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Chicago White Sox Fans Need to Embrace Adam Dunn and Alex Rios

Boo this man! Yes fans, boo them after swinging for a second strike. Boo them because they make money. Boo them because they were miserable last year. I get it, but this nonsense needs to stop. I am one of maybe hundred people who actually likes Adam Dunn and Alex Rios because someone has to. Someone needs to fight for these guys, considering 95% percent of the Chicago White Sox fan base can’t stand either of them due to their woeful 2011 campaigns. Actually, woeful might be an understatement, but I’m over it and you, Chicago White Sox fans, need to get over it, too.

Unless they are traded, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios will be on this team for the next two seasons. There is also little doubt they will play for those two seasons since they take up a majority of the team’s payroll. So get use to them White Sox fans, they aren’t going anywhere, and I’m glad they aren’t going anywhere.

Now, I’m one of the biggest Adam Dunn apologists out there, if not the biggest. I felt so helpless seeing him struggle last season, watching him strike out in seemingly each at-bat he had. It drove me nuts because some fans hated the “good” Dunn before the “bad” Dunn even showed up. So of course when the haters of the “good” Dunn witnessed the “bad” Dunn on their team for a season, it was like adding gasoline to a fire.

Coming into the season, I had faith in Adam Dunn, even predicting he would hit 40 home runs again. Blind faith? Absolutely, but I didn’t care. I was already on edge before the season even started, and seeing him hit a home run on Opening Day was a breathe of fresh air. However, once again, Dunn started scuffling a bit after his promising Opening Day, until there was one at-bat that turned everything around. Against the Baltimore Orioles, Troy Patton – a lefty – came in to face Dunn with the bases loaded. After swinging at a slider away, the crowd started booing Dunn relentlessly, while they hardly made a peep when the real problem of the team, Brent Morel, struck out. Clearly, fans expected the worst, already jumping down Dunn’s throat. Then, magic happened. Adam Dunn cut down his swing, and took the pitch to left field for a bases clearing double.

If I was Adam Dunn, I would have given 382 DX crotch chops on second base, screaming boo this. Since that at-bat, Adam Dunn has been baseball’s hottest hitter. In his last three games, Dunn has reached base safely 10 of his last 14 times, adding three doubles, two home runs, and nine runs batted in. For the first time in what seems like forever, Adam Dunn’s OPS is over .900. So White Sox fans, can we let this guy do what he does without booing him after every strikeout please?

I get he stinks versus lefties, and it’s frustrating to watch a player strike out over 180 times. But it was going to happen whether he hits .159 – like he did last season – or in the .250s – like his career average says. So as they say on the streets (maybe), let a player play.

When it comes to Alex Rios, I’m not as defensive with him as I am with Adam Dunn. However, he gets a lot of the Adam Dunn treatment that drives me nuts. Rios looks really at the plate right now, and his range in right field is a great thing to have. It’s easy to hate on Rios because of his laissez-fair attitude towards everything, plus his “clutch” stats are pretty atrocious. But the media and fans will complain about every little thing Rios doesn’t do, while ignoring any good thing he actually does do. I also root for Rios for the simple fact my dad absolutely loathes him and I want him to eat crow, but I digress.

What say you Sox fans? Can we let it go already? Booing these guys isn’t going to accomplish anything. In fact, if we have any chance of winning this thing, we need these two guys to keep doing what they are doing, being the quality baseball players that they are.