Adam Dunn returned to the starting lineup after a two-game vacation in Thursday's 9-4 victory over Oakland, and yes, he remembered to bring you something: his first home run since May 24.
He did what he was supposed to do -- stay with a Trevor Cahill sinker and take it the opposite way. It barely left the yard, but a high-arcing shot cutting through a stiff wind on a 50-degree night isn't exactly a cheap shot, either. He describes his approach in the video above, and if you can't view it, here's the story.
"The good thing is I got to sit back and watch the game and remember it is baseball and it's still fun," Dunn said Thursday before returning to the starting lineup. [...]
Dunn said Wednesday he watched old videotapes of himself that he never had seen before. He seemed mystified by the pitches he was fouling off recently instead of hitting squarely.
"I don't know what it tells," Dunn said. "It tells me it's frustrating, that's the only thing it tells me. When I get a pitch to hit and I foul it off, that's just as bad as swinging and missing to me because it's kind of useless."
Hopefully his second plate appearance on Thursday marked the start of something fun. Alex Rios has also come back from his multi-game benching with three hits in his first two games. It's a minor miracle that they've both been miserable, and the Sox are only three games under .500. If they can improve their status from "disastrous" to "mildly useful," it'll still be a massive boost. And if they can rediscover their past All-Star form for a month or two...
Ozzie Guillen managed his 1,200th game on Thursday, and the victory over Oakland improved his lifetime record to 631-569. Brett Ballantini relays a bunch of notes regarding Guillen's tenure, including how he handles guys like Dunn:
"I haven’t said anything to him," Guillen said. "I just say, ‘Can you please have a good day, so I don’t have to answer all the questions about you? Please have a good day, so [hitting coach] Greg Walker doesn’t have to drink of wine to forget about your bad night?’"
Guillen definitely approaches veterans like Dunn or Alex Rios differently than he does younger players.
"I leave those guys alone," he said. "I keep saying that if this problem was with Gordon [Beckham] or Mo [Brent Morel], [Sergio] Santos, [Chris] Sale, all those kids, I will worry about them. But this kid [Dunn] has plenty of at-bats under his belt. He knows how to survive, and hopefully he comes out of this as quick as he can. And the only way you do it is by playing."
The headline says it all, but Kenny Williams says it, too.
2005 wasn't just a very good year for Guillen, but it was also a great time for one-third of the White Sox roster. Eight current White Sox populated Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list.
Ballantini caps 1970s Week with a year-by-year account of a decade of organizational turmoil, capped by...
... Disco Demolition Night, and Chuck Garfien has an in-depth reflection on a black day for baseball.