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August 31, 2014 at 9:50 pm ET
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Adam’s Dunn in Chicago
Down goes Dunn.

Down goes Dunn.

The long national nightmare is over:

Adam Dunn is no longer on the White Sox.

This is great for a few reasons. Oh, I know that being an armchair GM and Monday morning manager doesn’t help any team with their woes. And I don’t even know if Dunn has been ‘good’ this season (every player at every level is better than me) because I’ve been avoiding the White Sox for several unrelated reasons to Dunn (mainly, one reason: Hawk Harrelson).

But I remember his signing with the team and being overcome with some dread as a result: the White Sox didn’t need a strikeout king, unless it was an actual pitcher. They had plenty of pop out, fly out, and strike out masters to begin with, even during the World Series run. Not to mention plenty of opportunities to drive home Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, and Jim Thome home despite their hits that could have been doubles or even triples but instead had to settle for singles, and batter after batter not bringing them home.

Then they signed Dunn. My vivid recollection as a Cub fan in 2004, he struck out 190-something times playing for the Reds. (I remember him not striking out that much playing the Cubs.) Hey, you can’t hit 40 something homers if you don’t swing. And sure, that ball will leave the field if he makes contact.

The White Sox went from having a team of three consistent (in their own way) slugger types with Carlos Lee, Paul Konerko and Magglio Ordonez, to winning the World Series with aggressive baserunning backed by amazing defense and great pitching and without Lee or Ordonez. Since then, there’s been a few good seasons but other than 2008, no postseason. Adding Dunn to replace Jim Thome still didn’t replace the team’s once successful aggressive offense.

When the Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano, I was bewildered. He’s a great hitter, but the team was already bloated with fielding liabilities. His 8 years might have been the infinite symbol. He was a long-term solution of some sorts to a short-term problem, and I’m sure many felt in the wrong league. Dunn’s four-year contract, however, felt even somehow longer. Maybe these local teams were plotting a trade more fitting to these players? Something like that?

The big shoes have clearly been filled earlier this season thanks to Jose Abreu, posting an average far higher than I’d be used to seeing Dunn achieve, even with a lot of home runs (which Abreu has as well). Hey, you can’t get hits and homers if you don’t swing.

Now the rest of the work is getting someone on base before he approaches the plate.

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