Good general managers, regardless of sport, usually draft well, make smart trades and free agent deals, and also know when it is time to let one of their own go. Mike Rizzo made a tough decision last season in parting ways with a fan favorite and one of the best sluggers in the game in Adam Dunn. Dunn signed a four-year, 56 million deal to join the Chicago White Sox.
At the time it seemed risky, the Nats were losing 40 home runs and lineup protection for Ryan Zimmerman. But just weeks into the MLB season it was clear Dunn was going to struggle, he finished the year with a .159.292.277 split and thoughts of retirement. While many held out hope as the season progressed, Dunn's manager Ozzie Guillen says he saw it right off the bat.
Guillen told ESPN radio in Chicago he noticed something was wrong on the first day of Spring Training:
I looked at his swing and I told bench coach Joey Cora going home, My God weve got a big problem, he said.
He couldnt find his stroke, he couldnt find it, Guillen continued. He do everything. People in Chicago, believe me, he try everything in his power to get better. We watched the videos, fastball, change up, everything was missing.
Dunn finished 2011 with 11 homers and 42 RBI in 122 games. This was after hitting 38 home runs and at least 103 RBI each of the last two seasons in Washington.
J.J. Stankevitz CSNchicago had the story on Friday and ponders why - if Guillen supposedly knew so early on did he send Dunn to the plate 496 times during the season?
Stankevitz then asks a question:
Why can't Guillen just go away and enjoy Miami?
Sounds like Chicago White Sox fans are going to rue the Dunn signing for quite some time.
Count another one for Rizzo.