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Three Errors for Dunn

Well, Adam Dunn, the feel-good story of the WBC thus far, laid an egg in last night's meaningless game in Miami -- three errors at first base. Here's Amy Shipley's final gamer, which didn't make all of the print editions because of the rain delay.

So what does this mean for the Nats? Is Nick more secure at first? Is the idea of Dunn playing first once a week still a viable one?

Something to talk over until Chico gives us some injury updates...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 19, 2009; 8:14 AM ET
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... is Nick more secure at first? Based on this particular "Dunn/error" paradigm, I'd say yes.

... but based on the fact that the Rizz cut Hill from the good ship Nats because he couldn't be sure of Shawn's health, I'd say Nick better come to the park each day wrapped in gauze - either to instill confidence, or to be ready for shipping.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 19, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Josh Willingham needs to unpack his first baseman's mitt.

Posted by: chiefwj | March 19, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

This should mean not a thing to the Nats.... Three errors in a game at a position that you have not been practicing at with a team that you do not regularly play with is not an indictment against ability.

To me the better strategy all along has been using Willingham at 1B anyway. But I have not seen that the Nats have played him there at all this spring. It seems to me that leaving Dunn in left is the most likely scenario. If healthy I would think Johnson will be traded before September. Similarly, I think Kearns could be traded mid year. By July Kearns will only require a 4.5M investment for a team in a pennant race.

In any event Dunn's 3 errors in a meaningless rainy WBC game should not define his worth as a 1B.

Posted by: natbisquit | March 19, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Fantastic insightful and uplifting Marquis Grissom story, Chico. Along with Barry’s reporting from the Dominican Republic, it’s Pulitzer-type stuff. I also enjoyed yesterday’s feature about T.C. Williams High School, written by your colleague. Together, they represent some of the best and most inspiring sports news reporting anyone can imagine. How lucky we are to have Marquis Grissom! Not so much with LM.

“The players are given books to read. They wear slacks and collared shirts. They eat together. … This year, Grissom expects about 80 percent of the players from his top 18-year-old team to go to college.”

“From a young age, athletes are cautioned about T.C.'s C-average requirement to participate in athletics (a sore point with many because of the students it excludes) …”

In re Mr. Thrilledge: His dad, Tony, says he's the spitting image (spit and image, actually) of veteran Marquis Grissom.

"I don't really compare myself to a major league player, cause I want to be more special than somebody else.”
“Milledge … weighs every word rather than blurt out answers to questions.”

Milledge: “I did it my way. Nobody else told me what I need to do. I didn't try nobody else's way. I tried my way.”

Grissom: “I did what I had to do; what I was told to do … When my coach told me something, ‘This is how you do it,’ it was a done deal.”

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 19, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

2010 #1 Draft Prospect is a once in a lifetime talent!

Posted by: longterm | March 19, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

It is very telling that, in regard to Dunn playing first base, Davey Johnson said, "it's not something the Nationals want me to do with him." Sounds likes the Nats are only looking at Dunn as an outfielder for the time being. That means there are way too many outfielders on this roster right now.

Posted by: Bob_L | March 19, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The following are courtesy of Mets' fans who listed 750 "Lastings Milledge hype" observations, when they were lucky enough to have Lastings Milledge on their team a few years back. Course Lastings Milledge has matured a lot since then. Lastings Milledge on Lastings Milledge, modestly of course:

Lastings Milledge once hit a home run on his back swing. Civil War cannons were nicknamed "Lastings Milledge's Arm." When Lastings Milledge hits a home run, he's disappointed that his at bat is over. Lastings Milledge puts his shoes on first, then his socks. Lastings Milledge doesn't need to blow on soup when it's hot. Lastings Milledge makes an out only when he wants to. Lastings Milledge could shatter Ty Cobb's batting average record, but that would be unfair.

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 19, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Lastings Milledge is allowed to say "bomb" at the airport (because he can do whatever he wants). Lastings Milledge hair doesn't grow, he intimidates it out of his head. Lastings Milledge isn't on the All-Star ballot because no other outfielder would receive a vote. The other starters would be whoever Lastings Milledge feels like playing with that day. Lastings Milledge can retransmit Major League Baseball without express written consent. The reason Claudia and John Henry Williams have their late great father, Ted Williams, frozen is so that they can produce a clone to challenge Lastings Milledge for at least one batting title.

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 19, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

MLB has been renamed LMB for Lastings Milledge Baseball. When Manager Willie Randolph said that Lastings Milledge's arm was actually "average," Lastings called Willie into HIS office for a talk. When Lastings Milledge is beaned the trainer comes in to see if the ball is ok. Jesus wears a bracelet. That bracelet reads: WWLMD." Lastings Milledge was born on April 5th, 1985. Sidd Finch disappeared after an article first published in early April 1985. Coincidence?

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 19, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Lastings Milledge can eat just one potato chip. Lastings Milledge fought the law, and Lastings Milledge won.
Lastings Milledge wasn't late for the game. The game started too early. Lastings Milledge can't go swimming because he would change the water into wine. When Lastings Milledge shows up late for a game, MLB delays the game time to match his arrival. Lastings has apologized many times - he didn't mean to let the dogs out, but they were starting to annoy him.

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 19, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Lastings Milledge's parents didn't name him Lastings believing he would be their last child. He told them he would be the last one. MLB is discussing how the box score format can be changed to properly recognize Lastings Milledge's at-bats. The money used in heaven says "In Lastings we trust." In Lastings Milledge’s right rear view mirror, objects are actually further away than they appear.

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Milledge: “I did it my way. Nobody else told me what I need to do. I didn't try nobody else's way. I tried my way.”

Grissom: “I did what I had to do; what I was told to do … When my coach told me something, ‘This is how you do it,’ it was a done deal.”

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 19, 2009 8:46 AM


... I've stayed away from the LM debate here on NJ, because first of all, he sounds a lot like me - independent and not given to suffering fools gladly; I like the guy and want him to succeed. Secondly, I don't have enough background or first-hand knowledge of his foibles to be able to speak knowingly about them or how they impact his abilities or performance on the field.

... but in all honesty, the juxtaposition of the two quotations offered by nova_g_man (above) must make even the most tolerant fan sit up and take notice.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 19, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

BTW, the rest of Dunn's WBC stats (courtesy of the WBC site): 7 G, 19 AB, 9 R, 7 H, 1 D, 0 T, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 17 TB, 8 BB, 7 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .571 OBP, .895 SLG, .368 AVG, 1.466 OPS.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 19, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Cutting and pasting is fun!

Here's some from me:

Saul Rivera's WBC stats: 0 W, 0 L, 0.00 ERA, 5 G, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0.27 WHIP, 2 HLD, 1 GF.

Joel Hanrahan's WBC stats to date: 0 W, 0 L, 2.08 ERA, 5 G, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1.15, WHIP, 1 HLD, 1 GF.

Caveats: I couldn't get the tables to come out right so I had to plug in the codes by hand. Some of the stats aren't particularly useful in the case of relievers (and the WBC), but I just cut and pasted the whole shebang because doing it's just so much fun do to that!

Now you have the rest of the WBC story (hat tip and R.I.P. to Paul Harvey).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 19, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Redundancy and online editing are fun, too!

I typed: "but I just cut and pasted the whole shebang because doing it's just so much fun do to that!"

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 19, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Crud. New posted. After all that work, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 19, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

He can play 1B. The lousy game last night is just what he needed to get serious about getting prep in over the next several weeks to be ready to play there (at least on an occasional basis). BUT, I don't think that it matters anyway as Nick Johnson will get most of the starts at 1B, Dunn will play LF and one of those right hand hitting OF's will be traded by Opening Day.

Posted by: dfh123 | March 19, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Dunn will play there in at least one more WBC game because it doesn't look Youkalis is coming back and the only other 1B on the provisional roster (D. Lee) is injured.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 19, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I think it's a pretty good sign that Dunn can't play the position well enough to put him there full-time. They were pretty ugly errors -- a combination of inexperience at the position and a lack of suitability. It it were only the former, I'd say he can grow into it. It's more than that.

I think the Nats should count on Nick Johnson this year. And, next year. After that? Well, maybe Chris Marrero might have a shot at it. I don't know if Dunn id still here in 2 years. If he is, it will be in the outfield.

By then, we will have the final word on the Lastings Milledge experiment. Either he's grown into someone who belongs in center field, or we have someone else there. Personally, I think it's laughable. He may grow as a hitter, but he's inept in the outfield. He hurts the team there. As Dunn would hurt the team at first base, even if we didn't have the best-fielding first baseman in the NL.

Bring back Shawn Hill!!!

By the way, what is the obsession here among some, with being new-posted. Does the discussion end because there's a new thread, on a different subject?

Posted by: fischy | March 19, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

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