Dunn provides big target at first base
By Hal McCoy
Dayton Daily News
QUESTION — With Wily Mo Pena's defensive deficiencies, why didn't they move him to first base instead of Adam Dunn and leave Dunn in left? — Dave, Miamisburg/Centerville/Beavercreek
ANSWER — Why do birds sing, why do fools fall in love, why do Pena and Dunn wear gloves afield? Both will tell you they would rather hold bats then wear fielding mitts. At first base, though, the 6-6, 275-pound Dunn makes a target that even third baseman Edwin Encarnacion can hit.
Q — Gidday, Hal. We get no U.S. baseball Down Under unless we have pay TV, so my question to you is how realistic are the Reds' chances of winning the World Series? — Michael, Sydney, Australia
A — I'm assuming the baseball news down there is 30 years behind the times and you are asking about the chances of the 1976 team after the '75 team won the Series. Here's a news flash. The '76 team won. But if you're serious about this year, the Reds have about the same chance of making the World Series as I have of becoming mayor of Adelaide.
Q — Pitcher Dave Williams may have been unconcerned about his appearance against the Korean team (one inning, five runs and four hits that included a three-run homer), but it bothered me. Yes, spring training is a time to refine your pitches, but I want to be a competitor every time I step on the field. — Bill, Dayton
A — Williams sincerely begged the beat writers not to write too harshly of him, that there will be better days. For his sake and the sake of the Reds, there better be. If Williams fails, the legions of Sean Casey lovers will make, 'I told you so,' the most spoken phrase east of the Mississippi.
Q — Are the Reds better off with new ownership and all the front office personnel? — Ted, Dayton
A — Was it working under owner Carl Lindner? No. Was it working under general manager Dan O'Brien? No. If it's broke, fix it. It has to be better because it couldn't be worse. But it is going to take patience and putty to patch this thing up.
Q — With the quality, or the lack thereof, of starting pitching, how can five individuals be anointed as the starters before a single exhibition game is played? — Tim, New Carlisle
A — That's just manager Jerry Narron being brutally honest, and he definitely is an honest man. Check the roster. Do you see Roger Clemens? Do you see Pedro Martinez? What you see are names you don't recognize and what you see is what you get. Unless there are injuries or abject failures, there isn't much behind Aaron Harang, Brandon Claussen, Paul Wilson, Eric Milton and Dave Williams. So Narron is being honest. Unless a big-name pitcher mistakenly parachutes into camp and is captured, what's here is here.
Q — In my opinion the Reds haven't been competitive since they were in the division with Atlanta and before the wild card. It's like they want to do the bare minimum to make the playoffs. — Todd, Dayton
A — Ah, the old National League West, occupied by Cincinnati and Atlanta, while the National League East consisted of St. Louis and Chicago. Nobody ever accused baseball of being the favorite in a geography bee, but they did have maps then, didn't they? At that time, Atlanta was a muddy doormat. Now that the Reds are centrally located in the NL Central, they'd love to return to the watery weak NL West, but obviously Bud Knows Geography. And, hey buster, the Reds won the division in 1995. You can't win every year.
Q — Why is there so much consternation about the way Pete Rose admitted he bet on baseball? He told the truth, didn't he, and one always tells stories to make themselves look good. — Larry, Dayton
A — What's the start of baseball season without a Pete Rose discussion? Yes, he thought about it for 14 years and decided, 'Yeah, I bet on baseball.' He didn't come clean. He came tell-tale gray. He didn't tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He told some truths (some lies), half the truth and anything but the truth. A hundred years after he dies, Rose fans will want him re-instated so he can manage the Reds.