Adam Dunn prefaced the statement with a warning that he was about to be cheesy, but he then decided he didn't care.
The designated hitter has a month left in a four-year White Sox career that often failed to meet the expectations that come with a $56 million contract. He said Friday he is going to spend his last month with the club before free agency or retirement trying to help young players learn so they can live up to their own expectations on and off the field.
"It has been a very difficult time here," Dunn said. "And there are so many young guys on this team, I really want them to know not only how to play on the field … but how to handle themselves by being good teammates, by being good people. More than anything I do on the field, that's the most important thing I will leave, hopefully a lasting impression."
Dunn said earlier this month that he will make a decision whether he will retire or play another season at a later date. He sounded like a player pondering the meaning of his career when he added that he is judging his success on how he can help the younger players grow rather than his stats, which in four seasons in Chicago entering Friday were at a .202 batting average with 105 home runs, 275 RBIs and 718 strikeouts.
Dunn said since the beginning of spring training that he thought the Sox could win in his final season with the club, but instead he will spend his 14th straight October watching other teams in the playoffs.
“We petered out at the wrong time,” Dunn said. “We fought hard for a long time, but we just had a bad run, and that’s where we’re at. For people to sit here and say, ‘I told you so, I knew it was going to happen,’ kind of pisses you off because if they did really feel that way then they’re not going to be someone I want to associate with.”
Dunn may not have a lot to do on the field in the final month anyway. Paul Konerko could see more at-bats as he wraps up the final month of his career, and the Sox might have their eye on calling up another designated hitter/first baseman, Andy Wilkins, who hit his 30th home run with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday night.
With the Sox entering Friday 7-17 in August, they don't have much to focus on but the young group of players who will be with the Sox after Dunn.
"Guys get old; young guys come up," Dunn said. "You just hope that what you have done in here … rubs off, because if it did you've had a pretty successful career. That lasts longer than stats."
Harrelson could cut back: Sox broadcaster Ken Harrelson is considering cutting back on his schedule, possibly reducing the number of road games he covers so he can spend more time with his family, he told WSCR-AM 670.
"I have a 10-year-old and 7-year-old (grandson) playing ball in South Bend, and I am missing a lot of it," Harrelson said. "If I told you I was not thinking about (cutting back) I would be lying. I am thinking about it. I have not made a decision, but it will be one that my family will help me with.
Harrelson said through a Sox spokesman Friday that he didn't have more to add to those comments. Harrelson, 73 next week, has a four-year contract with the Sox through 2015.
"Hawk will talk with his family and members of the White Sox front office, and a collective decision will be made in terms of his 2015 schedule, which could be no change or altering his schedule," the Sox said in the statement.
Growing pains: Sox manager Robin Ventura said he understands right fielder Avisail Garcia will go through some growing pains after returning from a shoulder injury. Garcia is hitting .200 with 15 strikeouts in August.
"There's still some development in there that's going on," Ventura said. "Any time a guy who has that long a stretch of being on the DL … he'll get a shot of adrenaline right when he gets out there, and then this is the tough part for him."
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