: I never read about Adam Dunn taking extra hitting or fielding, nor does he show up early for spring training in top physical condition. Does that mean he is content to be a mediocre player, or has the ghost of Barry Larkin infiltrated the Reds clubhouse? — Dave, Miamisburg/Centerville/Beavercreek
: I heard you were a remedial reader. It often has been written that Dunn takes early batting practice, but you have to pick up a newspaper to read it. Out of shape? The guy is 6-foot-6, 275 pounds and has no fat on his body.
I've heard some talk-show geeks say the same thing. Tell it to his face, but wear a football helmet when you do it. Why don't you give it a rest on Larkin. The guy was in better shape at 40 than most guys at 20. And even though he knew there was a chance young players might take his job, he always helped young infielders. And nobody took his job away.
: If Adam Dunn didn't know that Jake Peavy was pitching when Dunn showed up at the clubhouse that day, as you wrote, doesn't that indicate that Dunn does not prepare very well? — Jack, Fairborn
: He asked that very early in the afternoon. The Reds play a video of that day's opposing pitcher on the clubhouse televisions, and I have often spotted Dunn watching them, more so than most playersHow else can you prepare — dream about the opposing pitcher the night before? .
(With Peavy it would be a nightmare for the Reds.) If you can't prepare for a pitcher in five hours before a game, which is when most players arrive at the park, you'd be better off staying home, which might be a good idea for the Reds when Peavy pitches.