With an impending appointment in Miami, it’s been suggested by at least one interested observer that former White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen had his mind somewhere else by the end of the 2011 campaign. However, in light of Guillen’s comments yesterday on a Chicago radio station, claiming Adam Dunn (above) looked utterly messed up from the start of spring training. So why, then, did O.G. pencil Dunn in the starting lineup, “often enough to come within six plate appearances of qualifying for the batting title?” wonders South Side Sox’s Jim Margalus.
If Guillen really knew this much, there would be no excuse for giving Dunn 496 plate appearances. Furthermore, it would also negate all the times Guillen said Dunn had to be in the lineup. In the beyond-all-repair state Guillen described, Dunn was essentially a crippled hitter, except he had no injury to send him to the DL.
Really, what Guillen is being accused of here is worse than anything Jake Peavy said. Intentionally placing a ruined player in the center of the lineup for 496 plate appearances and refusing all other alternatives goes beyond negligence and into a baseball equivalent of dereliction of duties.
I hate to nitpick with Margalus, but in fairness to Ozzie, the ESPN recap of his appearance on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” includes this gem : “Dunn got more time at first base and the outfield to perhaps prevent him from thinking too much about his at-bats on the bench as the DH.” Clearly, that’s an alternative approach — what better way to soothe the psyche of a player who is a liability at the plate…than by allowing him to flash the fielding skills the Gold Glove committee has mysteriously snubbed year after year?