With the White Sox super-officially out of the running, talk of preparing next season is more than welcome. Hell, it'd ideally be the gameplan at this point.
Adam Dunn would just as soon have the whole campaign stricken from the record.
"I'll talk about this up until our last game, and then I'll never talk about it again."
"I don't know what Dr. Phil or anyone would say about it, but that's the way I'm going to go about it"
As someone with qualifications less than or equal to Dr. Phil, I can't imagine adding a more cogent analysis of Dunn's proposed approach than he already did himself; It's his. Just like his laid-back off-seasons, it'll have to fail horribly before Dunn's decision on what is most suitable way for him to cope with the greatest failure of his career.
It's not going to be the easiest path to take. Failure as spectacular as Dunn's is a fascinating and provocative thing, and there's no telling how often and how forcefully he'll have to reiterate his stance before it's taken seriously.
"I look forward to a nice winter and a nice comeback season. At the same time, I'm grinding through this one. It has been a grind. Some good, some not so good." - Peavy, Sept. 7th
“Yeah, it's been a [expletive] year, no doubt. I don't know how many starts I have left but I'll be ready to throw in those games. All in all it's been a crappy year. I'm looking forward to next year starting clean. I don't want to sound like I am giving up on the year, I'm not. But I'm definitely looking forward to starting with a clean slate.” -Danks, Same Date
It's understandable, but it begs the question of when the 2011 White Sox were left for dead, or just gave up, as it's starting to not appear to be a very recent development.
I don't ascribe to the notion that Guillen has to be raked over the coals for every time his crew of professional baseball players have lapses in absolute motivation, but let's chalk up 'players clearly counting the days until the season's over' as another reason why it's an odd time to ask for an extension.
Now that the crushing failure of the year has been removed for a fresh slate of meaningless baseball, September has revealed some suddenly viable players.
Dunn: .222/.382/.333 - .382 OBP! You can put a player with a .382 OBP in the lineup without getting institutionalized!
Morel: .279/.405/.689 - Just preposterous
Beckham: .215/.316/.338 - Better than his unplayable .489 OPS in August
This is easy enough to explain away without psychobabble about how many mental midgets are on the roster.
The samples are minuscule, Beckham isn't even doing much more than a dead cat bounce, Dunn is still broken, just walking. Morel is figuring out the league but combining it with a once-in-a-lifetime power surge. Rios finally managing to hit to his career-averages for the first time in 15 months is of most note. Still, there's nothing to focus on anymore but playing better, and simpler objectives seem to be helping for this crowd.
Messing with this vibe of transition and moving on is Mark Buehrle; the living, breathing reminder that this year should have meant more. On the last year of an expensive deal for a team looking to cut costs, he might be preparing to make his last start with the franchise that drafted him in a half-full stadium on Tuesday for a meaningless contest with Toronto.
It's a strange thing to ponder, rushing to the end and possible parting with one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the franchise. It's now, looking back on his body of work and the imminent possibility of Mark in another uniform, that I wonder why these moments weren't be cherished more. Sadly, the good-byes and departures of fan favorites, and many others to whom much is owed for 2005 and 2008, are only going to get more awkward and unfitting as the time between meaningful Septembers grows larger.