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Dunn, Konerko think Sox can win with 'core group'

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- In the past month, Chicago White Sox players have seen pitchers Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain each sent out in trades to help shed salary as well as grab some bodies for a depleted farm system. The Sox entered Wednesday sitting at 42-69, and looking to make more moves by the Aug. 31 waiver deal deadline.

Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez and even Adam Dunn have heard their names mentioned, and on Tuesday, Dunn pleaded his case to stay put and for the Sox to start feeling positive about the direction that they're headed.

"If we keep the same core group, there is no way we can be this bad with our pitching," Dunn said. "Offensively we have guys who can play. We just couldn't get the big hit. And defensively I don't think that's going to happen again."

Dunn was an afterthought to be moved heading into June, but has actually been more productive the last six weeks, and with teams like the Texas Rangers needing a bat with some power, as well as an on-base threat like Dunn, there could be a taker on the $19 million he is still owed through next season.

But the veteran Dunn, like teammate Paul Konerko, feels like this season is something of a fluke, and that the Sox can win if the core returns with a couple of additions.

"Unless it's a complete youth movement, I would like to be here next year, 100 percent," Dunn said. "I think I would love a youth movement, but I definitely don't want to be here where it's doing this (losing) again. I can't take it ... and I don't think anybody can. I don't think (general manager) Rick (Hahn) will take that. I don't think Jerry (Reinsdorf) will take that."

Dunn did say that he has not been informed of a definite direction or whether or not the Sox front office feel like this is a quick fix, but Hahn did say in a radio interview that the organization felt like with the pitching in place and under control, the turnaround was not expected to be one that takes years to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I get that," Dunn said. "If it's a complete youth movement, I won't be here. It won't hurt my feelings."

Dunn, who was hitting .306 over his last 49 games, said he feels the same at the plate as when he was going bad early. His .331 on-base percentage was second only to Gordon Beckham on the Sox. Meanwhile, he's on pace for 38 homers and 100 RBIs.

"He's taking his walks and putting some balls in play the other way," manager Robin Ventura said, "which is starting to move that shift back over a little bit."
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