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White Sox Wed Jun 29 2011

What Part of 'All In' Do the Sox Not Understand?

Thumbnail image for white sox.gifHaving a manager who stands behind his players is usually a good thing. Lately, though, Ozzie Guillen's fierce loyalty seems to be hurting the White Sox more than helping. He has remained stubborn with his feet firmly planted in the ground, and in third place, while his team sinks to 38-42.

Adam Dunn has 100 strikeouts in 67 games this season, but the team has no choice but to wait for him to get his groove back and that could take a while.

With every strikeout Dunn seems to be sinking deeper and reacting a lot slower. His batting average has now hit .173, and a dismal .126 at home. Most alarming, the strikeouts, which are par for the course with him, have not been accompanied by his customary 40-home run power. He's got seven homers now as we near the all-star break.

So while Ozzie is correct in saying Dunn is paid too much to sit and the Sox have to keep putting him out there, the same doesn't have to be said about other players.

Ozzie has always been passionate about certain players when they hit a slump. But the vicious cycle of leaving runners on base and waiting for something to happen is not only unproductive, but it's hurting any chances the Sox have in their division. So far, Cleveland and Detroit haven't gone on any major runs but that shouldn't be reassuring.

Back-to-back 2-1 and 3-2 losses are just another reason Ozzie needs to start thinking with his head. I can admire his loyalty to guys like Juan Pierre and Alex Rios but at some point changes have to be made. Guys aren't producing and it's putting mounting pressure on players like Paul Konerko to carry the offense on their shoulders. Not to mention pitching performances like Phil Humber's on Sunday are being discredited because the offense can't provide any support.

It's time to make a change. It's time to go all in. The White Sox can't afford to wait around any longer. Since they can't exactly get rid of Adam Dunn, they should consider bringing in Dayan Viciedo.

Granted, Pierre isn't the worst player, but the team needs consistency. All it takes is someone to keep guys on base moving. With Dunn continuing to struggle, Viciedo could even be plugged in at DH, giving Pierre more chances to create offensive sparks.

Viciedo is hitting .330 with a .369 on-base percentage and .528 slugging percentage in Charlotte, but the best part is his .325 average with runners on base, including a .276 mark with men in scoring position.

Whether or not the Sox find room for Viciedo, it's clear that a changeup is needed to spark this struggling team. You can't make a run in the standings by sitting around doing the same thing and waiting for different results.

 
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