HITTER AND MISSER
This is an article from the July 9, 2012 issue
The White Sox DH was third in the majors in home runs through July 2 and was named to the All-Star team. He leads the big leagues with 126 strikeouts.
DAN PATRICK:If we look at your numbers....
ADAM DUNN: Oh, God.
DP:Why are you reacting that way?
AD: It's awful.
DP:You have 24 home runs.
AD: So what?
DP:Do you just focus on your .210 batting average?
AD: I don't look at that. When I'm going bad, I'm the worst player in the league.
DP:Were you the worst in the league last year?
AD: Oh, my God. What happened last year?
DP:It wasn't pretty—.159 with 11 homers.
AD: I know. It's over. It's gone.
DP:How does that happen?
AD: I have no idea. If I knew how it happens, I wouldn't let it happen.
DP:Why are you yelling at me?
AD: Because I'm sick and tired of talking about last year.
DP:I was trying to talk about this year. Twenty-four home runs are pretty good.
AD: There are some good things in there. There are some bad things. If I can just eliminate a few of those bad things, I'll be happy.
DP:Are strikeouts a concern?
AD: Depends on when. First inning, two outs, nobody on, I'm not going to lie to you, I'm trying to get in the seats. If I strike out, O.K., whatever. If there are runners in scoring position and you strike out, that's bad.
DP:Would you rather face Justin Verlander or R.A. Dickey?
AD: I would go Dickey.
AD: Because Verlander is in my division, and I don't want to make him mad.
DP:Who's the pitcher you've faced where you said, That's just not fair.
AD: Randy Johnson, when he was good.
DP:What's it like to face Johnson as a lefty?
AD: It's hopeless. First time you face him, you feel like he's going to hit you right in the back of the neck. And it ends up down and away for a strike. You have to trust that it's going to be a strike.
DP:Ever close your eyes and just swing?
AD: No. It probably looks like that sometimes.
DP:Bigger surprise: White Sox in first place in the American League Central or Nationals with the best record in the National League?
AD: Us. No one expected us to do anything great. Everyone expected the Nationals to be really competitive this year.
DP:How good is Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg?
AD: What separates him from everybody else is his demeanor. Not just on the field, but the way he handles himself off the field. He's as good as it gets.
DP:How's your new manager, Robin Ventura?
AD: He's awesome. He's laid back. Even when we're not playing too hot, he's the same dude.
DP:What kind of football player were you?
AD: I was pretty good, Dan.
DP:Do you think you could have played professionally?
AD: Yeah, I do. I don't know why not.
DP:Are you the second-best quarterback in Chicago, behind Jay Cutler?
AD: I don't know if I'm going to give up [best] yet.
Heat forward Shane Battier said he'd like to be LeBron James for a day. I asked what he'd do. "I'd dunk, lift weights, run fast," Battier said. "I'd challenge a horse to a race." ... North Carolina coach Roy Williams said critics need to judge college basketball's one-and-done rule on a case-by-case basis. "I've had some guys [for] four years who I wish they'd left after one," Williams said. "Some guys who played four years wished I'd left after one." ... Former Nugget and Celtic Chris Herren's story about drug abuse in the NBA is so compelling, the NFL had him speak at its annual rookie symposium in June. Herren told me he ignored the advice he received at his own rookie symposium. "I remember thinking I was above it," Herren said. "I try to convey, Don't be me and wake up at 32 and say, Damn, I had an opportunity." ... BCS executive director Bill Hancock explained the benefits of the new playoff system to me but said we shouldn't expect a snappy new acronym. "I don't think you go out and create a cute name," Hancock told me. "If a cute name gets applied, then that's fine."