Dunn is so hilarious. I love that guy. Keep him a Cincinnati Red until the day he retires.
Dunn's role model? Ichiro
Reds slugger working to hit more singles to all fields like Seattle's star.
By Hal McCoy
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
LAKELAND, Fla. — Adam Dunn stood in the batting practice batter's box as hitting coach Brook Jacoby leaned on the cage, watching intently.
"This is how I'm going to beat that overshift they put on me during the season," said Dunn.
He ripped a ball through shortstop.
"Nice," said coach Billy Hatcher, another intent observer.
"And this is how I'm going to be Ichiro," said Dunn, promptly lining a ball up the middle."
"Nice," Hatcher said again.
Dunn is hitting .429 with three homers, a double and 11 singles this spring, including a home run Monday off Detroit left-hander Kenny Rogers during Cincinnati's 6-2 defeat.
"I'm going to be Ichiro (Seattle superstar Ichiro Suzuki)," said Dunn. "I'm going to have 216 hits, 177 of them singles, six homers and steal 77 bags."
An exaggeration, of course, but general manager Wayne Krivsky loves Dunn's spring forward approach.
"I love seeing those singles and the ball going to all fields," he said. "He's positive about it, too. I hope he stays positive because sometimes he is his own toughest critic."
Dunn wants to be The Compleat Hitter, shed The Whiff King label. He has worked diligently all spring with Jacoby to make it happen.
"I know I'm a good hitter because I've done it before," said Dunn. "It's down inside of me somewhere, and I'm going to get it out of there."
So what did Dunn do Monday? The home run he hit over the right field wall against Rogers went so far that a pressbox inhabitant recalled what broadcaster Dick Enberg once said of a Reggie Jackson home run: "That home run went so far that there was enough left over for a single."
Dunn laughed at the line and said, "Rogers hung a changeup, so I was lucky. Don't know how I hit it that far. He is so good, a left-handed Greg Maddux. A great changeup and can still throw 90."
Both Dunn and former teammate Sean Casey, now Detroit's first baseman, came out of the game after six innings, and they stood in the right-field corner for nearly half an hour talking about old times.
"That bet is still on," said Casey to Dunn. "I bet you $5,000 that you'd have 500 home runs by the time you're 35. Still on, my man."
Dunn is 27 and has 198 home runs, but Casey isn't aware of Dunn's new Ichiro approach.
"I'm happy with the way everything is going," said Dunn. "I feel so good in the outfield and so good at the plate. I just need for the season to begin. Now it is don't get into any bad habits before April and don't get hurt. That's the goal."
Bronson Arroyo was the starter and loser Monday, giving up four runs (three earned) and seven hits over 4 2/3 innings. Paul Wilson pitched three innings and gave up two runs and three hits.