Adam Dunn on his “one stupid year”

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There’s a good story about Adam Dunn by Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times today. Van Schouwen caught up with Dunn at home in Houston and talked about the train wreck that was Dunn’s 2011 season and how he feels he’s going to get back on track for 2012. Note: there is some flirting with Best Shape of His Life territory, but Dunn sadly downplays it.

The bigger takeaway from it all is the reminder that Dunn is a pretty cool and grounded dude. I always felt that way when he played in Cincinnati and Washington, but it was sort of lost last year as everyone seemed to talk more about Dunn than to him.

For his part, he’s straight-up about how badly he stunk last season. He’s a little miffed that “one stupid year” has made everyone forget how good he was for the previous decade, but he’s making no excuses. He’s working on his hitting. He’s just getting back up on the horse again.

Anyway, a good article about a guy who has always interested me.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.