Dunn thinks he can improve in 2013


Dunn thinks he can improve in 2013

The American Leagues comeback player of the year thinks he can improve again in 2013.

Peers honored White Sox first basemandesignated hitter Adam Dunn with the award on Tuesday after he hit .204 with 41 homers, 96 RBIs and 105 walks in 151 games this season.

Even though his 2011 home run total increased by 30 and his on-base percentage jumped from .292 to .333, Dunn sees room for growth. But unlike last spring, Dunn, who earned his second All-Star bid in 2012, expects he wont be clouded with questions when he heads to Glendale, Ariz next spring to prepare for the 2013 season.

I feel like I have a better base to work on during the offseason because I know what I need to fix, Dunn said. I didnt really have time during the season. We worked on it. When youre in the middle of a playoff race you dont want to go tinkering too much with stuff. So we kind of managed what I was doing, but there are some things I want to work on (to get where I want to be).

Dunns .204 average was 36 points below his career mark, his OBP was 70 points below his career norm and he struck out 222 times -- 27 more than he had in any previous season.

With the exception of an oblique strain that bothered him over the final month of the season --- after he admitted he rushed back --- Dunn is pleased he maintained his health and played in all but 11 games. Dunn appeared in only 122 games in 2011 when he batted .157 with 11 homers and stuck out 177 times in 415 at-bats.

There were some good things, obviously, Dunn said earlier this month about his season. There were a lot of bad things in there. I can go to spring training and not have 15 things to work on and clear your head. I can start earlier. There are a few things to work on that I think will be an easy fix.

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

Despite the Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought, Miguel Montero made offseason headlines for all the wrong reasons when he complained about his role in the Cubs' 2017 championship campaign.

Montero criticized Maddon's communication skills, catching rotation and bullpen decision-making after the team's Grant Park celebration. Maddon brushed off the criticism, and last week at spring training Montero said he hadn't spoke with the Cubs' skipper.

That tension appears to be all but a thing of the past, as Montero posted this picture of him and his manager sharing a drink together sporting nothing but smiles.

It's safe to say Montero would describe his relationship with Maddon now as: #WeAreGood.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

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Five Things to Watch:

1. Road warriors.

The Blackhawks have won six straight games away from the United Center, and are looking to make it a seventh in Minnesota tonight. They've scored the game's first goal in four of those wins, and in the other two, overcame 1-0 deficits to beat Dallas 5-3 and Edmonton 5-1, the latter of which they scored five unanswered goals.

2. Corey Crawford vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Crawford hasn't quite been the same since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3, but he turned in probably his best outing since then in the Blackhawks' last meeting against Minnesota on Feb. 8 when he stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. He essentially stole two points, and prevented the Wild from picking up the extra one. Across from him tonight will be Dubnyk, who leads the league in wins (32), goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.934).

3. Jonathan Toews on fire.

After a tough offensive drought earlier in the season that lasted longer than expected, the Blackhawks captain has six goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games, and upped his point total to 37, which now ranks fifth on the team. In the last meeting against Minnesota two weeks ago, Toews had a three-point night and scored the game winner in overtime. 

4. Mikael Granlund among league's most underrated players.

File Granlund under the category of players who don't get enough attention. He has 17 goals and 36 assists in 58 games this season, and his 53 points is tied with Jeff Carter and Artemi Panarin for 13th in the NHL's scoring race. The next highest point total on the Wild is Eric Staal with 45, an eight-point gap between him and Granlund. The 24-year-old forward registered his first career hat trick earlier this month, and also had a 12-game point streak just two weeks ago.

5. Ryan Hartman's closing in on 15 goals.

In Saturday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton, Hartman defended his teammate by fighting an Oilers defenseman that was practically twice his size. He called it a "no-brainer" to stick up for Tanner Kero and did well in the scrap, but it led to an Oilers power play and 10-minute misconduct which didn't do the Blackhawks any favors. He responded in a great way Sunday by scoring the game's first goal that helped his team win 5-1 in Buffalo. The next goal he scores will be No. 15, which would give the Blackhawks six 15-plus goal scorers on the year. They had only four a season ago.

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