White Sox’s Dunn happy to be back in Washington

On Tuesday afternoon, White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn was back at Nats Park for the first time since Sept. 29, 2010, when he was a member of the Nationals.

At first glance, Dunn looks comfortable in familiar surroundings, messing with his chewing tobacco and talking to the media about his time with the Nationals. He played for Washington for two years and was one of their best hitters, hitting .264 while averaging 38 home runs and 104 RBIs.

“It’s great to be back. I love the ballpark, I love the city , I love the fans. I have a lot of really good friends on the team, so it’s good to see those guys,” Dunn said. “I loved every single day that I was here. This is a great place to play, from the front office to the clubhouse guys. I haven’t seen a lot of these guys in a long time.”

Before taking batting practice, Dunn was seen having pleasant conversations with principal owner Mark Lerner, general manager Mike Rizzo and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

When Dunn was with Washington, the Nationals were one of the worst teams in basebal, but within two years they became National League East champions.

“It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the team was going to be pretty good in the near future,” Dunn said. “You just didn’t know it was the very, very, very near future. It was a matter of time. The talent speaks for itself. The Nationals had a plan, they stuck with the plan. Everything has worked out pretty much like it should have. That’s a complement to Rizzo with the way he has handled everything.”

Dunn became a free agent after the ’10 season. The Nationals had a three-year offer on the table for months, but Dunn did not accept. He wanted a four-year deal and was able to get one with the White Sox. The Nationals replaced Dunn with Adam LaRoche, who was the Nationals’ MVP last year.

“It wasn’t my choice. I didn’t leave. I had to move on. I think it worked out pretty good for both sides,” Dunn said.

Dunn has a .185 career average with the White Sox. His worst year was .2011, when he hit .159 with just 11 home runs. He declined to say what wrong that year, but he sees a difference between the American League and the National League.

“Pitching is pretty good in the American League, from top to bottom. When you get into the bullpen in the American League, that’s where I see the big difference,” he said.

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