Don Cooper saves Adam Dunn from infamy

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Adam Dunn is not in the lineup for the White Sox’ last game today. Nor was he in yesterday’s starting lineup. That — and many other offsdays recently — means that he will not get to 503 502* plate appearances. Which is key, because that’s what you need to qualify for the batting title, and if Dunn qualified for the batting title, he’d set the record for the lowest batting average for a qualifier of all time.

The record holder is Rob Deer, who hit .179 in 1991. Dunn is at .160, so if he had played yesterday and today, he would have stood a good chance at shattering the record.  Which would have been something of a shame because Rob Deer is fun to remember and 2011 Adam Dunn basically stinks of failure.

Enjoy the pine today, Big Donkey. It — and the mercy of interim manager Don Cooper — is saving your butt from infamy.

*Sorry. Rounding error/brain lock issues. 

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: