Dunn keeping perspective throughout slump

Dunn keeping perspective throughout slump

Dunn keeping perspective throughout slump
CHICAGO -- Adam Dunn didn't pick up a bat during this past offseason, and now he has the lowest average of any 2011 Major League qualifier at .175. There's also the matter of his 91 strikeouts over 217 at-bats.

But to draw a direct correlation from what Dunn terms as the most frustrating thing that has ever happened to him and his lack of offseason swings would completely disregard his success over the previous decade. You see, Dunn has followed this same approach throughout a career producing 361 home runs.

"I'd have to look back and say, '40 home runs and 100 RBIs.' I'd have to look back at that, too," said Dunn, during an interview prior to sitting out Wednesday's series finale with the Cubs. "That's where you take the good with the bad and hopefully learn from this somehow and build on it.

"This is something that not a lot of people have gone through in their life, and there's only one of two ways you can go. You can go down or get back up, dust yourself off and get it on."

Taking the good with the bad has been a plan Dunn seems to be employing over the course of this mind-boggling slump. Yes, Dunn has a career .250 average, so it's not like a perennial .300-plus hitter has fallen on hard times. And the big man certainly is going to strike out.

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No rational Major League Baseball fan or executive could have seen these prolonged troubles coming when Dunn agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract in the offseason. Dunn has done the early hitting work, gone through the video and simply believes he has to play his way out of this incredible funk.

"Dunn is one home run away from people loving him," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of his left-handed designated hitter, who has been the target of strong jeers from the home faithful. "He's handled it very well. He's been very professional. Does he worry about it? He should. Is he concerned? He should. But I don't think he's afraid."

"You're not going to help your team, you're not going to help anybody, by sitting around pouting about it the next day," Dunn said. "Good games, you forget about it. Bad games, you forget about it. I'm really ready to start swinging the bat, so I don't want to talk about it anymore."

An offseason conditioning program always has been in place for Dunn, but he just doesn't hit. That topic is for the offseason, though, and Dunn wants to focus on what he can do presently.

"It's not going to be my best year. I'm fine with it," Dunn said. "But that doesn't mean I still can't get hot and help the team win a bunch of games."