Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Tigers now after Dunn, as Oz defends his Thome decision ... again

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jim%20thome.jpgOAKLAND - The drama builds.
With the Detroit Tigers losing outfielder Magglio Ordonez to a fractured right ankle for the next six to eight weeks, guess which Central Division rival is now throwing their hat into the Adam Dunn ring?
That's right, the boys from Motown. The same Detroit team that jumped in front of the White Sox back in the 2007 Winter Meetings and nabbed Miguel Cabrera from them in a blockbuster trade with Florida.
According to a source, the Sox have still not heard back from Washington GM Mike Rizzo after letting him know that while Gordon Beckham and Carlos Quentin were both a big no for Dunn's services, the minor leagues were all but Rizzo's to choose from.
Then again, it only makes sense that they haven't heard back, considering the Nats want to weigh all the options on what other teams are offering, as well as make one more run at Dunn with a contract extension to stay in D.C.
The fact that the Tigers are now on the radar doesn't help the Sox, however, because considering Detroit's other injury problems - Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge - a desperate team might make a more desperate offer.
Either way, manager Ozzie Guillen couldn't avoid the obvious question on Sunday. The Sox have been in the market for left-handed power for the last month now, so why did Guillen not just OK the Jim Thome re-signing back in the offseason and avoid chasing down a player that they could have already had?
As Guillen pointed out, he not only stands behind his decision, but explained why.
"No, I never regret anything I made with Thome,'' Guillen said. "Never, never. ... But in the meanwhile, I think we are where we are because we want to be this way. And I say we because everyone in the organization was in the same boat, pulling the same rope. But when I made that decision about Jim, it was just because one reason. I love Jim Thome, and all you guys know, he knows, his wife, the players, everyone knows how much we love him. I know every at-bat Jimmy have against us, I know what everyone was thinking, strikeout, home run, people were thinking it's my fault we didn't have that guy here. Well, if that is the way to be blamed, yes, I will take the blame. But in the meanwhile, I think we're a better ballclub, we're a better team without having a very good ballplayer with us.
"If I have to wear this the rest of my life because Jimmy is a fan favorite, player favorite, manager favorite, owner favorite - I mean everyone loves Jim Thome in this organization, everybody did, and I think Jim Thome got more respect, people talked about him more than Frank Thomas, that's how much people love him here - that's pretty good company. In the meanwhile, even when we were struggling I continued to keep my head up and say, 'I think we did the right thing,' or 'I did the right thing' if they want to put it that way. I don't regret it at all, no.
"It's easy for us to make the lineup, keep the guys fresh, win different ways. A lot of people say, 'Well, you guys aren't going to go anywhere because you can't hit the home run.' Well, in seven years I've been managing this ballclub we've had a lot of guys that hit home runs, and we finished third a lot of times, too. To me it was a chance to change the scenario and create more ways to score runs, and we're doing it.''
What is also overlooked is the fact that if the Sox were to acquire Dunn, he would DH, but also play first base and even right field in a pinch. Milwaukee's Prince Fielder would DH, but could also play first base. Thome is DH or bust.
"The guy [we get] has to play another position because I've got to get P.K. [Paul Konerko] a day off, I got to get [Carlos] Quentin a day off,'' Guillen added. "That's the way we should do stuff. If they think the thing doesn't work, I'll take the blame, I don't care, I don't. In the meanwhile, we're clear that we're not going to do stuff just to make people happy. I don't do that. Every time we win a game, 'They're a good ballclub.' Every time we lose, 'Why we no make a trade?' We're in Chicago, we know what we're doing.''

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2 Comments

Let's see if Ozzie can win a division doing it his way...I dont see the logic in trading away our future for a DH who won't even be able to play in 4 out of 7 World Series games

I like the comment by Lamar. Something interesting to think about for sure. I do see the other side however...it's not necessarily true that a player primarily brought in to DH wouldn't see all 7 games in the WS if the Sox got to that point. In a 162 game season, mis-matches even out in somewhat decieving overall numbers. When you get into a 7 game series, matchups are everything because those split stats are so exposed. Having a prolific hitter doesn't mean he will be prolific in all situations, he may hammer right handed pitching and completely TANK on lefties. Having a guy like Dunn or Fielder gives Ozzie the "Ace in hand" so to speak and allows him to play the matchups to create the highest chance for success in a short playoff series that almost certainly will come down to these types of matchups. Play Dunn when the matchup calls for it, play the RHed Konerko or Quentin in those situations and bring up Dunn in a favorable PH situation when he doesn't start.
Personally, I think any trade for a bat will include Hudson and it interests me more to see who they plan to fill his rotation spot with. We keep hearing all these LH bat rumors but nothing on the starting pitching front from Hudson's departure. Anyone hearing any buzz on this?

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on July 25, 2010 3:45 PM.

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