In an effort to shake a season-long slump that includes a .173 batting average and 100 strikeouts in 67 games Adam Dunn recently spent some time with a psychologist named Jeffrey Fishbein.
Here’s what Dunn told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago about the experience:
I talked to him a little bit. It works for different people. I don’t know if it works for me, but you know, I have talked with him and I even golfed with him. I like him. I’m not giving up, I promise you. I just need to go back to basics and quit thinking. It’s not me. I’m not a thinker. Have to quit thinking. That’s not me. I’m not a thinker. I have to see it, hit the damn thing and not make it so complicated.
“I’m not a thinker” is definitely one of my favorite out-of-context quotes of the season, but Dunn is probably right. He’s been so productive for so many seasons–topping an .800 OPS in every year of his career prior to signing with the White Sox–that I’d bet on his eventually getting on track. Whether or not that means he can be worth anything close to $56 million to the White Sox over the next four years is another issue, of course.
Asked if Fishbein is a good psychologist, Dunn replied: “I don’t know what’s a good one. Yeah, sure. I don’t know, it’s my first run-in with one.”
Fishbein probably won’t be putting that quote on any promotion materials any time soon.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.