Homecomings of one sort or another in Cincinnati

Dunn Returns to Cincy
Adam Dunn returned to Cincinnati for the first time as a member of the Washington Nationals Thursday night.

Before the game he met with reporters and told everyone he was not bitter that he was traded away from the Reds. The Nats slugger had plenty of hellos for former teammates and coaches as well as for Reds media and ballpark security. He was definitely a popular person here in Cincinnati.

Propped up outside the clubhouse on the way to the dugout was a plaque that Adam earned as a member of the Reds. It was the Heart and Hustle Award, the same honor Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman received a couple of weeks ago for his grit and determination on the baseball field.

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After the game he told me it was weird to come to the away clubhouse and take batting practice as a visitor, but once the game started everything was back to normal.

Stammen Back Home
Nats rookie Craig Stammen returned to his home state a day after one of his better pitching performances of the year against the Braves.

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He acknowledged that he made some good strides in his last outing, and pitching coach Steve McCatty told me Craig really trusted his stuff and was able to finish better, which made a big difference.

Like, Adam, Craig was also a popular guy at the Great American Ballpark. The Versailles High School standout had a lot of family and friends in the crowd, including his high school baseball coach.

Craig told me on Nats Xtra that he enjoyed coming to Reds games as a youngster and he had so many fond memories of sitting in the stands as a fan. The Ohio native even collected baseball cards as a kid.

Dibble’s Old Stomping Grounds
Former Reds skipper Lou Piniella told me recently he enjoyed his time managing Rob Dibble when Rob was a member of the Nasty Boys bullpen in Cincinnati. The two helped the Reds win a World Series here back in 1990.

Piniella said he loved the fact that Rob would pitch and throw strikes. Lou said too that he considered Rob a friend and he appreciated his passion for the game.