FIRE JOE MORGAN: Pointless Ode To A Big Donkey


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Pointless Ode To A Big Donkey

Another guy doesn't like Adam Dunn. His name is Paul Daugherty, and I'm going to write about his column. It will be a total waste of time for everyone involved, particularly the reader. This territory has been covered one million times. Please, I beg you, do not waste your time reading about another Adam Dunn article.

Instead, I recommend checking out the photos of the fake-or-not Bigfoot of Georgia, arranging wake-up calls for your friends from Hannah Montana, or getting super high and playing with this thing.

Last warning: you have read this article and the corresponding criticism may times before, in slightly different forms. Go away, now.

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...As insignificant as Dunn was to winning here, 40 homers and 100 RBI don't appear magically every March.

Nobody was winning in Cincinnati. Maybe Dunn was "insignificant to winning" (?) because his team sucked, and Dusty Baker chews a toothpick that makes him dumber. I'll give Daugherty this: it takes some pretty serious ballzos (an Italian word meaning "balls") to point out Dunn's massive productive abilities, and casually dismiss the notion that he might have been helping his team win in the same sentence. I look forward to reading Mr. Daugherty's new book: "Thousands and Thousands of Delicious Slices of Mouth-Watering Pizza That I've Eaten: I Hate Pizza."

Stop reading this, and call your mother or listen to Wowee Zowee or play some table tennis or whatever gets you through the day.

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.

Why should this apply only to Dunn? Don't get me wrong -- I get why they traded him, though I don't understand why they didn't do it earlier. But let me ask this: did anyone emerge as a clubhouse presence after Griffey was traded? Why should Dunn be singled out for failing to do so? If that's one of the criteria that the Reds value, then shouldn't anyone who didn't emerge as a clubhouse presence be given the same demerits, even if it doesn't end in a trade?

Maybe it's because he's a veteran, and he makes a bunch of money, and you ask a little more of guys like that. I could see that. I'm sure they'll hold Francisco Cordero -- a player with more experience, making just a bit less than Dunn this year -- to the same scrutiny.

This is so boring and such old news. EVERYONE GO SWIMMING I DON'T CARE IF YOU HAVE A POOL OR NOT.

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.

Obviously the first thing you do after reading something like this is check out Dunn's numbers this year. Find out how many RBI singles he has with RISP and two outs. In the back of your mind, you get greedy. You're hoping for something like 25 singles in 70 such at bats.

But I'll admit when I'm beat (sort of). You know how many singles Dunn has this year with two outs and runners in scoring position?



Point: Daugher -- fucking no! Wait. Let's look at the rest of Dunn's line with 2 outs and RsISP:

In 37 AB's (pretty small sample, of course): .216 / .453 / .730 (!) (1.183 OPS)
6 HR, 20 RsBI, 15 R, 13 BB

Dude was pretty fucking good when it mattered, if you think that's when it mattered. Now, everyone, take a nap.

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.

I can't tell you how beautiful I find this paragraph. It starts almost on Dunn's side, and by the end, we're just straight up slamming him for -- God forbid -- playing baseball like it's his job. Which it is.

"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.

Every attempt to discredit Adam Dunn makes me love the guy even more. He sounds like everyone's Dad.

But, oh, Adam Troy Dunn. You made the cardinal sin of baseball. Instead of using your laid back-ness as a character trait, you used it as a career choice. Didn't you know? It's totally acceptable for laid back to be a career choice if you're making, like, the league average, which is roughly 62 times the national median household salary. But once you're making 13MM/yr? Dude. Character trait only. Big mistake.

Also, by the way, his teammates liked him. Daugherty just told us that. They liked the guy. His mistake, apparently, was that he didn't lead stop reading this and do something productive like balancing your checkbook if people still do that I don't really know.

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.

On the off chance that any eccentric billionaires are reading this blog: I will pay one hundred U.S. dollars, and maybe more, for admission to a theme park called Left Field Land. May I make a suggestion, please? There should be a really good fried chicken restaurant in the food court called "The Fowl Pole." Also a giant waterslide into a pool shaped like Ted Williams' torso. And I hope this goes without saying: no women or minorities should be allowed inside Left Field Land.

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.

What's that? You think just because Paul Daugherty writes about baseball for a major newspaper, he should have a fundamental understanding of how waiver trades work?

You're so silly. I like you.

Only clubs with records worse than the Diamondbacks could have put in a claim on Dunn that would have made a difference. And most of those teams are out of contention, and have no reason to add Dunn's salary in a hopeless year. In fact, there were several reports that teams with better records than the Diamondbacks also put in claims for Dunn, hoping they might be able to snatch him up. So, more accurately: "Other clubs did claim him and the trade still happened."

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.

Far be it from me to suggest that a columnist, who just demonstrated a basic misunderstanding of how waiver trades work, in the midst of writing an article with such a trite premise that I'm getting tired of making fun of it, might be an ill-informed hack.

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.

One thing you have to say about stat geeks: there are no stats that they love more than Runs and Runs Batted In. Excellent research, good sir.

And you know what? Great work all around, guys. I formally invite anyone still reading this to join me in a murder-suicide pact.

NOTE: After reading the article in its entirety, I noticed that a number of commenters pointed out Daugherty's mistake about how trades work after the July 31st deadline. No corrections have been made as of the time this blog went to press, which is not a real thing.

Thanks to reader Mark R. for the article tip.

EDIT: Great note by reader Benjamin, who points out that only NL teams with a worse record than the D-Backs could have blocked a trade to Arizona.

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posted by dak  # 4:42 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
To Whom it may Concern:

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P.S. I should also mention that I am an inveterate racist and misogynist, and my best friend is an architect who designs torso-shaped waterslides. This may limit my options for investment opportunities -- or more likely, have no effect at all on anything; in fact it's hard to understand exactly why I even mentioned that thing about my best friend -- but I thought I should mention it.
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