- Doug Padilla, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- Booing Adam Dunn for his struggles is just fine with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
Cheering when the struggling slugger was hit by a pitch crossed the line in his opinion.
Completely aware that it is in a no-win situation to criticize fans, Guillen instead expressed disappointment that some frustrated White Sox fans let out an audible cheer when Dunn was hit by a pitch in the second inning of Thursday's game against the Oakland A's.
"When he got hit by a pitch and fans [were] excited about it, they clapped, that hurt my feelings," Guillen said. "How are you going to be happy when somebody gets hit? What, because he gets on base? Well he's doing everything he can."
What Guillen might not have remembered is that when Dunn was hit with the pitch it loaded the bases, so not all of the cheers were likely to have been malicious. The White Sox went on to score three runs after the hit batter.
And as it turned out, Dunn hit a home run in his next at-bat turning potentially derogatory cheers into heartfelt ones.
In that sense it gave Guillen a greater respect for his slumping power hitter to be able to tune out not only his own struggles but home fans who think a 90-mph fastball off the leg is justice for disappointing play.
Despite his home run Thursday, Dunn was batting .120 (9-for-75) in his last 22 games before play began Friday. In home games he is just 10-for-80 (.125).
"Well they're right. [You] pay you a lot of money to see [a game] and [don't want to] go home empty," Guillen said. "That's the way you look at it too. Fans want to see him to produce. To play this game you've got to have a thick skin and you gotta make sure you prepare mentally to overcome and survive this game."
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.
8hTony Lee, Special to ESPN.com