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

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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.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.