I’m ba-a-a-a-a-a-ck. I was benched, but now I’m back.
The paper decided not to send me to Milwaukee, what with the team eliminated. So I took four days away from the world and played Mr. Mom.
Now I see what retirmemenrt is like and, hey, it ain’t bad. Read four novels (no, I didn’t start my book, but soon. I promise. Soon).
With Adam Dunn wearing Arizona rust, the paper decided a trip to the desert would b e OK, so here I am, enjoying the dry heat. It’s 100 out, but you don’t feel it. Yeah, right. If you believe that, I have some cacti you might enjoy sitting on.
Anwyay, after an uneventful and pleasant flight via American from Dayton to Phoenix, through Dallas, I had a chance to spend some time with Dunn.
And here it is (And, yes, I’m glad I’m back).
Adam Dunn, resplendent in his rust-colored Arizona Diamondbacks jersey, was leaning on a bat near the batting cage when Cincinnati Reds catcher Paul Bako walked up, carrying a cardboard box.
Dunn left Cincinnati in such a hurry after he was traded to the Diamondbacks August 11 that he left his black African masks hanging on a wall near his dressing cubicle.
Bako delivered them to Dunn and as he squinted toward the Reds dugout he said, “Bako is one of the few guys I recognize.”
Said Dunn, “Looking over there, it is so different. It’s way different. I don’t know too many guys. I didn’t think it would be that weird facing them, but now that they’re here, yeah, it is. It’s a different color red and Cincinnati red is all I’ve ever known.”
Dunn was asked if the Diamondbacks had talked about a contract for next year and he said, “No, nothing. And I’m not worried about it. I’m only thinking about two things — the 17 games we have left and Hurricane Ike.”
Dunn built a new home on Lake Conroe last year, about 40 minutes from Houston and his parents and grandparents live about 25 minutes from Houston.
“And they’re not going anywhere,” he said. “I’ve got aunts and uncles there, too, and they aren’t going anywhere. We’ll know more in the morning.”
Dunn even laughed when somebody brought up Hurricane Bronson.
First, Arroyo told writers the Reds traded Dunn because he was going to ask for between $120 million and $125 million for a new contract.
“Who is he, my agent?” said Dunn. “First and foremost, I would never say anything like that. And if I did the only guy I would have said it to would have been Ken Griffey Jr. But I didn’t say it.
“I don’t talk care about salary and I don’t talk about salary because there is nothing I can really do about it,” Dunn added. “I don’t care about money. I really don’t. Whatever.”
Then Dunn was told that Arroyo said on a recent radio show that the Reds pitchers enjoying the young outfielders chasing down balls, “And, yes, Dunn hit some home runs, but he didn’t catch some balls out there.”
Dunn shrugged that one off and said, “That’s because when Arroyo pitched I didn’t have to go after too many. They went over my head.”
Dunn has played first base five or six times, played some right field and was back in his familiar if not comfortable left field against the Reds Friday in Chase Field.
“I’m a utility guy,” he said with a laugh.
The D-Backs just lost six straight games on the road and fell from first place to second in the National League West, 3 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It’s been fun being in a race and, yeah, we’ve struggled the last week-and-a-half,” he said. “It’s a fun team and it’s a young team. It’s so different in many ways.”
In 27 games with the D-Backs, Dunn is hitting .267 with four homers, 15 RBIs, with 29 walks and 26 strikeouts in 86 at-bats.
Reds manager Dusty Baker looked up Dunn and later said, “It’s real strange seeing him on the other side. No matter which side he is on, he is a quality person, a quality guy.”
Dunn is pumped over being in a championship race for the first time in his eight-plus years.
“Yeah, it is different,” he said. “I just wish we could have played better on the road. We had a chance to separate ourselves (they lost three straight in LA, but we didn’t. We still have 17 games and anything can happen. We can get back on a roll. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Dunn took another glance into the Reds dugout and shook his head said, “It’s weird, so weird. I’m telling you. At least this is red — sort of.”
Dunn is wearing uniform No. 32, the same number Jay Bruce wears for the Reds, but Dunn laughed and said, “That’s not why. I know Jay misses me. Probably carries my picture in his wallet. I’m sure he sleeps with it.”Tweet