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Dunn Promises Award-Winning Season for White Sox
Adam Dunn has vowed to put the embarrassment of the 2011 season behind him.
He has had a strong start to spring training and his confidence is coming back. He is embarrassed and humiliated over what he did on the field last year and wants to show that his .159 batting average and 11 home runs was a fluke and that he will get back to being the productive player he had been throughout his career.
He has set a goal for himself to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Dunn said he wants to play in every game during the 2012 season. If he can manage that feat - and that's highly doubtful - he would almost certainly win that award. If Dunn has the support of Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura to stay in the lineup every game, that means he will be a much more productive player than he was last season.
However, Dunn may have a hard time staying healthy. While he has hit the ball better in spring training this year, he has missed time because of a sore neck. Dunn hurt his neck because he slept awkwardly on the couch. How he could possibly think he can stay in the lineup every game after suffering that type of injury defies logic.
In analyzing his season of despair, Dunn points to the appendectomy he had in April as the source of his problems. The operation robbed him of his strength and his flexibility. He returned from the injury too soon, he says. He was unable to swing the bat with authority as a result of coming back too quickly.
"I was never the same," Dunn told the Chicago Tribune. "I came back too soon, and I couldn't even bend like I should have while batting. And it threw my swing way off."
With the start of the season in sight, Dunn says he feels like he is ready to be an asset to the White Sox. "I feel so much better earlier than I did last year," he said. "Last spring, with about two weeks left, I started to feel good. This year, about a week or week and a half in, I felt like I could be ready for the season tomorrow."
Dunn has been working with new White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto to hone his swing. Manto also urged Dunn to use a lighter bat and the big slugger has followed that suggestion. Dunn feels responsible that former White Sox batting coach Greg Walker is no longer on the job.
Dunn can't do anything to help Walker now. However, a solid season could help build a strong reputation for Manto and give the White Sox the kind of production they expected from Dunn in the first place.
Chicago Tribune - Dunn vows to be comeback player of the year
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