Adam Dunn’s back-to-back two-hit games a first for 2011

2 Comments

Lance Berkman, Adrian Gonzalez, Vladimir Guerrero and David Wright have all done it seven games in a row.  Kyle Blanks, Brett Wallace and Mike Moustakas are some of the lesser lights to do it at least five games in a row.  Now Adam Dunn has at least done it twice in a row.  With two doubles in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Indians, he’s posted back-to-back multihit games for the first time this season.

Dunn, who started just two games in a 19-day span beinning in late August, was given one final chance by manager Ozzie Guillen on Saturday.  He went 0-for-4 that day and 1-for-4 the next, but he finished 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI on Monday and 2-for-4 with another RBI today.

It’s raised his average to .168, the highest he’s finished a day since he was at .171 back on July 4.

The obvious hope is that Dunn can build a little confidence to take with him into next season.  The White Sox are on the hook for $14 million in 2012 and $15 million each of the following two years, so there will be no giving up on him anytime soon.

Of course, there’s really nothing Dunn can do from here to make his numbers look anything other than atrocious.  He’s currently 66-for-393 with nine games remaining.  The best-case scenario: if he could hit .333 in 30 at-bats the rest of the way, that would get him up to a .180 average for the season.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
27 Comments

In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.