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Ozzie Guillen knew Adam Dunn was doomed during spring training last year

Feb 11, 2012, 8:55 AM EDT

Adam Dunn Getty Images

Adam Dunn is coming off one of the worst seasons anyone could possibly have, but former White Sox manager and new Marlins’ skipper Ozzie Guillen claims that he knew the high-priced slugger was doomed from the start.

During an appearance yesterday on the “Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Guillen said that he and his coaching staff knew that Dunn had some major issues with his swing just a couple days into spring training last year (via J.J. Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com).

“I looked at his swing and I told [bench coach] Joey Cora going home, ‘We’ve got a big problem,’ ” Guillen told the show.

Dunn ended up batting .224 with three homers and 27 strikeouts over 67 at-bats during Cactus League action. He appeared to find himself just in time for the start of the regular season, going 4-for-14 with one home run and five RBI over his first four games, but he never got back on track after undergoing an appendectomy on April 6 and returning less than one week later.

Many have pointed to Dunn’s offseason habits, primarily that he doesn’t usually swing a bat over the winter, as the major reason for his historically bad 2011. And maybe there’s some truth to that. In fact, Dunn has made an effort this offseason to hit a couple of times a week. But rushing back from his appendectomy surely didn’t help matters, either.

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 11, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Wow. Ozzie has amazing foresight when looking backwards. If only this superior knowledge could have helped Ozzie not write Dunn’s name into the lineup (and in the top half no less) for 415 ABs.

    • Dave Barker - Feb 11, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      496 plate appearances. And wow, -2.9 WAR and a 59 wRC+ for 2011.

      • baseballisboring - Feb 11, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        Is that not good? Heh…

    • mattkempsdetlefschrempfs - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Thanks for the heads up Ozzie before my fantasy draft last yr!

    • baseballisboring - Feb 11, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      How are you not gonna put him in the lineup when you just signed him for $56 million, though? I think Ozzie handled it fine. They really needed to get Dunn (along with several other players) going in order to contend. 496 PA’s seems like a lot, especially if you were a White Sox fan and had to watch him every day, but it’s probably like 150-175 less than he would’ve had in a normal Dunn year.

  2. Francisco (FC) - Feb 11, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Ozzie is full of s**t

    • bigharold - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      Yes, but in an amusing buffoonery sort of way. Of course I find it amusing because I’m neither a WS or Marlins fan.

    • baseballisboring - Feb 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      Why assume that? Ozzie’s a Major League manager and former player. And you know, he probably wasn’t the only one who noticed it. Dunn did strike out 27 times in 67 ABs in freaking spring training after all. Have we ever known Ozzie to be a liar?

  3. Matt Adams - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    So we’re supposed to be outraged that he knew something was wrong with Dunn and kept running him out there? I’m pretty sure anybody with a pair of eyes saw something was wrong with him. You could question his lineup decisions long before this interview.

  4. hushbrother - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    He still had a higher OBP than Carl Crawford, who did not have an appendectomy during the season.

  5. craigsimsrules - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Im sure at the end of this year, he will give another interview where he will say the he turned to bench coach joey cora and says why in the hell did I take this job. And why did we waste so much money on jose reyes

  6. qcubed3 - Feb 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    “Ozzie Guillen knew Adam Dunn was doomed during spring training last year”

    The real question is, did Ozzie know Ozzie was doomed during spring training of last year?

  7. heavenisbaseball - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Ozzie needs to get over himself!! He tanked the 2011 season for the White Sox before it even got started. What does it matter now what he thought about Adam Dunn. Ozzie is a loser and Chicago is best to be rid of him. A good manager would have worked though the problem instead of hitting him 3 and playing him at first just to prove a point to Williams. Good luck Miami with Ozzie and Cora, but with Philly in the same division you won’t be seeing a World Series any time soon….

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Even better question: If Ozzie’s superb skills at analyzing swing mechanics were so clued into what Dunn was doing wrong, in February, why didn’t he or anyone on his coaching staff fix it? Isn’t that why teams pay coaches?

    That Marlins clubhouse should be communicating exclusively via twitter barbs by tax day.

  9. nprakash5 - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    It shows just how good Ozzie and his bench coach were if they could not correct from Spring Training until end of season.

  10. icanspeel - Feb 11, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Ozzie’s statement basically says he is a bad manager lol, he saw a bad swing, couldn’t help correct it and kept Dunn in the lineup knowing he is hurting the team. good job

  11. vincentbojackson - Feb 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    I’ve watched this guy his entire career. Am I the only one confused why teams are surprised by his lack of performance.

    He’s a 2 tool player that’s made 5 tool money his entire career because he hit’s a 500 foot home run once a month.

  12. chicagosundevil - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Way to bat him EVERY day after being such a Nostradamus.

  13. tjg25 - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    At least he got his great hitting coach involved. Good riddance to you Ozzie.

  14. bleed4philly - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Why is Dunn not taking swings in winter? Isn’t he a professional baseball player?

  15. Old Gator - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    As a matter of fact, Slobbering Ozzie also predicted the breakup of Gondwanaland, the survival of mammals beyond the K-T boundary, all three major recent ice ages, the loss of his own prehensile tail, the discovery of finger painting, that George Antrobus would invent the wheel, the rise of neolithic civilizations in the Indus and Tigris-Euprhates valleys, Pearl Harbor and the Alex Rios trade. Really, Adam Dunn was small potatoes.

    • Glen - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Thumbs up for lack of hyperbole.

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