As expected, Adam Dunn made a smart move by showing up to SoxFest. A really, really smart move, because the crowd at the Palmer House Hilton was as supportive of Dunn as the crowds at U.S. Celluar Field last year weren't.
The media exam was a little more difficult, but Dunn made it through the questions with no issues. He passed the eye exam (numerous reporters said he looked fitter), he had a different offseason regimen to talk about, he made no excuses for his poor play, he refused to blame fans for jumping on him, and he answered a question about Ozzie Guillen with brief, polite praise. Finally, a 5-for-5 day.
More pragmatically, Robin Ventura was asked how he would handle a kind of slump that Dunn and Alex Rios endured. Ventura essentially said that's what the bench is for. Historically catastrophic seasons are far less complex in his world, apparently.
Among the other out-of-session stories:
- I'm just a little bit pissed I didn't think of Adam '12 first.
- Three bullpen spots are open, but Don Cooper says Addison Reed doesn't have to worry. Dylan Axelrod, Zach Stewart and Hector Santiago.will battle for the long-relief role.
- Gordon Beckham is a little more specific with Mark Gonzales. He says he became "too mechanical," which delayed his load process.
- And best of all, J.J. asked Brent Morel about what he did differently over August and September, and we were onto something:
"I was just caught up trying to put the ball in play and just kinda move guys over and do that kind of stuff," Morel said of his April-August approach. "Toward the end, I relaxed a little bit and was more selective and patient up there. That helped me out."
Below the jump, I've combed through Twitter and Facebook to fill in the rest of the day's events, including manic seminar tweeting from KenWo, our man on the scene.