Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Dude" is a Diamondback

Early in his career, Adam Dunn's frequent use of the word "Dude" became a friendly joke among Reds beat writers. Dunn's perceived lackadaisical approach to the game and frequent defensive lapses were less amusing for Reds fans.

Truthfully, the Big Texan was his own harshest critic. Never have I encountered an athlete so self-deprecating.

I recall an interview in which Dunn was describing a sequence of pitches in a particular at-bat.

"I swung and missed," said Dunn. "Go figure."

Dunn considered himself to be an expert on few subjects - football and fishing being among them.

Side note: had the Texas Longhorns not chosen to move Dunn to tight end, he might have been playing quarterback on Sundays.

Don't misread, Dunn was bright, he just managed to stumble over his words at times.

In the visitors clubhouse in Cleveland a few years ago, Dunn overheard a teammate discussing Paris, France. Dunn bellowed, "Hey, does the Eiffel Tower really lean like they say it does?"

Realizing in an instant that he'd just confused the Eiffel Tower with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Dunn put a pillow over his face and hid in shame. Amid much laughter, of course.

Dunn's lumbering style and prodigious power is now on display in Arizona, where he will, much like his old teammate Ken Griffey Jr. in Chicago, try to take the Diamondbacks to the postseason.

Dunn's offensive production cannot be replaced by one player, certainly not via the Reds' budget. His presence in the clubhouse, both personally and professionally, also will be missed.

The Reds are in rapid rebuilding mode. When they return to Great American Ball Park this weekend, I won't be the only reporter asking, "Who are these guys?".

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