Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Reds Slugger Adam Dunn is Now New Scapegoat

With ex-manager Jerry Narron and bench coach Bucky Dent packed and gone, outfielder Adam Dunn now emerges as the newest scapegoat in the effort to right the unright ship that is the 31-51 Reds.

Dunn -- almost assured of being traded before August -- is being depicted as a selfish, swing-for-the-fences, Dave Kingman-like slugger who failed to use his speed to run efficient routes in the outfield, had no ability to jump when balls narrowly reached the stands, was constricted with debilitating caution on the warning track and often was unable to find the cutoff man or throw to correct bases.

That Dunn was able to keep his errors to no more than a dozen or so has been seen not so much a result of his fielding ability but his refusal to extend himself to try for difficult flies at the edge of his range.

Dunn's strikeout proclivity and inability to sacrifice runners has also been assailed, as has his overall productivity at the plate, despite his annual 40 homers.

All right. All right. Dunn was less than perfect. But why was Dunn being hounded to cut down on those 100 walks per season? What did the Reds want? More whiffs? More Groundouts into doubleplays? Plenty of signs are evident that in Cincinnati, the problems went far beyond Adam Dunn.

As indicated by last year's trade of Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez and Ryan Wagner to the Nationals for some broken down relievers, a bag of practice balls and a Pete Rose rookie card, there's plenty of reason to think the inmates have been running the asylum.

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