MIAMI -- The timing was uncanny and entirely coincidental.
An unfounded trade rumor had circulated Thursday morning reporting that Reds left fielder Adam Dunn was traded to the Brewers. Sure enough by the same afternoon, Dunn emerged from a closed door meeting with interim manager Pete Mackanin and members of the coaching staff.
However, Dunn wasn't headed anywhere. Instead, he had something on his mind and wanted to talk with Mackanin about it.
Several times, including the previous three games vs. Atlanta, Dunn had been lifted during the late innings for Norris Hopper in left field for defensive purposes. In Tuesday's game, Cincinnati had a six-run lead in the seventh inning.
The meeting was viewed as entirely positive.
"It was a great conversation," Mackanin said. "At least he expressed it. Every manager loves players that don't want to come out of the game. He didn't come in complaining. He was expressing that he didn't like coming out. It was kind of a 'get it off your chest' good. He's fine with everything."
Although a prolific home run hitter, Dunn is considered below average defensively.
"I understand a lot of situations. I've got it. I'm not dumb," Dunn said. "We just talked about some situations. [In a] one-run game, I've got it. Sometimes, though, in the seventh inning, there's a lot of game left."
"'It's not that I think you're a bad outfielder,'" Mackanin said he told Dunn. "'Hopper is going to get to more balls and has better range. It's that easy. It's not that we think you're going to drop balls.'"
Since taking over, Mackanin said he's tried to meet with many of the players individually and build working relationships.
"It's important for them to know that I'm approachable," he said. "I prefer if they have a problem, come in and talk to me and I'll do what I can. I think players like a personal touch. It's more important for me to talk to the guys that aren't playing well and show them you're not mad at them."
"He's an easy guy to talk to," Dunn said.