Notes: Dunn looks to finish strong

Reds notes: Dunn looks to finish strong

CHICAGO -- Obviously, Reds left fielder Adam Dunn doesn't want to end his season scuffling at the plate.

Following an 0-for-3 game in Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Cubs, Dunn was hitless in his last 13 at-bats and batting .171 since Aug. 1. That included a .206 mark (7-for-34) with runners in scoring position.

"I definitely want to finish on a high note," Dunn said before Saturday's game. He is batting .237 with 40 home runs and 91 RBIs overall.

Wrigley Field would be a likely spot for Dunn to snap out of it. He has hit 17 home runs at the ballpark since 2001, the most by a Cubs opponent. But the 26-year-old felt it would take more than a favorable stadium for him to improve.

"There are a lot of things I'm doing wrong that are contributing to why I stink," Dunn said.

One issue bothering the lefty swinging Dunn has been getting out in front with his right foot instead of staying back on the ball.

"I've watched lots of tape, go to the cage and hit a lot," Dunn said. "I've just gotten into a bad habit and I need to get out of it. If I stay back, I'll be fine."

Suspended: Hitting coach Chris Chambliss was levied a one-game suspension, which stemmed from his ejection Thursday for arguing balls and strikes. Chambliss left the dugout to argue with home-plate umpire Rob Drake, something a coach is not allowed to do under Major League rules.

"That wasn't on my mind at the time," said Chambliss, who served his suspension during Saturday's game after he supervised batting practice. He was also fined an undisclosed amount by league disciplinarian Bob Watson.

"To be honest with you, I didn't know a coach couldn't leave a dugout or I would have stopped him," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "We got a memo but I didn't remember it."

Maybe the memo was missed by others, too. Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky was told nine coaches have been suspended and fined for leaving the dugout this season.

It was the first suspension of Chambliss' career at any level of playing, coaching or managing.

"I've been thrown out, but never suspended," Chambliss said.

A questionable ninth-inning strike called on Todd Hollandsworth by Drake had Chambliss boiling over, but he had been checking video of other calls during the game.

"I know we're not supposed to argue, but at the same time, we're watching it every day," Chambliss said. "The ball is supposed to touch the plate. If it's an inch off the plate, certainly, they have to have quick judgment to see what they're calling. A close pitch is a close pitch and if they call it a strike, nobody really beefs. But these were not pitches that were close. If it happened once, it wouldn't be a big deal. If it happened twice, it probably wouldn't have been a big deal. But it happened way more than that. I didn't know what to do except argue."

Eyeing change? Reds chief operating officer John Allen was with the club this weekend and enjoyed the sights and atmosphere by Wrigley Field's visiting dugout before the game. A reporter joked to Allen that ivy should be planted on the center-field batter's eye pavilion back at Great American Ball Park.

It turned out that there were already other plans for that area next season. The club wants to add a party deck.

"It'll be on top of it," Allen said. "We're still in the preliminary planning phase. It's not finalized yet."

Allen also plans to head to Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday to start the application process for state funding for a Reds' new Spring Training facility. The county already approved raising the hotel bed tax earlier this week. Allen said the Reds hope to be in a new training complex before the 2009 season.

On thin ice: Wrigley Field has a tiny visitors clubhouse and with 35 active players, plus the coaching staff, quarters are quite cramped this weekend. Ken Griffey Jr. realized how premium space was when he sought an ice pack for his dislocated right toe.

First baseman Scott Hatteberg gave Griffey a thin piece of tape attached to a single ice chip, which the center fielder applied as the ice instantly melted.

"A new millennium ice pack," Griffey said laughing.

Coming up: With his sore left elbow improved since getting a cortisone shot Wednesday, Eric Milton (8-7, 4.84) will make his scheduled start Sunday at 2:20 p.m. ET. In a change of assignments, the Cubs are going with ace Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.50) instead of scheduled starter Sean Marshall.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.