Adam Dunn downplayed the significance of it initially, as he wont to do with most things (including his current contract negotiations), telling MLB.com writer Todd Lorenz in an article at the time entitled, "Reds' homecoming a downer", that the 535ft HR he put out of Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati (where the Reds and Nats meet tonight), "...didn't mean anything. The park's, what, 3 years old? Wily Mo [Pena] will probably run into one that doubles it." Wily Mo Pena never did hit one farther than Dunn's blast off LA Dodgers' pitcher Jose Lima on August 8, 2004, though he did come close, hitting a 498ft blast in 2005, but as it stands, Dunn's ridiculous shot, which went out over the batter's eye and reportedly, "...finally settled on a piece of driftwood at the edge of the Ohio River," according to MLB.com's Mr. Lorenz, is still the longest HR hit in Cincinnati's home park, and, in fact, Dunn, the one-time Red and current Nat, is still responsible for three of the top ten HR's hit out of Great American Ball Park since it opened in 2003.
Here's how ESPN.com's Jayson Stark described the trajectory of the Dunn HR in an 8/20/04 article entitled, "Witness the Adam bomb":
"Over the fence in center field, 404 feet from home plate. Over the 20-foot patch of grass behind that fence. Over the 32-foot-high hitter's eye at the back edge of that grass. Then over yet another wall that separates Great American Ball Park from the rest of the world."
The ball reportedly bounced when it hit the pavement beyond the center field wall, and, as Mr. Stark wrote, "...hopped along for another 200 feet or so and came to rest on a piece of driftwood on the banks of the Ohio River. Which, according to local geographers, meant it was hit in Ohio and came to rest in KENTUCKY."
Dunn and the Nats will be back in Ohio tonight for the first of three with the Cincinnati Reds, but just how long Dunn will remain with Washington is a topic that's going to be discussed ad infinitum at least until the July 31st Non-Waiver Trade Deadline passes.
The latest word, after reports yesterday that Dunn's reps are asking for a 4-year/$60 million dollar deal from the Nationals, comes from FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal this afternoon, in an article entitled, "A-Rod's suddenly an afterthought", which has a section on Dunn subtitled, (humorously, I think), "THE DUNN CONUNDRUM (CHAPTER 424)", wherein Mr. Rosenthal writes that the Nats should offer the 30-year-old 40/100 threat a 3-year/$36 million dollar deal or, "...make the best trade possible before July 31. It's really that simple." As was the case last time Dunn was a free agent, however, Mr. Rosenthal writes, quoting an anonymous "rival executive", that, "...some teams believe Dunn’s defensive shortcomings cut into his offensive value. As the exec says, "Teams will pay him not to put a glove on his hand." Ouch. Not nice, and sure to ruffle the feathers of those amongst the DC Faithful who appreciate the way in which the big middle-of-the-order bat has improved defensively to keep himself on the field.
Are the contract talks distracting Dunn? Is that the reason for his current mini-slump so soon after his HR explosion a week or so back? 12 days and counting until Dunn and the DC Faithful know what the future holds...