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Around the League: Colby Rasmus, Jim Thome, Adam Dunn and Aramis Ramirez

  • Mevs over at Diamond Hoggers offers a suggestion on how to spice up the All-Star Game and its other side-stage events: The Pitcher Home Run Derby.  So, who would win? I also applaud Mevs on the inclusion of Mike Hampton’s 1992 Bowman rookie card. That may be the most awkward card series of all time. See for yourself.
  • One of my favorite baseball bloggers, The Flagrant Fan urges the Cardinals to trade Colby Rasmus, and believes that a change of scenery would do the 24-year-old some good.  Over at FanGraphs, though, Steve Slowinski explains why the Cardinals will not be able to trade him. It’s important to note that both articles were written before Colby’s dad burst back on the scene.
  • Jim Thome is four home runs shy of becoming the eighth player in baseball history to reach the 600 home run milestone…and nobody seems to be talking about it.  Considering that Thome has NEVER been linked to any sort of PED use, and is perennially regarded as one of the best dudes in all of baseball, why aren’t people talking about this? Perhaps it’s because three of its current members were known steroid users (and flagrant liars). Babes Love Baseball is dead on when they argue that Thome’s 600th longball is both imminent and a huge deal.
  • With Adam Dunn as well as the majority of the White Sox offense still struggling mightily, Jim Margalus (my favorite White Sox blogger) of South Side Sox lays out several potential trades that Kenny Williams could swing as the trade deadline rapidly approaches.
  • Speaking of the ever-frustrating Dunn, our friend MTD from Off-Base Percentage airs his frustrations over Ozzie Guillen’s reluctance to bench the big man.  Apparently Ozzie will only sit Dunn if he’s not helping the ball club, which seems pretty ridiculous if you ask me.  There’s no way he is helping the team by turning in an 0-for performance every night which includes at least two strikeouts and three or four runners left on base.
  • One of the most frequently mentioned names in trade discussions has been Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who, in the face of a deal that would send him to the Angels, recently stated that he would veto any trade.  With 10-to-5 rights, Ramirez can only be traded if he gives it a thumbs up.  If he’s traded, his potential suitor will be forced to pick up his massive $16 million option for 2012, which seems like nothing given how much the Halos spent on Vernon Wells this offseason.  It comes down to this: Is Aramis Ramirez content with losing, or does he want to play for a contender? Foul Balls weighs in on the issue…
  • MLB Trade Rumors reported that the Tigers designated third baseman/super utility man Brandon Inge for assignment on Wednesday after acquiring Wilson Betemit from the Royals.  Even though he was never a star player, I’ve always had a soft spot for Inge.  No, it’s definitely not because he loaded up with a bunch of lame tattoos over the last few seasons. Rather, it’s because he’s an absolutely freak across the athletic board.  At 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, here is a summary of Inge’s sheer athleticism: can drive a golf ball 400+ yards; can dunk a basketball; MLB All-Star (that’s the obvious one); and he can kick (at least) a 50-yard field goal. Don’t believe me? Here’s a link to Laura Downhour’s original article which highlights the team-less infielders abilities. Oh yeah, dude also told a terminally ill kid that he’d hit a home run for him in a game….and did.

Golden Sombrero: Adam Dunn (No. 3)

Bottom 1: Adam Dunn called out on strikes against Livan Hernandez

Bottom 3: Dunn struck out swinging against Hernandez

Bottom 5: Dunn struck out swinging against Hernandez

Bottom 8: Dunn struck out swinging against Sean Burnett

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K

Notes: Dunn’s golden sombrero last Sunday was his third of the season, and accurately portrays his god-awful 2011 campaign.  Headed into Thursday’s game, Dunn’s slash line was .173/.308/.316.  In 279 plate appearances, he has fanned an MLB leading 100 times.  The last time we reported Dunn’s sombrero, he was hitless against left-handers.  Currently he’s 1-for-53 with 25 strikeouts.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 51

Golden Sombrero: Adam Dunn (again)

Top 1: Adam Dunn called out on strikes against Brandon Morrow

Top 4: Dunn struck out swinging against Morrow

Top 6: Dunn struck out swinging Morrow

Top 8: Dunn struck out swinging against Mark Rzepczynski

Final Line: 0-4, 4K

Notes: Dunn’s golden sombrero on Thursday was his second of the season (and second in the past week), and lowered his slash lines to a rotten .186/.314/.346.  Mired in a season-long slump, Dunn currently leads the MLB with 65 strikeouts in 45 games, and actually has more whiffs than total bases (54).  Who would have guessed that a quarter of the way through the 2011 season, Dunn’s performance would make Mark Reynolds’ .200/.305/.381 seem desirable?  In honor of last sombrero, I noted how the big man had not collected a hit off a left-hander in 31 at-bats.  Well, it’s now up to 33 at-bats, 15 of which have ended in a strikeout.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 29

Golden Sombrero: Adam Dunn

Bottom 1: Adam Dunn struck out swinging against Jon Garland

Bottom 3: Dunn struck out on foul tip against Garland

Bottom 4: Dunn walked against Ramon Troncoso

Bottom 6: Dunn struck out swinging against Troncoso

Bottom 8: Dunn called out on strikes against Lance Cormier

Final Line: 0-4, 4K, BB

Notes: Dunn, who has yet to record a hit off a left-hander this season, was the only White Sox starter without a hit on Saturday.  Furthermore, the White Sox only struck out five times as a team, four of which belonged to Dunn. The slugger is now hitting a dismal .190 this season.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 27

Opening Day Adventures: White Sox vs. Indians (4/1/2011)

For those who don’t already know, I spent Opening Day weekend in Ohio with my buddy Clint from Diamond Hoggers, where we took in the Reds and White Sox opening day games.  As it turned out, both were two of the weekend’s most exciting games, as the Reds won with a dramatic Ramon Hernandez walk-off, and the White Sox hit the crap out of the ball and put up 15 runs.  Their bullpen implosion is a story I’ll save for another day, however.

When we arrived at Progressive Jacob’s Field, the White Sox were in the midst of batting practice.  Based upon how my boys were crushing the ball during BP, I should have known they were going to put up 15 runs.  Adam Dunn was effortlessly going 15-20 rows deep with each swing and even deposited one in the right field upper deck.  Clint was busy tweeting/texting and almost lost his life after a Dunn line drive skipped off the top of the wall and right past his melon. Alex Rios had the best ball flight of anyone on the team – his blasts were majestic and looked like they were still rising even after they cleared the fence.  I watched Edwin Jackson throw a knuckleball to an unsuspecting John Danks, who had the ball deflect off the palm of his glove and flush into his chest.  The best part: Danks was laughing harder than EJax after it happened.