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White Sox roll out red carpet for Adam Dunn after he returns from Oscars

Adam-Dunn-red-carper

Adam Dunn attended the Oscars on Sunday to support “Dallas Buyers Club,” a film that he invested in. The movie won three Academy Awards, so you could say the trip was a success. When Dunn returned to spring training on Tuesday, his Chicago White Sox teammates had a surprise for him.

The team decided to crack Dunn’s stones by decorating his locker area with a red carpet and cardboard cutouts of Oscar trophies.

Dunn said he was nervous about leaving the team to attend an award show but knew he made the right choice when he returned.

“It’s kind of like anything else, when it’s over you don’t feel as bad,” Dunn said, via the Chicago Tribune. “When you come back, it never feels as bad as when you have to leave. Obviously, everybody here has made it really easy, and it was just fine. It was a cool experience, and now it’s over until next year.”

He had to have known some needling was coming. Give the White Sox an A+ for heckling.

H/T Eye on Baseball
Photo: Twitter/White Sox

Fan arrested after diving into fountain to retrieve Adam Dunn’s 400th homer (Video)

Adam Dunn belted the 400th home run of his career on Saturday night, which is a massive feat for any slugger to accomplish. Unfortunately, not all White Sox fans were able to enjoy it.

Dunn’s homer came at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City and fittingly landed in the fountains beyond the outfield bleachers. When the ball came down, a Chicago fan wearing a Kevin Youkilis jersey sprung into action and dove into the fountain to retrieve it.

Diving into the fountains at Kauffman Stadium is illegal, and the gentleman was promptly arrested, removed from the premises, and reportedly fined $2,500. The arrest would probably be worth the trade-off of being able to own a piece of history, but according to CSNChicago.com the fan was forced to give up the ball. Apparently the Kansas City police do fault a man for trying. But hey, we’ve seen people arrested for much less at baseball games in the past.

H/T Deadspin

Baseball Has Become a Pitcher’s Game and the Mendoza Line May Need an Adjustment

Quick, someone alert Don Henley: it appears the boys of summer have gone. The worst part about it is that it isn’t even June yet. At some point over the last six weeks you probably can remember how one player or another made you crazy and remember how they made you scream. Go ahead. Take a look at any of the box scores from recent Major League Baseball games. I’ll wait. (It’s not like I have anything better to do at the moment.) Big name signings like Jayson Werth (.228), Adam Dunn (.184), Carl Crawford (.210), and Vernon Wells (.183) have suffered a greater fall than Humpty Dumpty. Even guys who have been traditionally strong hitters have struggled, like Albert Pujols (.268), Raul Ibanez (.231), Magglio Ordonez (.172), and Justin Morneau (.204), not including the San Diego Padres, who started five guys on Sunday afternoon hitting .245 or less. It may take more than the king’s horses and men (with a few million thrown in) to put these helpless schlemiels back together again.

If this continues, they might reconsider Mario Mendoza for the baseball Hall of Fame (the American one, he is already in Mexico’s Baseball Hall of Fame believe it or not). Mario’s baseball immortality stems from the fact that he carved out an eight-year baseball career while hitting a less-than-stout .215. From his uncanny ability to do what was necessary to avoid getting on base, the expression “Mendoza Line” found its way into baseball vernacular. So anytime a batter has an average of less than .200 (or less than George W. Bush’s approval rating), he is said to be hitting below the Mendoza Line. Well if old is the new new and 50 is the new 40, then why can’t hitting .200 be the new .300?

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Matt Holliday, Adam Dunn Returning Quickly from Appendix Operations

Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn learned from watching a television report about Matt Holliday that he might have an appendix ready to burst. Much like Holliday, Dunn has also followed a quick path to recovery and is likely to return to the diamond before long. What makes the return of both players to the field pretty remarkable is how little time it’s taking each player to recover from surgery.

Holliday had his appendectomy on Friday, April 1st and was already back in the lineup on Sunday April 10th, just nine days later. He was initially expected to miss 4-6 weeks, and then later projected to miss 3-4 weeks by the club. Later we learned the Cardinals were not even going to place him on the disabled list and that Holliday would be back in less than two weeks. He was, and he went 1-for-3 with two walks, a run, and an RBI in his first game back Sunday.

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MLB Free Agent Contracts Have Gotten Completely Out of Hand

It almost feels like Christmas in December. It’s baseball’s annual right of passage, winter free agent signings that net sums of money so ghastly even hedge fund managers are blushing. At this rate, the good folks at Major League Baseball may have to change the name to World $eries. The holidays are upon us, but don’t be confused. That slightly rotund fellow wearing red ain’t Santy Claus, it’s Lance Berkman, who last season ho-ho-hummed his way to a .248 batting average yet still Madoff with eight million dollars from the Cardinals. Nope, there’s no jolly old Saint Nick Punto or Johnson (they haven’t been signed yet).

What’s a Jayson worth you ask? Well, aside from the gross misspelling (someone should let him know already), how about a tidy $126 million over seven years. Forget a spruce, the Nats’ new addition may now hang his ornaments on a sequoia. I thought the folks in Washington DC were trying to rein in wasteful spending. He’d better do well in the nation’s capital or else someone in the Nationals’ front office made a huge Boehner. Ostensibly, there were no three wise men behind that deal.

Each year, baseball’s general managers descend on Florida like so many aging retirees who sport various shades of vibrantly-colored plaid pants. Both come in search of early bird specials. The only difference is that Dave Dombrowski is more likely to splurge on an overcooked piece of meat than, say, Uncle Mort. One can only imagine the reaction of Joaquin Benoit, a 33-year-old right-hander signed by the Tigers for $16.5 million despite the fact he has a career ERA approaching the Michigan state sales tax and a less-than-stellar 31-28 career record. He may be dashing through the snow in the Motor City, but can probably now afford more than one horse to pull that open sleigh (though convertibles are not really trendy in the D in the middle of winter).

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Chicago White Sox Reportedly Closing in on Deals with Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko

What could possibly be better than adding one big free agent bat? How about retaining another. The Chicago White Sox, who finished seven games over .500 and six games behind the Twins in the AL Central last season, reportedly are close to announcing the signing of Adam Dunn. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Dunn is taking a physical and then the Sox can announce a four-year deal with him reported to be worth $56 million. As if that wasn’t enough, Cowley reports that White Sox players think free agent Paul Konerko will return to the team.

A four-year $56 million deal is slightly less than what Dunn reportedly was hoping for ($60 million), but that is the type of deal he deserves. The big slugger took a huge paycut signing with the Nats for just $20 million over two years in 2009. He had the misfortune of becoming a free agent for the first time when the economy entered the recession and signed a short-term deal with the hope of cashing in on another deal. That opportunity has come and it looks like Dunn will finally be paid.

Dunn has earned a reputation as Mr. Consistency. He hit exactly 40 home runs four straight seasons with the Reds (and part of 2008 after being traded to Arizona) and then he hit 38 home runs in both seasons with the Nats. He’s driven in at least 100 runs six times and has a career OPS of .902. He has clubbed 282 home runs since 2004, more than any baseball player except Albert Pujols. Dunn is a premier slugger in the game and will be an excellent addition to Chicago’s lineup.

Paul Konerko is 34 years old and coming off his finest season as a pro. He’s been with the White Sox since 1999 and driven in at least 90 runs eight times for them, clubbing at least 30 home runs six times. Bringing Konerko back gives the White Sox a slugger at first base to hold down the middle of the lineup as he has been for over a decade. The Adam Dunn signing keeps Chicago as a contender in the AL Central race, retaining Konerko makes them a legitimate threat to win the division and be a playoff force.

Adam Dunn Goes Golden Sombrero

Marlins Nationals BaseballIt’s been quite some time since we’ve had a player take the golden sombrero. Franklin Gutierrez came close over the weekend, but luckily for his sake he reached base in his final at-bat after striking out the first four times. And so it was the case on Tuesday night that Nationals slugger Adam Dunn struck out all four times he came to the plate against the Braves in an 8-1 loss.

I’m actually surprised that Dunn’s never worn the crown (since we’ve kept track) considering he’s gone over 190 k’s in a season a few times. The big slugger punched out swinging, looking, and then swinging the final two times he went to the plate. Youngster Tommy Hanson got Dunn three times while Manny Acosta got him the final time. Hanson’s now 9-2 with a 3.05 ERA. Think Glavine could have done that? Didn’t think so. As for Dunn, even with the crap game, he’s still in line for another 40 home run season, and at .278, he’s on his way to what sadly would be his highest single-season average.