MESA, Ariz. — Rick Renteria would be cool with giving a Cubs player a hall pass to leave camp and attend the Academy Awards.
The first-year manager doesn’t have to deal with that conflict, but it’s an interesting hypothetical with White Sox slugger Adam Dunn flying to Los Angeles for Sunday night’s big Hollywood party.
Dunn is an investor in Truth Entertainment, the Texas production company that made “Dallas Buyers Club,” which received six Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.
“I’d be pretty impressed, quite frankly, if somebody was invited to do that,” Renteria said Saturday at Cubs Park. “He’s a guy with quite a few years of experience under his belt, so I think managers in this situation probably are giving him some leeway and allowing him an opportunity of a lifetime. Not everybody gets to go to the Oscars. You never know who you might rub elbows with.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura and general manager Rick Hahn gave their blessings to the trip and told Dunn to rejoin the team on Tuesday in Arizona.
Dunn — who also made a cameo appearance in the film as a bartender — is in the final year of a $56 million contract. He is coming off a season in which he hit .219 with 34 homers, 86 RBIs and 189 strikeouts.
“Going to the Oscars — I don’t know if it has anything to do with him trying to prove what he’s capable of doing or not doing,” Renteria said. “That might be, once again, a once-in-a-lifetime situation for him. And I’m sure that if he was really concerned about where his career is at right now, he probably wouldn’t go.”