The Argument Against Adam Dunn...PLUS...A Mark Teixeira, Free Agent Update...But First...

WINTER LEAGUE WEEKEND ROUNDUP...

Dominican Winter League...

Friday - 

Friday night in the Dominican Winter League, the Tigres del Licey took a 7-4 road decision from the Estrellas de Oriente, with help from DC and Licey infielder Ronnie Belliard's 4th HR in just 12 games with the Tigres, a solo shot which left Belliard with 15 RBI's and a .356 AVG... Anderson Hernandez, starting at second for Licey, was 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double and his 28th RBI in 43 games in which he's now hitting .372...

Saturday

Ronnie Belliard had the night off Saturday, so it was all Anderson Hernandez in the Tigres del Licey's 9-8 win over Gigantes del Cibao, as the presumptive starting second baseman for DC in '09 finished the night 4 for 6, with 3 runs scored and another double, #19 this winter, for a .381 AVG, 19 doubles, 6 triples, 1 HR and 29 RBI's in 44 games with the Tigres...

Sunday - 

Belliard hit his 2nd double of the Winter on Sunday, but the Tigres del Licey lost to the Leones del Escogido by a score of 5-1. Belliard ends the day 1 for 3 with a .354 AVG, and Anderson finishes the game 0 for 5 with a K in the Licey loss...

Puerto Rican Winter League...

Friday - 

Criollos de Caguas' right fielder and DC outfield prospect, Justin Maxwell, was 2 for 5 Friday in an extra-inning affair with the Cangrejeros de Santurce, which Maxell's Criollos lost 5-4 on a run in bottom of the 12th. Maxwell's hitting .212 after 25 games this Winter, his Criollos' teammate and fellow DC prospect Garrett Guzman was 1 for 4 with a triple, 2 RBI's and a .276 AVG after play Friday. 

Saturday - 

There were 23 runs and 32 hits combined between the Criollos de Caguas and the Lobos de Aricebo Saturday night in the Lobos' 13-10 win on the road at the Parque Yidefonso Sola Morales. Justin Maxwell went 1 for 3 with his 5th double and 20th RBI of the Winter. Garrett Guzman, as DH for the Criollos, finished the night 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and his 15th RBI.

The Argument Against Adam Dunn...

Want to see how deep this goes?...Just take this quote, for example, from Adam Dunn in an article by MLB.com's Chris Haft from April 28th of 2002, entitled, "Dunn, Kearns making an impact", where the then 22-year-old Adam Dunn talks about the emergence, within the Reds' organization, of outfielder Austin Kearns, who had just debuted with Cincinnati 10 games earlier:

"'I've said it a thousand times -- the guy's unbelievable,' Dunn said. 'Nothing he does surprises me. He's one of those players like (Jose) Rijo. He can do whatever (he wants). He doesn't get rattled. He knows how to hit. He plays good defense. He's just good.'"

Later in the article, Mr. Haft talks to Bob Boone, then the Reds' Manager, about both of the young Reds' stars, and though there's no mention of him in the article, we all know who the General Manager of the Reds at the time was, right? Jim Bowden...

Kearns, Dunn, Rijo, Boone, Bowden...Austin Kearns is currently the Nationals' overpaid/underachieving right fielder, who'll be battling for a spot if he's not traded before Spring Training, and who'll be making $8 million dollars in the next-to-last year of his contract...Adam Dunn has been identified as Washington's backup plan, (which no doubt thrills him), should the Nationals' overtures to free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira remain unrequited. Bob Boone is DC's Co-Asst GM and VP of Player Development...Jose Rijo?, Special Assistant to the GM, and DC's General Manager?...of course, is Jim Bowden...

...These guys came to town with their own agenda and they've been carrying it out under our noses for years now without anyone raising even the slightest objection...It is my opinion that DC GM Jim Bowden is...(I'm just kidding, there's no conspiracy here, Mr. Bowden simply still believes he was right in his initial judgement of Kearns' and Dunn's talents back when he brought them to the Majors with the Reds...Which is why I firmly believe Dunn will be in DC next season...My argument against Dunn is simple...)

...170, 126, 195, 168, 194, 165, 164...Yes, those are Dunn's strikeout totals for the seven full seasons he's played in the Majors...In his first year, Dunn K'd 74 times in 66 games, which projects to over 180+ whiffs...No one ever describes Dunn as the "K- Per-Game and More" outfielder, or as a "guaranteed-K-a-Game Man" Adam Dunn, no, he's the guy who's good for 40 homers and 100 RBI's...How about these #'s...15, 11, 8, 9, 13, 6, 11...Error totals from Dunn's 7 full seasons in the Majors...including 15 errors in 127 games at first base in his career according to baseball-reference.com's Dunn page...oh, and he's 29 years old, 30 in Sept. '09, just barely fitting into the "free agent in their 20's" prototype that the franchise has said they would consider acquiring if it would help the team's growth...He really does hit 40 HR's every year though? 46 in '04 and 40 each year since...and he has been just over or below 100 RBI's in each of the last five seasons...but why spend big free agent money on a 40/100, defensively dodgy 1st baseman on a team you're openly admitting won't compete for years now? More exciting losses? I still say, barring Mark Teixeira's signing...go with Nick Johnson and the top 1B prospect backing him up, (he should get plenty of time) so whoever's next-in-line at first in DC learns how to play the right way...

Teixeira Update...as of 10:30 pm EST 12/15/08...Mark Teixeira has not yet accepted or rejected the Washington Nationals' generous offer...

The Nationals are quickly getting relegated to the final paragraphs and the second tier of teams in most reporting on the high-stakes chase of free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira, with ESPN.com's Buster Olney even going so far as to title his most recent blog post, "Nats, O's shouldn't be in hunt for Teixeira", and Mr. Olney is not kind, as he first rationalizes the Red Sox' and Angels' pursuits of Teixeira and then asks bluntly, "But what in the heck are the Nationals doing in this poker game?"

I'll forgive what I see as hyperbole when Mr. Olney states, "A casual baseball fan might be able to identify perhaps one of the Nationals' players, Ryan Zimmerman..." (ed. note - "...since he uses a possessive apostrophe.")..because if nothing else, most fans at least know DC outfielder Elijah Dukes, though mostly for all the wrong reasons rather than what he accomplished on the field and at the plate last season, and all of New York knows Lastings Milledge thanks to the NY-Media hype machine that touted and then quickly turned on the Mets' one-time top outfield prospect...and all of Philly...(ed. note - "What up, Champs!")...knows John Lannan, since he broke Chase Utley's hand...by mistake, totally...(ed. note - "...and I never wish for anyone to get injured, but if Utley's hip issues have something to do with the landing on his diving shoulder block into Jesus Flores, well...")

But I believe Buster...uh, sorry, Mr. Olney, is spot-on when he writes, unfortunately apparently still captivated by his time in Vegas and continuing the gambling analogy:

"...the table at which the Nationals and Orioles are playing right now is just pricey, and they should excuse themselves and spend their money on young pitching -- whether through the draft or through international signings -- and wait until the time is better. To do anything else is nothing less than lunacy."

(ed. note - "Lunacy, huh (laughs)...Mr. Olney also says the same about those suckers up north in Wire-country...What the heck are the Orioles doing in the chase for Teixeira,...right?")

Daniel Cabrera? 

A few federalbaseball.com readers have floated the free agent former Orioles' pitcher Daniel Cabrera's name as one the Nationals should take an interest in, and according to a post at the MLB.com Hot Stove blog by MLB.com writer Alden Gonzalez entitled, "Some of teams interested in Cabrera revealed", (ed. note - "And you think my titles stink?"), the Nationals are, in fact, one of nearly a dozen teams interested, as Mr. Gonzalez writes, "...the Tribune-Review confirmed that the Pirates are one of those teams. Other candidates to be involved include the Nationals, Brewers, Blue Jays, Padres and Rangers."

The Baltimore Sun article that Mr. Gonzalez references is by Baltimore Sun writer Dan Connolly, and it's entitled, "Cabrera looking at departure 'in a positive way'". Mr. Connolly says the 27-year-old, 6'7'', 230 lb, Daniel Cabrera's agent Mike Powers:

"...declined to reveal interested parties, but the Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays have shown interest in Cabrera in the past."

The Nationals "have show interest in the past"? Good enough for me...I'll buy any rumor...

Teixeira Update...as of 10:30 pm EST 12/15/08...Mark Teixeira has not yet accepted or rejected the Washington Nationals' generous offer...

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