When Adam Dunn signed a 4-year, $56 Million contract with the Chicago White Sox in the offseason, GM Kenny Williams believed he was adding his much-coveted left handed bat in the middle of the line-up with a career on-base plus slugging percentage (.OPS), of .890.
Instead he has a player hitting 114 points below his listed weight, who is posting a .487 OPS at a home ballpark known as a launching pad, and is striking out in over 43% of his at bats. What is wrong with Adam Dunn? The Sportsbank has an inside look at what his problem could be.
Baseball experts think Adam Dunn has lost confidence. Fans think he needs to accept a minor league assignment to find his swing. Others think Dunn needs to see a psychologist, and those seeing psychologists themselves think the physics of his swing are out of balance since his appendix was removed earlier in the season. The correct answer is? NONE OF THE ABOVE.
The secret to Adam Dunn finding his swing can be found in three simple words: Turn The Page. Yes White Sox fans (and Adam Dunn if you’re reading), Turn the Page and change your walk-up music and you will hit. Before you stop reading and call me crazy consider this:
Baseball is a sport with a history of superstition and intangibles. From the very famous Goat Curse of the Chicago Cubs to some players’ refusal to change their clothes or shower after a win, superstition is present in all parts of the game. Many baseball players perform routines prior to games due to superstition. Some players feel that believing in a crazy superstition can focus their mind to perform better.
So why not change your walk-up music back to a song that worked? No offense Bob Seger, but Dunn has not been swinging “against the wind” more times that smacking silver bullets with his current selection. So what which walk-up song will help turn Adam Dunn’s season around? Well Metallica is already overplayed at U.S. Cellular Field, and Marilyn Manson’s the Beautiful People already found success with Jim Thome. In the spirit of superstition, go with what worked: Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight.”
Before you scream “LAME” at the top of your lungs, know this: In The Air Tonight was the walk-up song for all of 2010 when Dunn played for the Washington Nationals and clobbered 38 homeruns and posted an .892 OPS. It was also his walk-up music during his most productive years with the Cincinnati Reds.
If you have read this far and still call this idea crazy, I leave you with this. Before the 2010 all-star break, White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham struggled mightily at the plate using the Outfield’s “Your Love” as his walk-up music. After changing to Metallica’s Seek and Destroy he hit nearly .300 the rest of the season.
The secret to success in baseball is more often the little things or the intangibles is it not?? As Dunn has tried extra batting practice, talking with hitting coaches and even talking to a shrink, why not try turning or in this case “tuning” to Phil Collins for the answer to finding his stroke?
So come on White Sox PA guys, play In the Air Tonight for Adam Dunn. It also worked wonders for Mike Tyson’s career in the Hangover.
Kenny Williams: you can give me that special assistant to the GM job after this works.Follow paulmbanks