Dunn played '05 with broken hand
Reds slugger says injury still hurts
By Hal McCoy
Dayton Daily News
Adam Dunn hit 40 home runs last season. He drove in 101 runs, scored 107 runs and walked 114 times — all with a broken right hand.
It's his football mentality.
Reds manager Jerry Narron let it slip this week at a Dayton Agonis Club meeting when somebody criticized Dunn.
"He broke his hand twice last year and wouldn't let us X-ray it because he wanted to play," said Narron.
When Dunn was asked about it, he uttered a profanity and said, "He isn't supposed to be talking about that. It was not that big of a deal."
Asked how long the hand hurt, Dunn said, "What time is it now?"
So, it still hurts.
"Yeah, I had it checked this week and the doctor said I should put a splint on it, but the heck with that," said the man who takes over first base for the Cincinnati Reds this year.
Dunn, a former scholarship quarterback at the University of Texas before he was the Reds' No. 2 draft choice in 1998, believes a little ol' hairline fracture shouldn't stop a 6-foot-6, 275-pound Texan.
And it didn't.
"In May in Houston, I was diving back into third base on a pickoff play and Morgan Ensberg stepped on the hand," he said.
Dunn played on.
"Later in the year, some home game and I don't remember who, I was hit on the hand, same exact spot," he said. "I remember how I used to make fun of Aaron Boone for getting hit on the hands all the time and asking him, 'How does that happen? How can you get hit on the hand? Can't you get out of the way?' Now I know."
Dunn was preparing Thursday morning to attend a dinner in Houston, where he was to receive the Major League Player of the Year award from the Houston baseball writers. It was suggested they were buttering him up for when he becomes a free agent after the 2007 season, so he'll sign with his hometown Astros.
"Don't know about that," he said. "I do know I thought it was a small gathering, but they told me today there would be 1,700 people there. If I had known that I would have said no."
Dunn, 26 and the owner of 158 homers in his four seasons with the Reds, is an arbitration case, asking for $8.95 million for this season. The Reds are offering $7.1 million.
Asked if the Reds had talked to him about signing a multi-year contract, he said, "That is a big no. Not a word. I've heard rumors, but nothing official."
Now that the team is under new ownership and a new general manager is coming aboard, Dunn hopes that changes.
"I've heard great stuff about the new owner (Bob Castellini)," he said. "He showed this team a lot by stepping right in and firing Dan O'Brien. I love that he wasn't afraid to do something. I hear he is a guy who will hang around the clubhouse and I love that.
"Too many owners you feel like they're the Pope and that you have to take off your shoes in their presence. But I heard Castellini is a regular dude and I look forward to meeting him," he added.
And his checkbook?
Dunn is looking even more forward to the first day he arrives in spring training camp, and his teammates have been forewarned. He remains a huge University of Texas fan and was at the Rose Bowl for the Longhorns' national championship victory over Southern California.
"I took a lot of heat and grief from teammates about Texas last fall," he said. "I'm going to have some fun when I get there and they're going to hear it from me non-stop."
There might be orange-and-white crepe paper decorating the clubhouse and he said a lot of his teammates might be forced to wear orange T-shirts under their uniform tops.