Despite praising Rich Auerilia’s “veteran prescence”, I will endeavor to take the following proposal from the Dayton Daily News’ Hal McCoy seriously.

It was written in this space exactly a year ago that it was time for the Cincinnati Reds to trade Wily Mo Pena and Austin Kearns. Somebody was listening, right?

Pena was traded during spring training for pitcher Bronson Arroyo. How did that work?

Kearns and shortstop Felipe Lopez were traded July 13 in an eight-player deal that, so far, hasn’t done that much for the Reds.

Is it time to trade Adam Dunn? Probably. Houston salivates over the thought of having the hometown guy on their roster. The Chicago Cubs and L.A. Dodgers have shown interest in the past.

This is a tough one because it isn’t easy to find guys who hit 40 home runs every year, walk 100 times, score 100 and drive in close to 100. But can the team stand 180 strikeouts nearly every year, a batting average that dwindles every year ” .266, .247 and .233 the past three seasons? And Dunn has yet to meet an easy fly ball.

As a person, there is none better. As a teammate, there is none better. As a guy who recognized his shortcomings, there is none better. But because he is only 26, he might be a piece the Reds could dangle for a starting pitcher.

Joe Girardi was interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial vacancy yesterday, and while the meeting supposedly went well, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Mariotti can’t understand why Girardi wasn’t offered the job on the spot.

Why isn’t the deal done already? Why haven’t they signed the contract, done the news conference and launched the latest campaign to convince millions of masochists why they should keep pouring their hearts, minds and money into Team Misery?

Andy MacPhail may have quit and run and the Rev. Johnnie B. may have been dumped after twisting in the dust, but none of that means the Cubs still aren’t the Cubs. In what Hendry himself calls the most important decision-making process of his shaky tenure, he could be playing a dangerous poker game. He wonders if Bruce Bochy might be let go by the Padres. He wonders if sanity might prevail in the Bronx and Torre somehow stays, possibly making Lou Piniella available.

Please. Cubdom doesn’t want Bochy, Lou isn’t coming and, last I looked, three other major-league teams are seeking managers, a total to become four if Torre is fired. At least one of those teams, the Washington Nationals, openly covets Girardi, and so might the Yankees, who groomed Girardi as Torre’s bench coach two years ago. So don’t be foolish, Mr. Hendry. If Girardi fits whatever plan the Cubs are assembling and if he wants the job as badly as it appears — is there a local TV or radio show he hasn’t done in recent days? — then execute your deed. Announce it later, if need be, but get it done.

The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga has Lou Piniella all but removing himself from consideration for the opening in DC.

“You know, they’ve got a team that’s going to be building for the future,” Piniella said at McAfee Coliseum, where he will serve as an analyst for Fox during the American League Championship Series. “That’s a situation that’s really not for a guy like me. I think they’re going to go for a young manager — and rightfully so.”

If I could find any Devil Rays fans, I’m sure they’d concur.