Jermaine Dye, the overlooked All-Star?
Torii Hunter’s injury departure from the American League All-Star team was not followed by the addition of White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye on Friday. Before White Sox fans complain about the unfair treatment of a clearly deserving selection for the Midsummer Classic, remember that Hunter was added through the players vote so he was replaced by Nelson Cruz–the next player in the outfield player vote.
“I was disappointed, like J.D. and a lot of people in this clubhouse, but in the meanwhile you cannot blame anybody. That’s the way it is,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “If I didn’t have any experience about picking the team for the All-Star Game, then I would be saying something.
“But I know, I have that experience, and a manager can’t do much. It did surprise me. I thought J.D. has had a pretty decent year and should be there, but in the meanwhile, they picked someone else. Hopefully, J.D. continues to play the way he’s played the first half.”
The assumption working around Dye, one of the tried-and-true but unassuming clubhouse leaders for the White Sox, is he would be traded if the White Sox fell out of contention. Dye is playing in the final year of a two-year extension, with a $12 million mutual option for 2010.
With Dye seemingly getting better with age, hitting .300 with 20 home runs and 54 RBIs entering the Twins series, the question was broached to Guillen on Friday as to whether Dye could stay with the team past 2009. Dye spoke about his contract situation back in Spring Training but has declined to address the topic once the season began. Guillen took the reins at the Metrodome.
“Believe me, I want to sign J.D.,” Guillen said. “If you ask me if I want J.D. here, of course I want him. If you ask (general manager) Kenny (Williams) if you want J.D. here, he’ll say the same stuff. We’re going to see how we finish.
“That’s my opinion. I hope he signs tomorrow. I love that man. That guy has been great for me. I guess we got to wait to see how we finish the season, which way we’re going to go next year.
“Our attendance has been pretty bad because we’ve played bad the first two months of the season,” Guillen said. “They have to weigh a lot of different things. But if you ask me about it, if I have the money, you’re not going to have two J.Ds. But in the meanwhile, it’s not my department.”
Guillen pointed out how Dye has been great defensively in 2009 and is running as well as he has in the past few years. But that’s part of the overall talent package Dye brings with him.
“Whoever signs J.D., I’ll be afraid because every penny he makes, he earns it,” Guillen said. “He comes to play, and plays hurt. No doubt.”