With his batting average hovering around .160 and a league-leading 110 strikeouts, Adam Dunn has had no reason to believe he’d be included in this weekend’s All-Star festivities in Phoenix so he was surprised when he got the call Thursday afternoon.
“Apparently there’s a new strikeout competition and they want me to be a part of it,” said Dunn. “I’m not real sure how it works, but just to be picked to participate in the All-Star weekend is a real honor.”
The first-ever “All-Star Weekend Whiffathon, sponsored by The Modern Fan Company” matches the three hitters from each league with the most strikeout totals on the season against each other in a game of tee ball. Whichever team makes it through the entire game with the fewest number of strikeouts wins $100,000 for the charity of their choice.
Other participants are speculating on Dunn’s impact to the competition.
“I’ve got the three highest single-season strikeouts in league history and even I’m pretty sure Adam’s going to the reason we lose this,” said Baltimore’s Mark Reynolds, an A.L. Whiffathon teammate of Dunn’s who’s struck out a total of 638 times in the last three seasons. “He’s so bad I wouldn’t doubt it if that tee racks him up for a golden sombrero by the third inning.”
Arizona’s Kelly Johnson said he’s looking forward to a big victory in front of a home crowd, thanks to Dunn’s inability to make contact.
“Adam used to play here,” said Johnson. “If they miss him at all now, they won’t by the end of this game. I predict six strikeouts in eight at-bats for the Big Donkey. And those two non-K’s are only because the our coach Jose Hernandez will feel sorry for him late in the game and insist that Dunn get to bat with a tennis racket his last two times up.”