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Thomas Boswell: This Dude Is No Dud When It Comes to Hitting

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Does Nationals Park suit him? Dunn looks sheepish. "What's our ballpark like? I can't remember it," said Dunn, who played three games there last season.

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"High scoreboard in right center field," Kearns said.

"Oh, good," Dunn said sarcastically.

The right field concourse, where no one has ever hit a ball, is about 490 feet away. "That's reachable," he said with a grin.

Not much is beyond his reach. And he'll have time to learn his new park. "The biggest thing to me in coming to D.C. was length of contract," Dunn said. "I wanted at least a couple of years. That's all I asked for. I'm tired of hearing about trades every July. I just wanted to find a home."

A home where he won't get booed if he gets his normal 100 runs, 100 RBI, 110 walks, 40 homers and 160 strikeouts would be a bonus. "My defense is very adequate. I can run when my knee isn't hurt. It feels the best in years now," Dunn said. "It's not like I don't want to get to 'em."

The Nats have many questions, including a mystery bullpen, that wrinkle Manager Manny Acta's forehead every day. But one part of his day is bliss -- batting practice.

This week, Acta watched as Dunn hits three straight blasts half way up the light tower in right field. Slowly, Acta's expression changed. "How stupid am I?" muttered the manager. "That's where I parked my car. Nobody ever hits it out there. I wonder if I have a windshield."

Acta's SUV escaped. Many pitchers won't be as lucky.


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