Patience is a virtue, and Major League Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.
Having said that: The Twins, after losing five straight and being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, are back in last place in the American League Central. Unless edged out by Twins All-Star Joe Mauer (who skipped the first two months of the season with a mysterious assortment of injuries and ailments, makes $23 million a year, and continues to hit .200), the biggest bust this year in baseball is clearly going to be Chicago’s slugger Adam Dunn.
Dunn was signed to a huge free agent contract to put a lightning bolt in the middle of the White Sox lineup. He has failed at an alarming rate so far as we approach the All-Star break, hitting only .173, which is much less than his weight. Dunn is 6-6 and weighs 285 pounds. He has already struck out 100 times and has only 40 hits, seven home runs and 29 RBIs.
“He has to be in the lineup, said Manager Ozzie Guillen. We have to get him going.” Despite Dunn’s struggles, the Sox are just four and half games out of first place in the American League Central.
Dunn signed a huge contract based on his career success at age 31; he has hit 361 career home runs. “If he wants to play 15 years, to have a few bad months is such a blip on the radar screen,” said Paul Konerko. However, this is his first year in the American League after nine years in the (senior circuit) National League with Cincinnati, Arizona and Washington.
In April, Dunn spent a week on the disabled list with kidney stones. His power numbers are legendary, however — before this season he hit 354 career home runs. Only three players in baseball history — Albert Pujols (408), Eddie Mathews (370), and Ralph Kiner (369) — have hit more home runs in their first 10 seasons.
Since 2004, only Albert Pujols with 294 has hit more home runs than Dunn’s 282. Dunn is tied with the immortal Babe Ruth for the most consecutive seasons of hitting at least 38 home runs in a season with seven. Dunn became the eighth player in MLB history to record at least five straight years of 40 home runs, joining Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey, Jr., Ralph Kiner, Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Duke Snider and Sammy Sosa.
Fitz Notes & Quotes
Former Vikings star Cris Carter, now an analyst with ESPN, is in town this week training with Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl star Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. at his organized workouts. Carter’s son Juron, a junior receiver at the University of Alabama, tried to follow in his dad’s footsteps at his alma mater, Ohio State. However, he transferred to Alabama without a tattoo, where Nick Saban is head coach, before all hell broke loose on campus at Ohio State.
The National Hockey League and Minnesota Wild as hosts put on quite a show last weekend with the NHL Entry Draft. The NHL spared no expense in putting on a first-rate draft at Xcel Center in St. Paul.
Before the draft, the Wild hired a new young head coach in Mike Yeo. The 37-year-old becomes the NHL’s youngest coach and the third in Wild history. The Wild also, after an excellent draft, added some much-needed scoring punch with young 24-year-old winger Devin Setoguchi, trading away in exchange popular All-Star defense man Brent Burns to San Jose.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, and on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm; he also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Larry welcomes reader responses to email@example.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.