Adam Dunn has been through slumps, but never like this.
He has heard boos before, but maybe not with the same level of intensity he has heard during the first two games of the White Sox series against the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Obviously, nobody wants to get booed,'' Dunn said after going 0-for-4 in the Sox' 3-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday night. "It kind of comes with the territory.''
Dunn, who signed a four-year free-agent contract for $56 million during the off-season, was the centerpiece of the Sox' "All-in" campaign. But he has performed well below expectations, batting .175 with 91 strikeouts. A prolific home-run hitter, Dunn has hit seven homers this season, as many as Brent Lillibridge and one more than Gordon Beckham.
"Would it be a lot easier if I wasn't getting booed? Yes,'' Dunn said. "Imagine how frustrated I am. That's the only way to put it.''
"It's not the first time I've been booed I can tell you that.''
When asked if he was concerned about how Dunn would react to the fans and whether it might affect his performance, Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the only solution is to play better.
"If you don't want to be booed by the fans, do something better,'' Guillen said.
Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, upon seeing Sox fans' treatment of Dunn on Monday night, said Tuesday that Chicago fans are "the worst" when it comes to hostile treatment of players. Soriano, a big-money free agent whose performance hasn't lived up to the paychecks in the fans' or media's view, has been booed at Wrigley Field.
"The fans don't want to boo the home run or the base hit with two outs,'' Guillen said. "When you're struggling like that, we're in Chicago, the fans are pretty tough, they demand a lot. Especially when the hype, the expectations, were very high on him.
"I don't think [Dunn] worry about it, but do you care? Of course you care. You know your family's up there listening when they're booing you. But the only thing you can do is go up to the plate and hit a home run and people will forget pretty quick.
"One at-bat, people will love you. One at-bat, hopefully today, one at-bat with a couple men on base and things will change.'
Asked if the booing makes it tougher for him to hit, Dunn said, "What do you think? You know what I'm saying? Would it be easier? Of course it would. But it is what it is. I don't go up there going, 'oh no, gotta get a hit here.' That's part of it.''