Bernstein: Dunn Means Return To Power

By Dan Bernstein–

KennyBall, anyone?

After allowing Ozzie Guillen to realize his quixotic desire for speed and flexibility — mixing and matching his lineup and playing NL-style baseball — it seems the White Sox have come to their senses by signing prolific slugger Adam Dunn to a four-year deal worth $56 million.

Jim Thome returns, essentially, except nine years younger and with better baserunning skills.

No more playing against their own park, in an apparent attempt to recapture the glory of the 1982 Cardinals. The friendly fences of U.S Cellular Field beckon, and Dunn hits one out every 14 at-bats.

Ken Williams is optimistic about re-signing Paul Konerko to remain as the everyday first-baseman, and A.J. Pierzynski was signed late last night for two more years, meaning offense was chosen over other concerns at catcher as well.

Even if Konerko goes elsewhere, there are capable players available to approximate the production one would reasonably expect from that position. The only reason not to like this move is if you think Mark Kotsay is good at baseball, in which case you would be wrong (and, possibly, Hawk Harrelson).

Anybody panicking about Dunn’s high strikeout totals is an idiot. K’s are just another out, only mattering with an advanceable runner at second or third with fewer than two outs. You know who else struck out a ton? Some other all-time great sluggers to whom Dunn compares through age 30 via metric models: guys like Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew, Sammy Sosa and Thome. A weighted on-base percentage of .384 for his career ends the discussion.

Just hide Dunn’s glove. He wants a chance to play the field, but any time doing so detracts from the run creation/prevention equation. He’s really bad at fielding, as judged by both naked-eye scouting and evolving stats like UZR/150. Value metrics like WAR and VORP have a significant defensive component, and Dunn’s is held down for that reason. Making him a DH turns him from a valuable player into a treasure.

Runs will be needed, especially if Mark Teahen and Carlos Quentin see significant time at third base and in right field, respectively. Both are butchers – costing the team an astonishing 61.5 runs put together per 150 games, based on the small sample-size of 2010 numbers. It is possible Quentin will still be traded, despite claims to the contrary. And Teahen may assume Kotsay’s super-sub role if Brent Morel proves ready to man third.

It’s all heady stuff for the Sox, as they aggressively lard the payroll even after they picked up the high price tags of Alex Rios, Jake Peavy and Edwin Jackson. Williams is still fighting, while betting that Sox fans will respond by putting their butts in the seats.

Nobody there will make a beer run, now, when Adam Dunn is batting.

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Jermaine Dye's Legs

    Can we all agree Kenny Williams was drunk when he signed Teahan to that 3-year deal?

    • Jon, Montgomery

      yes! LOL XD

  • Denver Smeghead

    I guess Dan decided to run with what he wrote last night.

    But that’s ok. I honestly don’t want to hear B&B talk about Ron Santo anyways; their comments over the years have gone well beyond simply ‘joking’ about their dislike of the man.

    Ron Santo was the ultimate Cubs fan on air, and the ultimate optimist in life. RIP, Ron.

  • meesohawnee

    `but i sure will get a beer while everyone runs the bases with pianos on their backs. Well on thing is nice. Kenny didnt have to do a bond offering to pay for it. For that reason alone the sox should get more of your disposable income. Too bad tommy. Sox win you loose!!

  • Beverly Brewmaster

    As a Ron Santo fan I’m NOT looking forward to today’s show. I completely respect Dan and Terry’s refusal to pretend to like people or ignore their shortcomings in the wake of a public figure’s death, and I understand their criticisms of Santo. But despite his flaws (yeah, he didn’t take the best care of himself given his diabetes and even I grew tired of his over-emotional color commentary), every person I’ve ever talked to who met him had nothing but great things to say about him. I had the pleasure to meet him once outside of the radio booth at Coors Field and he couldn’t have been nicer–and with the first pitch a mere ten minutes away he could have easily blew me off. Say what you will about the publicity machine that sprung up around him, but Santo himself managed to channel that into raising tons of money for JDRF. He was a class act in my book and he will be missed.

  • bigtime sucker

    If Bernstein tributed Santo, he would have been a hypocrit, if he spewed hatred over santo he would have been the ultimate deutchebank. by ignoring it and focusing on something else, he is leaving the criticisms and tributes to people in a better position to make them. I understand why he didn’t do anytinig on that topic although there will be callers who force the issue today. should be interesting.

    Kenny Br@ssb@ll$ does it again. He is the gutsiest gm in town and prooves it over and over again. and always does it within the confines of a tight budget. also i love how he convinces Jerry reinsdorf to open that check book a bit. nobody has been more successful over the years at getting him to do that. I am really green with envy towards you sox fans for having K Will to lead you

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      Excellent post bts.
      I hope that the recent tragic events in TB’s family will give the boys some perspective so that they don’t trash Santo today.
      He was what he was, a ballplayer.
      I enjoyed #10 when I was a kid.

      And yes, Kenny is awesome.
      I am also pumped that AJ will be back for 2 years.

      Goodbye Kotsay/Jones.

      • Denver Smeghead

        I’ve only had time to listen to the interviews from B&B lately, so I guess I’ve missed the details about what happened to Boers’ family? They only hinted that he was off lately for family reasons in the Transition the other day.

      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        Smeg, TB’s daughter-in-law took ill and died before Thanksgiving, only 33, left a husband and 3 kids. Very, very sad.

      • Denver Smeghead

        That is indeed a shame, Chet’s. :(

  • Jim H

    Dunn is the story today. Santo’s passing is uninteresting to many of us.

    • Denver Smeghead

      “Santo’s passing is uninteresting to many of us.”

      I think you overestimate your own importance right now.

  • meesohawnee

    Kudos BevBrew. I couldnt have written it any better.And cant. Quite honestly he was painful to listen to but he was a good guy and for that reason alone should be celebrated. There are not to many left. And PS gotta love that view from the upper right field deck at coors. Nothing like watching the sun set over the rocky mounts while enjoying the game.

  • bronzo

    Well said messo…I agree, as a Sox fan I couldn’t be happier and if they sign Konerko it would be Christmas coming early. I also think this is a not so subltle shot at the Ricketts famliy as in ” Welcome to the big leagues guys”.

    As for Santo i too am uninterested…RIP

  • meesohawnee

    and i hope Kenny says..”and we didnt beg for public money to do this” Actually i think this is a smart business move by the Chariman if anything else. I think he recognizes whats going on up on the north side. Can this be a backdoor PR move? Kinda like when Ford said hey we didnt need a bailout but GM did??

  • mad as hell fan....

    I probably won’t listen to today’s show. I am sure B&B won’t be able to help themselves today.

    Today should be treated like with Norm passed and Red Kerr passed. It won’t be though on this show I would assume, and that is fine. They have made their feelings clear on Ron Santo the last several years. If I were them I would mention it in a segment and move on with what they wanted to talk about.

    • bigtime sucker

      i am sure if they were left to their own devices, the subject won’t be discussed because they can’t win either way, and they love winning arguments, but mark these words, they will be forced to talk about it because people who love to pick fights will be in full force no doubt. maybe even murph gives a call who knows

      • mad as hell fan....

        I hope not BTS. This isn’t a day to be picking fights with people. Santo was loved by millions of people, even though these guys don’t. I echo what the Brewmaster wrote above.

  • Throat Beard

    I’m looking forward to the Falcons destroying the Buccaneers this Sunday. The Bucs are a fraud and will be nowhere near the playoffs by the end of the season.

  • bigtime sucker

    i would like to welcome back the auto refresh feature to this blog, gentleman, make your posts short and sweet or they will be lost forever!!!

  • Jon, Montgomery

    thank you dan for explaining to the goofballs out there that think strikeouts are worse than any other form of an out and the silly people who think adam dunn should play 1st base, you wouldn’t believe how many sox fans have already said those 2 things to me. adam dunn is a good signing and he’s going to be the DH, whether konerko re-signs or not.

    i do hope they sign paul, which i think kenny will. and i’m glad kenny re-signed AJ, we needed to solidify the catching position and pierzynski does that. and i’m also glad b00by jenks is out, he’s been bad since 2008 and it’s good we aren’t going to have to rely on him anymore, chris sale can be our closer. and finally, peavy needs to be healthy by MAY, which alot of people are saying is a stretch, peavy is not healthy, and if he’s not, that solid 5-man-rotation isn’t looking so great if i only see 4 guys in it.

    so kenny williams, i know it’s asking alot, but can you trade that bum carlos quentin? i would love to see colby rasmus in right field or possibly jayson werth, just anybody besides Q out in right would be GREAT. and please, no more mark teahen at 3rd base, put him and his multi-year-butt on the bench and let morel play at 3rd, i’ve seen morel and if he lives up to his potential, he’s the next joe crede for our team, (without the back injuries), i really like the 3 young guys, morel-ramirez-beckham all throwing over to (hopefully) paul konerko.

    so if kenny signs PK, and sures up the bullpen with putz, and if peavy is healthy, the white sox win the division next year.

    it kinda feels nice talking about hot stove white sox in december, sorry cubs fans for your loss, but i really don’t know much about ron santo, so i’m going to just say this about him, R.I.P. Ron

  • Jon, Montgomery

    why did they bring back the auto-refresh??? my god is stupid

  • meesohawnee

    right on BTS.. seems the techinicians in India dont understand when to shut off autorefresh

  • Curtis

    Why not Carl Crawford instead?

    • Jon, Montgomery

      that would be great curtis, but it’s not happening, he’s waaaay too mch $$$. i would much rather kenny go after jayson werth. juan pierre will be fine for us in left field.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    i don’t know about you guys, but i was glued to my television which was tuned to TNT from 7:00pm-9:50pm last night, i couldn’t take my eyes off that cavs-heat game, i watched every second.

    i was hoping for a good game, and just the possibility of cavs fans rushing the court and kicking lebron’s +ss was a reason of my interest, hey even those cavs fans chanting ‘de-lon-te’ while lebron was at the FT line would’ve been great, but since the cavs decided to stop playing basketball midway through the 2nd quarter and let lebron go off on them in that 3rd quarter, none of those things happened. and because it was a blowout, the game absolutely sucked. but i do give lebron credit, he handled the pressure very well and he scored 38 points, that basically did the talking for him… until he acted like the d0uche he really is when he was interviewed post-game. i still hate lebron, but man… he proved a point last night.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    bismarck ND, is getting hammered with snow right now, lucky for us chicagoans that it looks like we’re going to get the least of this snowstorm as it looks like the worst of it will pass to the north.

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    Better game last night – ASU/Arizona. Two blocked extra point attempts… on a Zendejas :)

  • Jon, Montgomery

    as much as i ripped the bulls after they played orlando, i’ll be rooting for them to beat those celtics tonight! we’ll see how Tibbs has motivated them, i think he’s telling them to not take anything lightly, hopefully the bulls will come out with fire and passion and beat those pesky bean-towners.

    by the way, bears are going to cream the lions, play the bears – 4.0, that’s easy money. my prediction…

    BEARS: 45
    LIONS: 3

  • Dr. That Doesn't Help People

    I don’t know what to believe about Ron Santo. Dan and Terry, especially Dan, have a negative opinion on him and have used their forum to attack Ron – some of what they say may be true. I also have heard great things about him; about people meeting him and how, at least in his later years, he was extremely nice and gracious. It could be either way but is likely both; Ron had problems but was also trying to be a good person (just like everyone else, even Terry and Dan). I know I have listened to Ron for a long time and have always enjoyed the broadcast.

    I’m expecting Dan to be classless today – I just expect it from him. Terry, I don’t know, Terry has some backbone and I doubt will stoop to that level. They don’t have to say nice things about Ron, I just hope they don’t berate the man a day after he died; it just seems like poor form.

    But then again, it is just entertainment and opinions and they need controversy and ratings…

  • Beardy McWierdington

    Wait my prediction………..
    Bucs 10

  • bigtime sucker

    i love autorefresh, it’s minty!!!

  • bigtime sucker

    i think bucs vs falcons recieving way too much attention given all the relevant chicago news worth talking about

    • Jon, Montgomery

      hey, i didn’t bring it up, timmymac did just to make me angry, i’m not going to just take that sh+t without cause. we can talk about anything anybody wants. i don’t really want to talk falcons-bucs

  • Throat Beard

    Falcons 52
    Bucs 3

    • Jon, Montgomery

      now that one was funny, lol

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