thursday, August 25, 2011
White Sox, Dunn have a series to forget

By Doug Padilla

ANAHEIM, Calif. – As if Adam Dunn didn’t have enough weighing him down, now comes more questions about a lack of focus.

Adam Dunn
Adam Dunn's mental error was relatively harmless on paper.

Dunn, who was playing first base Wednesday against the Angels, started to walk off the field after a third-inning ground out. The only problem was that there were only two outs.

Halfway to the dugout, Dunn caught himself immediately and returned to his position.

Manager Ozzie Guillen was asked if Dunn lost track of the number of outs.

“Yes, and he tried to make a pretty good move,” Guillen said. “I play this game for 30 years. You can’t make the move for somewhere else. He forgot it. I don’t blame him. The way we play, I forgot how many outs there was. He was thinking about his next at-bat I guess.”

Dunn had a different take on the situation after he walked into foul territory and then flipped the ball into the dugout before returning to first base. It didn't affect play since nobody was on base.

“The ball was scuffed,” he said. “I was just throwing the ball out.”

So is it an unacceptable error, or just an honest mistake? Perhaps if it happened to Paul Konerko, all is forgotten. But with Dunn in the midst of a historically bad season on offense with a .165 batting average and a slugging percentage that matches his on-base percentage (.292), does it carry more weight?

Dunn knows all about how things are perceived, especially as a big-money player who is underachieving on an unprecedented scale. He is always available to the media talk about his struggles, and he answers in-depth questions about it in every town he has headed to since before the All-Star break.

It is also why Dunn, an avid golfer, has never brought his golf clubs on the road with his new team. White Sox players are allowed to bring their clubs on trips, but Dunn knows that until he starts producing that isn’t the image he wants fans to see.