Sunday, September 12, 2010 10:44 am
By Miss Chatter
No, not that decision (Morgan's suspension), the other one... With a moderately improved record over previous seasons, but lackluster denouement as this Nats season winds down, eyes are already turning to the off season. Football begins tonight and baseball is suddenly taking a back seat to DC's primary sports passion. But there are still a few weeks to go before the construction of next season's roster begins in earnest. Will slugging Adam Dunn be included in that construction, or will first base be manned by someone else? That is "The Decision" fans are waiting for. Heck, I would imagine that's the decision Dunn himself is waiting for.
Thomas Boswell at the Washington Post recently columned (is that a word? Spell check thinks so) that Adam Dunn's time with the Nationals will be up after this season. In fact, his column begins with a very bold, "Adam Dunn is done in Washington." Holden Kushner wrote the same here on CSNwashington. Yesterday, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said first base is a priority for the off-season. Now, that priority may mean re-signing Dunn after negotiating a contract renewal or it may mean looking elsewhere. Either way, the position is a priority.
Dunn didn't do much to help his case in Saturday's game against the Marlins, going oh-fer at the plate and committing two errors. A runner scored on the second error, but with the Nats bats practically muted, the extra run ultimately didn't matter in a 4-1 loss. On the other hand, he participated in a fantabulous double play combination rarely seen -- 5-3-6, alertly throwing a Fish out at third.
Dunn, a veteran presence with quick humor, possessing a tall frame allowing for an easy target at first base, still has his supporters as well. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman in response to a question Saturday agreed Dunn's size and reach on high throws was an asset. When the shorter less rangy Ronnie Belliard played over there, "that was tough." (Aw c'mon now - I loved Belliard!)
Rizzo stated his top three goals for the off season to bloggers assembled for another Nationals-hosted "Blogger Day" (more on that later) are pitching, a balanced lineup (leftright hitters), and defensive. Does Dunn figure into those plans? It's beginning to sound less likely. While, as Zimmerman conceded, Dunn's defense at first base has improved, first base is probably one position where a defensive upgrade is on the mind of Mike Rizzo. Also, a word missing from those goals is "offense" (but probably should be). We all know what Dunn brings to the table there. I, for one, would miss his impressive upper deck home runs.
With only a few weeks left in the season, The Decision on Dunn looms. Is anyone paying attention? The Redskins kick off their season opener at FedEx tonight and it seems baseball has already become the forgotten sport in these parts. Either way, I'm slogging out in the rain to take in another game because before you know it, there won't be any to attend as colder weather sets in. Shiver! At least TV sitcoms should be starting up again soon.