Sox Drawer: The appendix on Dunn's appendix

440291.jpg

Sox Drawer: The appendix on Dunn's appendix

Friday, April 8, 2011
Posted: 1:49 p.m.

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

Adam Dunn had experienced stomach pains before, but never quite like this. For several days, there were shooting pains coming from the upper reaches of his abdomen. He assumed it wasnt anything serious.

That was until he flipped on the television while in his hotel room in Kansas City on Tuesday morning and saw a story about the Cardinal's Matt Holliday who needed his appendix taken out after playing on Opening Day.

The reporter mentioned Hollidays symptoms. Dunn made a mental checklist

Got that ... got that ... got that, he said to himself.

Uh-oh.

READ: Dunn still healing, feeling feisty

Wednesday at 2:30 a.m., White Sox general manager Kenny Williams received a phone call. It was team trainer Herm Schneider calling from a Kansas City hospital, informing him that Williams 56 million slugger was about to have an emergency appendectomy.

In an interview with Comcast SportsNet on Thursday, I asked Williams what his reaction was when he heard the stunning news.

I cant tell you exactly right now because this is family TV, Williams said with a smile, able to make light of the situation now that Dunn is on the mend.

It was one of those things where you go in to get something checked out, and before you know it, youre having an operation, Schneider said.

The procedure would last around 25 minutes, and Dunn needed to go completely under with anesthesia. He and Schneider would spend the whole night in the hospital.

Its like we had a baby together, Schneider joked.

Shockingly Dunn wanted to pinch-hit the next day, although that might have been the painkillers talking.

I think that was the problem, Dunn said. I was on too good of ones.

So when will Dunn be back? He's not starting Friday night. The weekend seems like a possibility.

Its not the pain, Dunn said before the White Sox home opener. I feel like when I swing, my belly button is going to go shooting at the pitcher. Thats a bad visual. Seriously. Thats what it feels like. Until that goes away, where I can swing and not feel like that .... I want to get it to the point where its not bothering me.

WATCH: Sights & Sounds from Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field

Williams is urging utter patience in regards to Jake Peavy's return from a shoulder injury. What about Dunn?

Hes 6-6, 270 pounds, its not like Im going to fight with him and argue if he really wants to get out there, Williams said. But well be as cautious as we need to be, as we always are in making these kinds of decisions. If the doctors say hes okay and he wants to play, Im not going to stop him.

Judging by the White Sox offense so far, they dont exactly need to rush him back. Their 45 runs are tied with the Reds for the most in the majors. One of the reasons is the red-hot Carlos Quentin, who is tied with Mark Teixeira for most RBIs (10) in the majors, and is second in the AL in batting average (.458).

What Id like to see is Carlos stay as even keel as he possibly can and have less media focus on him because weve really tried to put together a roster to where its not dependent upon one particular guy overachieving, Williams said. We just need everyone to do their parts, and I will tell you that Greg Walker has these guys in such great positions to hit early in the season that Im really optimistic about the entire offensive production this year.

But ask any White Sox fan from Bridgeport to Blue Island, and their biggest worry is the bullpen, which has occasionally gotten torched.

Is it merely a blip or is Williams generally concerned?

I refuse to be generally concerned about anything five games into the season, Williams said. It takes sometimes, whether it be hitters or certain pitchers, it takes some guys coming out of spring training, you can have the hottest guy on your team turn into the coldest, and the coldest turn into the hottest. Everything will level out. We have a level of talent on this team that I think will ultimately prove itself over the course of 162. Five games? Im not going to start analyzing it too deeply.

Unless theres another appendix that needs to be taken out.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox sluggers Frank Thomas and Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Slumping White Sox get huge boost after Miguel Gonzalez 'defended his ground'

Slumping White Sox get huge boost after Miguel Gonzalez 'defended his ground'

Every factor but one suggested there was no way Rick Renteria would remove Miguel Gonzalez in the seventh inning on Monday afternoon.

Of course, Gonzalez didn’t know that.

But even as he walked to the mound with two on and no outs in the seventh and Wrigley Field roaring, Renteria didn’t have any intention of pulling Gonzalez.

Trades and injuries have given the White Sox manager even less wiggle room with which to work than the one-run lead Gonzalez was trying to protect. As long he was convinced his pitcher was game, Renteria would stay with Gonzalez. Gonzalez acquiesced and soon thereafter the White Sox were on their way to their first victory since July 8. The White Sox topped the Cubs 3-1 and in doing so snapped a nine-game losing streak.

“I just went in there to reaffirm that we were thinking the same way,” Renteria said. “He was thinking the same way. It was kind of easy.

“He said ‘I got this.’ He defended his ground.”

[Such a mighty wallop: How does Matt Davidson's mammoth home run stack up?]

Even though he had a front-row seat for the conversation, catcher Kevan Smith had little understanding of what transpired. The rookie said Renteria and Gonzalez spoke entirely in Spanish after Jon Jay and Javier Baez singled to open the bottom of the seventh inning. Smith heard Renteria mention to Gonzalez that lefty David Holmberg was ready to face switch hitter Ian Happ. Beyond that, all Smith heard from Gonzalez was ‘bueno’ and ‘listo,’ and Renteria was headed back to the visiting dugout.

But you don’t have to be a linguist to decipher what issues the White Sox pitching staff faces after a trying month.

Prior to Gonzalez pitching into the eighth, the White Sox hadn’t had a starter complete seven innings since June 16. An already overworked bullpen has also had to deal with season-ending injuries to Zach Putnam, Nate Jones and top relief prospect Zack Burdi. And those issues have been even further compounded by the trades of Jose Quintana, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle in the past 12 days.

So even though Gonzalez was on the verge of facing the top of the Cubs order a fourth time, Renteria had to stick with him so he could save top relievers Dan Jennings and Anthony Swarzak for later.

“I said ‘Just give me the ball,’ ” Gonzalez said. “ ’I’m OK. I’m fine. I’m feeling OK.’ Just walked away and I was able to get out of that jam. That was a big one.”

Smith was also happy with the decision. He liked how Gonzalez — who threw strikes on 73 of 105 pitches — had competed. Smith thought Gonzalez had great stuff and heard positive reviews from opposing hitters.

“(Gonzalez) had it,” Smith said. “The guys were coming up to the plate saying this guy has got some stuff today. It was a big moment to kind of prove that he can be a long guy, especially late in the game like that. Big pressure situation. Obviously it was getting pretty rowdy, but he stayed composed and pitched his way out of it.”

First was a five-pitch strikeout of Happ that ended with a swinging strike on a curveball. Jason Heyward then popped out to shallow center for the second out. Kris Bryant worked a five-pitch walk to load the bases. But Gonzalez jumped ahead of Anthony Rizzo in the count 1-2 before he got the star first baseman to fly out deep to center to strand the bases loaded.

Gonzalez returned in the eighth and retired one more hitter before he exited after a Kyle Schwarber single. The effort was plenty for Renteria and the White Sox, who also wiggled out of jams in the eighth and ninth inning.

“Sometimes you just don't have any other option,” Renteria said. “You just have to do what you have to do. They had a really good idea of how they wanted to attack those guys. …

“Miggy did a really nice job.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Sox win game one of Crosstown Series

crosstown.jpg

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Sox win game one of Crosstown Series

Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun Times), David Haugh (Chicago Tribune) and Ben Finfer (ESPN Radio) join Kap to go over the exciting first game between the White Sox and the Cubs.

Plus, the latest on trade rumors linking Justin Verlander and Alex Avila to the Cubs. Do the Cubs really need to make another move?

Finally, the guys discuss whether Kyrie Irving asking for a trade out of Cleveland is the dumbest career choice, ever.