Peavy, Dunn Return to Prior Glory for White Sox

Jake Peavy and Adam Dunn have finally given the Chicago White Sox everything the team thought it was getting when it made the moves to get them.

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McDonald’s has become a dynasty because of consistency. When you walk into one of the fast-food giant’s restaurants in Seattle, it is going to be pretty much the same fare you are going to get at a drive-through in Tampa.

That same type of consistency is what the Chicago White Sox thought they were getting when the traded for Jake Peavy in 2009 and picked up free agent slugger Adam Dunn before the 2011 season. The two have given the Sox anything but that consistency – Peavy for three injury-plagued seasons, Dunn for one disastrous year.

But so far this year, the two have been the dominant performers the Sox thought they were getting all along. Peavy has been superb as a starter in the Sox rotation, posting a 6-1 record thus far, including a brilliant late-May showing against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out. Dunn has once again become the long-ball threat he had been with the Washington Nationals, clubbing 17 home runs through Sunday and helping the Sox to a surge that has put them atop of the American League Central.

The Sox went for broke last year in signing Dunn and re-signing first baseman Paul Konerko and ringing up a hefty payroll. They wound up broken with a disappointing sub .500 record. The off-season departure of pitching ace Mark Buehrle and their high-profile manager Ozzie Guillen and the trade of outfielder Carlos Quentin gave the message that the youth movement was on for Chicago’s South Side team. But keeping stars like Konerko and catcher A.J. Pierzynski let it be know the Sox weren’t totally in rebuilding mode just yet.

With the American League Central being a very lackluster division this year and the Sox finally starting to put things together, expectations are quickly rising for the squad. Having possibly put .500 in the rearview mirror for good, hopes are starting to emerge – thanks to the solid performances of Dunn and Peavy – and the bastion of consistency Konerko.

With the Sox finally figuring out how to play winning baseball in their home park, it could be an interesting summer. With just seven wins in 19 games at home at one point, the Sox have clawed their way to .500 at home, with a 14-14 mark going into Tuesday’s action against the Toronto Bluejays. As long as Peavy and Dunn and other veterans keep leading the way, a Central Division crown seems within reach.

If the duo of Dunn and Peavy continue with such consistency and excellence, every Sox fan may soon be stealing and using the McDonald’s slogan “I’m loving it.”

 

 

This is an updated version of a column first published on www.baseballreflections.com.

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