What's done is Dunn, A.J. too; Konerko on deck?

What's done is Dunn, A.J. too; Konerko on deck?

Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
Updated 11:41 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

Dating back to last spring training, if you asked Kenny Williams about his team, he wouldnt lie about his number-one concern: lack of a lefty power bat in the middle of the White Sox lineup, and it was gnawing at him.

The decision not to bring back Jim Thome left them vulnerable on that side of the plate, so Williams tried to sign Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon before the 2010 season, but swung and missed.

Before last summers trading deadline, he went after Adam Dunn. Missed again.

But this time, he didnt. Nope, instead Williams knocked it out of the park, which is what the White Sox are hoping Adam Dunn does again and again in 2011.

Thursday, the Sox struck a deal with the number-one slugger on the free agent market - reportedly a 4-year, 56 million dollar contract, pending a physical. Dunn, a beast of a hitter who not only stands 6-foot-6, 285 pounds (dont you dare pitch inside), is one of the most consistent and feared home run hitters in the game.

Since 2004, he has smashed 282 home runs. The only hitter who has more? Albert Pujols.

Also since 2004, Dunn is second in the majors in games played. Whos first? Ichiro Suzuki.

Speaking on a media conference call Thursday, Williams wouldnt comment on Dunn, only to say that hell share his thoughts at a press conference at U.S. Cellular Field Friday at 2:00 p.m. Chances are this wont be a media get-together to announce a contract extension for Southpaw the mascot.

What is Dunn like as a teammate? Reliever J.J. Putz, a free agent who played on Team USA with Dunn in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, gave Dunn the ultimate compliment.

Hes the best clubhouse guy to build a team around, Putz said. Oh yeah, and he rakes.

"Adam is gonna bring us a much needed left-handed power threat to the middle of the lineup," Jake Peavy told CSNChicago.com late Thursday night. "Adam is a good friend and I'm glad to have him as a teammate."

"I'm happy to have a guy that is not only a great baseball player but also a great person," Gordon Beckham said. "The White Sox are really making a commitment to the chemistry of a team which makes winning that much easier. Adam will fit right in with the pulse of our team."

With Dunn aboard, the next question is obvious: What does this mean for Paul Konerko?

Dunn, not the most nimble of defenders, has stated that he doesnt want to DH. He played 153 games at first base last season for the Nationals.

Is there room for both of them?

Not only is there room for it, but it would be the ideal fit from our perspective, Williams said.

Apparently the Sox envision Dunn and Konerko splitting time at first base and DH, and re-signing the White Sox captain is Williams' number-one priority right now. But hell have to be patient.

Weve tried to intiate (signing Konerko) on a couple of occasions, Williams said. We respect Pauls decision and his agents decision to try and take Paul to the winter meetings (next week) and flush out all of the interest and all the offers. Were trying to be patient and respectful of his process and also mindful of lost opportunities, or potentially lost opportunities if were not able to bring back Paulie, but Ive made it no secret. We do have strong interest in bringing him back.

After last season, Williams met with Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to talk about 2011. Normally the Sox GM presents his boss with four different plans. This year, Williams had only two.

One was a young team and the other was we were going to add to the mix. We just didnt want to be in the middle. If youre going to be all in, you go all in.

With Adam Dunn aboard, the Sox have just upped the ante.

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.

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White Sox upset by the call that led to ejections of Todd Frazier, Rick Renteria

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Todd Frazier wasn’t pleased with a call Saturday afternoon that led to the first ejection of his career.

It’s not that the White Sox third baseman is arguing about whether or not he deserved to get thrown out in the seventh inning of a 10-2 loss to the Oakland A’s. Frazier is more miffed by first-base umpire Sam Holbrook’s initial ruling --- that his throw pulled Jose Abreu off the bag --- and the determination by replay officials that the call was correct.

Frazier was ejected shortly after word arrived that the call stands, which means officials in New York didn’t believe they have enough evidence to overturn the original ruling. That fact bothered Frazier, who was charged with an error and began to speak his mind. White Sox manager Rick Renteria was ejected shortly thereafter for the third straight home game.

“It’s just frustrating with the technology we have today,” Frazier said. “It’s just crazy. It boggles your mind. It really does. You know -- I’m the one. I’m vocal. I’m emotional. But when it’s wrong, 100 percent wrong. I saw it on the MLB Network. I saw it in our cameras and our computers. I just don’t understand how we can see it and they can’t see it in New York. It’s just, it’s frustrating as all hell to be honest with you. It turned into a big inning. We were down a lot, don’t get me wrong. But still, Jake (Petricka) is pitching his heart out and next thing you know he gives up an unearned run and two more runs. So it’s really not that hard. Honest. It’s not that hard.”

Renteria raced onto the field in an attempt to save Frazier from a quick ejection, but didn’t have enough time. It was the third home game in a row in which a White Sox player was ejected for the first time in their career. Tim Anderson got the boot on Friday night after he argued with plate umpire Jim Wolf. And Avisail Garcia got tossed from the June 15 series finale against the Baltimore Orioles.

Renteria said taking into context who his players are and their track record made him want to further defend their actions.

“I don't ever go into a situation arguing with someone to get thrown out,” Renteria said. “I don't. I think what happens is, like anybody emotionally, when you start talking and expressing yourself, you have a tendency to get heated. You don't plan on doing that. I certainly don't go out there planning on having that happen. I think what happens, and I think it's just human nature, you start thinking about the whole situation, you're losing a player. You're losing a guy that's supposed to be in there for the next two, three innings to help you maybe continue to chip away. Our team has been fighting every day, since day one of spring training. I don’t care what our record is, I don't care what the score is, we fight. And when you take one of those pieces out of the lineup, you get pissed.”

Even though he had a chance to cool off, Frazier still felt the same after the contest. He stuck his head into the team’s video room after the game to check out the play. Teams have a variety of angles from which they can determine whether or not to challenge a call. They also have the option of taking a freeze frame and magnifying the picture, which left no doubt in Frazier’s mind that the call was incorrect.

“Like I said just frustrating,” Frazier said. “It’s just not that hard. And with all the technology like I said, I don’t mean to repeat ourselves, but with all the technology and 8 different angles it’s just one of those things where I just can’t let that go. It turned into a huge inning. You never know. We were down 6 we coulda came back. You gotta be 100 percent. You gotta be 100 percent right on that and I really don’t think he was.”