Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cincinnati is over-Dunn

The sportswriters of the baseball world all seem to be against Adam Dunn. The man just cannot seem to overcome his high strike out rate even though he is tied for the NL lead in home runs and is in the top 20 for OBP, SLG and OPS. Yes, the man strikes out once in every three at-bats, but he also gets on base more than he strikes out.

Paul Daugherty is the latest to trash on Dunn and his trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Dunn too much to afford
Defense, demeanor, salary too costly

The Reds, who are exciting only when they're not playing, traded Adam Dunn to the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday for a 23-year-old Class-A starting pitcher named Dallas Buck who, in another life, died in old Western movies. Cincinnati also will receive two players as yet unnamed. Unless the pair throw like Seaver or hit like Perez, you have to wonder what's up.

As insignificant as Dunn was to winning here, 40 homers and 100 RBI don't appear magically every March. After the club traded Ken Griffey Jr., the brass wanted to see if Dunn would emerge as a clubhouse presence. Apparently, after 11 days, the brass had seen enough.

No, you don't have to wonder. The Reds suck and have for a while. Just because the Reds have traded away Griffey and Dunn does not mean the team's atmosphere meter will suddenly swing to the winning side and the Reds will start winning.

Griffey and Dunn were high-priced players that the Reds felt they were not getting their money for and sent them away for cheaper players and open up payroll for upcoming years to sign players that might, emphasis on might, turn the Reds' fortunes around. The question should be, did anyone step up in those 11 days? I've seen the sorry state of this team and I really did not see anyone who would really fit the bill as leader.

As insignificant as Dunn was to winning here, 40 homers and 100 RBI don't appear magically every March. After the club traded Ken Griffey Jr., the brass wanted to see if Dunn would emerge as a clubhouse presence. Apparently, after 11 days, the brass had seen enough.

What is wrong with 40 HRs and 100 RBI per year? The Reds had been shopping Dunn around longer than Griffey. I'm pretty sure that even if Dunn had stepped up as the leader of the team, he would have been traded away. We all know he "clogged" the bases and Dusty Baker does not like base cloggers.

Regardless, Dunn's tax bracket didn't match his production, at least not here. He'd have wanted too much money for what he provided. Dunn was who he was: a guy who could hit a baseball 400 feet more often than almost anyone else, but couldn't produce a two-out RBI single.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Daugherty did not do his statistical homework on this one. Lets take a look at Dunn's stats for two outs and RISP:

# of singles - 1

Fuck. One fucking single. But wait...let's check the rest of his stats for shits and giggles:

AB: 37
BA: .216
OBP: .453
SLG: .730!
OPS: 1.183!!!!!!!!!!

6 HR, 20 RBI, 15 R, 13 BB!

Holy shit, dude. Do you fucking homework!

He was slow, he had a mediocre arm, he played a dangerous left field. He was a big man whose bigness could give the impression he wasn't trying. Baseball wasn't his passion. It was his job. He played it that way.

Just because he didn't ooze passion, like say, Ken Griffey, Jr., doesn't mean he wasn't trying. So Paul, are you passionate about your job or do you just work?

"Another day closer to retirement," Dunn said once a few years ago, around the batting cage before a game. That was Dunn. His teammates liked him, but he didn't lead. Laid back should be a character trait, not a career choice. Not when you're making $13 million.

This paragraph makes me want to compare Dunn to Marvin Harrison. All of his teammates like him, but he does not come off as a leader (albeit due to Peyton Manning). He is super laid back and makes a fortune, at least compared to me. Laid back is not necessarily a bad trait.

It's doubtful Arizona will keep him after this season. Dunn will be the prototypical DH in '09, when his adventures in Left Field Land won't be duplicated.

If I had the time I would mock-up a Left Field Land and I am enough of a dork to go all on it too. Stay tuned, it might just happen.

Did you really want the Reds to lock up $60 million for Adam Dunn? Did you want them to offer him arbitration and hope he'd decline it, so the club would get two draft picks? What if he accepted? (Hint: More of the same.)

Which is why he was put up on waivers in the first place.

The optimum would have been for the Reds to move Dunn before the trade deadline. Nobody wanted him. That's why Mark Teixeira was dealt, and Jason Bay and Manny Ramirez and Xavier Nady, while the Big Donkey stayed a Red.

How do you know nobody wanted him? How do you know if the Reds got offers but asked for too much in return?

Dunn's value was always seen as greater in Cincinnati than elsewhere. To be dealt to Arizona, Dunn had to clear waivers. Any other club could have claimed him and the trade would not have been made. None did. Because J.P. Ricciardi was wrong to say what he said about Dunn doesn't mean what he said was wrong.

Once again, Daugherty shows his ignorance of baseball, even though he IS a baseball writer for a newspaper.

The waiver wire works this way as I understand it:

Team A puts Player Z on waivers.

Any team can claim Player Z before the waiver deadline.

If a team claims Player Z, Team A can arrange a trade, rescind the waiver, or let the player go to the claiming team.

If more than one team claims Player Z, then the team with the weakest record has the claim on Player Z.

Just because the D-backs won the claim, if the Cardinals, Cubs or Phillies had tried to claim Player Z as well, the D-back would get the claim since they have a worse record than those above.

Bravo to the Reds to actually get a few players in return.

You could say the rest of Major League Baseball was being nice to the Reds and the Diamondbacks. Or you could suggest Dunn ain't all that.

Or I can suggest you are a fucktard extraordinaire and are enamored only by batting average, wins and ERA.

I suggest the latter. More to the point: Dunn never improved. He went through a steady stream of hitting coaches, none of whom could change his style or approach. After coach No. 3 or 4, you start to believe it was the hitter, not his coach.

Those enamored with numbers couldn't get enough of Adam Dunn. Stat freaks genuflected at the foot of Dunn's on-base percentage, while dismissing his detractors as ill-informed hacks.

You are an ill-informed hack as I have demonstrated more than once in this article alone! He gets on base, he hits HRs and he knocks runs in more than most on his team!

Forty Homers! Hundred RBI! Hundred Runs! Look at that man ... Walk! The standard argument was, and is, "How do you replace numbers like those?" We're about to find out.

Based on the current Reds roster, with more than one player. See previous comment on enamorement with hack statistics.

This is further evidence that Walt Jocketty evaluated the '08 Reds and became ill. He has, in 11 days, removed the twin heads of the patient. Griffey and Dunn are elsewhere. Will the Reds be better without them? Could they be any worse?

Well, we are about to find now, aren't we. The Reds will be able to see how their younger players work out and see if a "leader" can actually emerge. Or, they will implode and we will all get to watch the majestic fallout from it.

Time now for the clubhouse culture to undergo a sea change. Who wants to win? Who wants to prepare to win? Anyone? Elvis and his sidekick have left the building. Who wants the footlights now?

So which one was Elvis? Your team is still shitty and will continue to be shitty until your big wigs can put a respectable team on the field and you get rid of Dusty Baker.

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Blogger Slut Bunwalla said...

Good analysis, Zinglebert. What I love is Daugherty's disdain for the walk as a positive aspect of Dunn's game. This is in contrast to when writers go on and on about "gritty" players (such as Gritty McGritterson, David Eckstein) and point to walks as an example of how these gritty players do "the little things" to win ball games. I guess when you are a big guy and hit 40 HR a season, walks are no longer a good thing.

August 17, 2008 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Slut Bunwalla said...

I know this is late, but how about the increasingly popular "really long posts" tag?

August 17, 2008 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Zinglebert Bembledack said...

"Really Long Posts" tag has been added.

It's not my fault Daugherty wrote a long, fucking atrocious article.

August 18, 2008 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Slut Bunwalla said...

No, you gotta do what you gotta do. I'm sure we can count on more articles like that from Daugherty.

August 18, 2008 at 9:16 AM  

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