It was brought to my attention in the comments section of a post today that we'd never taken the time here at Federal Baseball to say a proper goodbye to the Big Donkey, the Big Dunn-K, the Bigger Wilkerson, or Big Wilky for short, Adam Dunn, who left the nation's capital after a two-year stint as the Nats' big middle-of-the-order bat to sign a 4-year/$56 million dollar deal with the White Sox in Chicago. I suppose it was mostly because I'd made my peace with the fact that he was leaving long before he signed in early December. I'm not just saying that, on October 13th I placed Dunn on a list, along with Expos' slugger Vladimir Guerrero and Alfonso Soriano, of HR's hitters and bashers who've been allowed to walk when fans wanted them signed. The decision to let Soriano walk turned out to be a good one as he's burdened the Chicago Cubs with his absurd salary and lack of commensurate production, but I'd like to hear someone argue that the Expos/Nats franchise was better off without Vladi.
Was the decision to let Dunn walk the right one? As someone who was against the original signing, I'd say I'm on the fence. 40 HR's (@ $8 and $12M per) on a 100-loss team never made much sense to me when pitching was needed, but I grew to enjoy the Donkey's game and accept that his ability to crush fastballs and get on base outweighed the shaky D and piles of K's, and I understand that the Nats had a price they wouldn't budge from and the fact that Dunn had to do what was best for his family and career. But that's all in the past. For now, I thought I'd just give anyone who wanted to the chance to say goodbye to Zim's buddy. After the JUMP I'll share my favorite Donkey moment and if you're so inclined, do the same, or just say goodbye and thank the big Dunner for his contributions to DC baseball history. Was it his HR in Citi Field that bounced off the bridge? The walk-off HR in Washington that Dunn hit off Jose Contreras in late September? That time he saved a game with his Crocodile Dunn-Defe-- ... (ed. note - "I'm being told Dunn never saved a game with his defense, sorry.")
• My Favorite Dunn Moment: During an interview internet writers conducted with Adam Dunn, Willie Harris, Ryan Zimmerman and (a silent, simply observing) Nick Johnson in 2009 I got my first opportunity to ask Adam Dunn a question which I'd solicited from one our readers, the estimable Doghouse, and I sheepishly asked the Nats' big middle-of-the-order bat Adam Dunn about a topic that was discussed often on Federal Baseball at the time: Dunn's ability to hit to the opposite field, which he seemed to develop while he was a Nat. (ed. note - "And I'll just point out that someone around here, whose name I won't mention (but his initials are D from NNN) says that Dunn didn't learn to hit to the opposite field, his bat just slowed so they ended up going that way.") Anyway, here's my favorite moment with Dunn :
Federal Baseball: I just had a question for Adam, one of the readers on my site wanted to know if you'd changed your hitting approach, at all, we noticed you hitting a lot more singles and opposite field hits in general?
Adam Dunn: "Yeah, I was uh, yeah, I've been working on that a lot, trying to hit, you know, a lot more singles this year and, um, you know, just trying to slap the ball to left, and things like that, you know try to use my speed game more...HECK NO, MAN!! (LAUGHTER)...Nah, you know, I don't know I think, it's a lot of little mechanical things, and you kind of work on and continue to work on, and just kinda allowing me to uh, you know, do that, I'm not trying to hit singles."
Say goodbye to Dunn below....