Chicago White Sox: 2012 MLB All-Star Game

Dunn happy to be an All-Star again

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
3:31
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn has accomplished a lot over the past 10 seasons, but he hasn’t been to an All-Star Game since 2002.

[+] EnlargeAdam Dunn
AP Photo/Duane BurlesonAdam Dunn has regained his power stroke this season with 25 home runs at the All-Star break.
“I went my rookie year, and I have not been back since so when people like me say it is an honor to go to the game it is not a cliché,” said Dunn, who last was an All-Star as a 22-year-old with the Cincinnati Reds.

Dunn, who will be in the conversation for Comeback Player of the Year, has been one of the major reasons the Sox carry a three-game lead in the American League Central into the second half of the season. His 25 home runs are second in the major leagues and his 61 RBIs are fifth in the AL. He is on pace for 50 home runs, 120 RBIs and a .900-plus OPS. All that comes a year after Dunn endured a nightmarish 2011 season in which he batted .159 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs.

“I expect to put up the numbers I always have each and every year,” Dunn said. “I said from day one that when I picked up a bat in the offseason that whatever happened last year was over, and I really was sure of that.”

Many baseball people looked at Dunn’s 2011 season as the beginning of the end for him. The challenge for Dunn was to forget the fact that he had had the worst season (batting average) in major league history.

“I am not a 38-year-old guy or a 40-year-old player trying to hang on,” Dunn said. “I am a young guy still, and I know I have a lot of baseball left. I just worked hard to try and get better.”

Dunn is looking forward to sharing the All-Star experience with his wife, two children and pitcher Chris Sale, who made his first All-Star team and joins teammates Dunn, Paul Konerko and Jake Peavy in Kansas City.

“He flew in with me so the one thing I have tried to impart to him is have fun and don’t let all of the activities like signing and interviews take away from the moment,” Dunn said. “I am living proof to him that you are not sure if you will ever get back no matter how good you are, so hopefully he will take it all in and have fun with it.”

For now, Peavy, Pierzynski are All-Star snubs

July, 1, 2012
7/01/12
3:42
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Three Chicago White Sox players are going to Kansas City as American League All-Stars, while Jake Peavy must wait until Thursday to find out if online voters send him via the Final Vote.

First baseman Paul Konerko, designated hitter Adam Dunn and starting pitcher Chris Sale were selected for the American League squad, while the curious omission of catcher A.J. Pierzynski is bound to raise a few eyebrows throughout baseball circles.

The pesky veteran Pierzynski told reporters on Saturday that he had no chance to be picked by the players because they dislike him in general. Nonetheless, the 35-year-old leads all catchers with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs. Pierzynski has been the White Sox’s most consistent run producer all season on a surprising first-place team that includes All-Stars Konerko and Dunn. AL manager Ron Washington told reporters on Sunday that Pierzynski was his most difficult omission, but he needed to make room for a Minnesota Twin and selected Joe Mauer.

Konerko, who was tied for the American League lead in batting average (.336 ) entering play on Sunday has had a strong first half, producing 14 home runs and 40 RBIs. The 35-year-old first baseman is 4-for-8 in his five previous appearances in the Midsummer Classic.


Dunn, who was an All Star with the Cincinnati Reds in 2002, was a bit of a surprise pick, as no one can remember a hitter making an All-Star team with a .213 batting average. However, the other numbers Dunn has amassed are certainly worthy of selection. The Sox DH is second in baseball with 24 home runs and his 58 RBIs are fourth in the American League. The slugger’s 64 walks and 125 strikeouts are also league highs.

Sale, a first time selection, has been the talk of baseball scouts all season. The 23-year-old lefty has been one of the top starters in baseball with a 9-2 record and a league-leading 2.27 ERA. Opponents hit just .198 against his offerings which is second in the league. Sale or Texas Rangers starter Matt Harrison could be Washington’s choice as AL starter for the July 10 game in Kansas City.

Peavy, along with teammate Dunn, is a candidate for comeback player of the year. After injury-plagued 2010 and 2011 seasons, the 30-year-old right-hander has stepped up his game, replacing Mark Buehrle as the ace of the White Sox pitching staff. The veteran pitcher ranks second in the league with 112.2 innings pitched and sixth in both strikeouts (101) and earned run average (2.96). He is tied for the most complete games (4) with the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander.

Both Peavy and Pierzynski are two time All-Stars so while Peavy wait for the results of the online election on Thursday, Pierzynski can only make the team if there is an injury to an already-chosen player.

The White Sox have had three players previously make the All-Star team through online voting -- Scott Podsednik in 2005, Pierzynski in 2006, and Konerko last season.

AL manager wishes he had room for A.J.

July, 1, 2012
7/01/12
2:20
PM CT
Durrett By Richard Durrett
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
ARLINGTON, Texas -- American League All-Star manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers said the one player that he was most disappointed he couldn't get on the roster was A.J. Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox.

Pierzynski is hitting .283 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs. He leads all AL catchers in home runs and is second in RBIs. But Baltimore's Matt Wieters was selected by the players and Washington needed to get a Minnesota Twin on the roster and chose Joe Mauer.

"I feel bad for Pierzynski," Washington said. "The guy's having an outstanding year. He's been working with a very good pitching staff over there with those Chicago White Sox for many years. I consider him a winning player because he beats you any kind of way he can. He beats you mentally, he beats you physically. So I feel really bad for Pierzynski."

Sale, Dunn, Konerko named AL All-Stars

July, 1, 2012
7/01/12
1:53
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Three Chicago White Sox were named to the American League All-Star team on Sunday, designated hitter Adam Dunn, first baseman Paul Konerko and pitcher Chris Sale.

It’s Sale’s first time on an All-Star roster, while Dunn will make his second All-Star appearance and Konerko his sixth on July 10 at Kansas City.

Konerko and Dunn both got their spots on the team via the players vote.

In his first year as a starter, Sale is 9-2 with a league-best 2.27 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .198 off him and he has 94 strikeouts and 24 walks. Dunn continues to put a dismal last season behind him, entering Sunday with 24 home runs. Dunn is batting .213, but has walked 64 times to bring his on-base percentage to .363. Konerko’s .336 average leads the league in batting. He has 14 homers.

Also, once again the White Sox have a player in the running for the All-Star Game Final Vote, as Jake Peavy is one of five players on the AL ballot.

The White Sox starter is competing with the Royals’ Jonathan Broxton, the Rangers’ Yu Darvish, the Angels’ Ernesto Frieri and the Orioles’ Jason Hammel.

Peavy ranks among AL leaders in numerous categories this season, including complete games (4, tied for first) and innings pitched (112.2, second).

Previous White Sox who made the team via the final vote include Konerko last year, A.J. Pierzynski in 2006 and Scott Podsednik in 2005.

The White Sox, who have been known for their clever campaigns (Punch A.J. and PaulStar), are this year asking fans to #TakeJake. Fan voting ends at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday at whitesox.com and mlb.com/vote.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.17 208 174
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .317
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208