Sunday, July 8, 2007

You're A Raging Anti-Dunnite!

David Eckstein. Darin Erstad. Scott Podsednik. Notice anything familiar about those 3 players? They are all white, undersized, below average to average ball players. Also, all three guys give huge hard-ons to the print media. The writers choose to make light of or completely overlook their suckitude on the diamond and instead focus on their grit, hustle, and teambuilding je na sais quoi. Writers have gone so far as to assert that David Eckstein, not Albert Pujols, is the Cardinals team MVP.

I bring this up not to make fun of those writers (Fire Joe Morgan has that covered), but to ask why isn't there any love for Adam Dunn? In a sport increasingly dominated by foreign players (Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Johan Santana, to name a select few), you would think that writers would latch on to all of the white stars that they could. It happens in the NBA (Steve Nash, Adam Morrison) and NFL (Tom Brady, Peyton Manning). Apparently it happens in the MLB with only the very worst white players (the above mentioned trio of scrubs). Why wouldn't these writers focus on the white players that are actually valuable (novel concept, I know). Enter Adam Dunn. What is not to like? Since his arrival on the scene in 2002, Dunn has been one of the game's most prolific homerun hitters. He's a 6'6", happy-go-lucky, Texas good ol' boy that would most likely relate well to the casual fan, but he gets no coverage. How many more feelgood stories about pitiful white ballplayers (Darin Erstad was a punter!!) need to be written before these writers focus on guys who are GOOD? David Wright gets a fair amount of coverage, but I would wager that has more to do with his presence in New York than anything else.

Is it his height? Would Dunn get more media love if he were a more Ecksteinesque 5'7"? Is it his supposed lack of hustle (still waiting on someone to calculate how many extra wins David Eckstein's HORP [hustle over replacement player] is worth to the Cards)? Do baseball writers for some reason hold it against Dunn that he makes hitting homers look so effortless?

We here at KAD will continue to do our part in championing Dunn's exploits on the field while continuing to cringe every time we see a Scott Podsednik slurp-piece (he's really fast!!).

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Your Dunn Chat Questions Answered Here

Today Jonah Keri and Keith Law discussed MLB at (Insider required), and KAD was able to get a few questions in about Dunn:

Keep Adam Dunn (Ohio): The Reds would be foolish to trade AD this season, right? There's no way Krivksy would get fair value. Thanks Jonah.

Jonah Keri: (12:36 PM ET ) Depends what they can get. Dave Cameron os the awesome blog USS Mariner did a study looking back at the past seven years to see what happened when top-flight players were traded at the deadline. Turns out of all the deals made for similar guys, only three times did the team getting prospects back net anything that was all that useful. Now maybe some of those young guys just need more time to develop and work out later. But the take-home lesson from the study was that teams should be very judicious in shopping that kind of players, and should only pull the trigger if they get a great package of talent offered to them. Personally, I'd like to see more teams go after 1-for-1 deals in such situations. It's not that I expect the Angels to trade Brandon Wood straight up, or the Yankees to trade Jose Tabata, etc. But it only takes one desperate team to make a deal like that it's worth broaching, anyway.

It's unlikely Krivksy will be able to get a 1-for-1 deal for Dunn. So he should just stand pat. Regardless, Wayne would probably rather do a 3 for 1 and pick up some bullpen help (read: overpay for marginal arms that won't help the Reds in any way long term).

WK (Florida): Wouldn't an AL team in the hunt be crazy to pass up on a guy like Dunn when you see similar players like Vernon Wells making $18 million? You would have to think a team in contention would love to have a bomber like that at their DH spot.

Jonah Keri: (12:49 PM ET ) Don't think anyone expected Vernon Wells to tank like this. If he was hitting the way he has in the past, combined with the fact that he's far more valuable to a team as a CF (as opposed to someone like Dunn, who's a stretch to even play LF), then we'd be treated that contract as a market-value deal. But I agree, Dunn could help an AL club, especially one willing/able to DH him. The thing is, there may not be that many potential buyers out there. If you're the Tigers, do you give up booty to get him when you're the best offense in MLB? Do the Yankees make a move when they could Giambi back, who's essentially the same guy but older? There might be a fit with the Angels, but their offense has exceeded expectations, they get Juan Rivera back soon, and Bill Stoneman has always been conservative about trading his young players (with good reason...guys like Kendrick, Napoli et al are big reasons they're doing so well). I'll tell you who I'd like to see make a run at Dunn: the A's? I mean, talk about a perfect fit. The only issue is, who do you DH, Dunn or Jack Cust, who's basically Dunn Jr. (even though, shockingly, he's older than Dunn is). Oakland does need a big bat, though, and you know Beane's not going to stay quiet forever. Should be interesting.

I think trading for AD would go against everything Oakland stands for, especially given that Dunn will become a free agent after this season. Oakland does not contend every year with that payroll by "renting" players for 50 games and giving up prospects.

BD (Ohio): Does Krivksy realize that Adam Dunn is only 27 years old and under a reasonable contract for this season and next considering his production? Why would he trade him now and get far less than fair value? Thanks KLAW.

Keith Law: (1:08 PM ET ) Rivsy can't stand strikeouts. It's a great example of a team focusing more on what a player does poorly than what he does well. I really think they're going to build a team there that hits for average, never walks, and can't figure out why they don't score.

Law left out great bunters. Krivsky and the most vocal of Reds nation clearly want a team of 9 Ryan Freels who will "lay it all on the line" and "play the game the right way." Forget that a team of Freels would struggle to score 600 runs a season, and a team of Adam Dunns would routinely score 1000+; it's more important that teams move runners and look to take an extra base.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Conventional Wisdom We Miss You - Part I

Hello everyone, I would like to introduce myself. I am WK, first employee of, brought on board to address comments left by readers of this blog, as well as comments from other blogs and message boards.

Now on to the post...

"Anonymous said...
If Dunn seemed to give an ounce of shit for winning baseball it would be different. He is a homerun/walk collector who statnerds love because they never use their eyes to judge a player. OPS is a great stat when used as one tool among multiple tools to judge a player. Everyone dismisses the 20 - 30 runs Dunn gives up by letting singles become doubles, doubles become triples and outs become basehits. He is lazy, slow and shows no interest in getting better. Dunn just got Narron fired. If he would work on his game instead of being the exact same player he was five years ago, he would get more leeway. He still is a dead pull, high K, high walk, defensive nightmare - the exact same thing he was in 2002. His stat line is too consistent. Great players get more productive in their late twenties. OBP, HRs, RBIs increase while negatives like Ks decrease. Dunn is a 40 HR 90 - 100 RBI player with no chance on increasing to a 50-55 HR, 120+ RBI guy. ManRam is bad in the outfield, but he drives in 130+. I would rather see Jay Bruce take his lumps and work his way into a great player than watch Dunn continue to be an ok hitter/walk machine who never improves, even in what should be his prime. Good job Adam, you got Jerry Narron fired."

Allow me to open the intellectual thought box and lead you to the promise land...

Man you couldn't be closer to the truth. I wish Dunn would just work a little harder like Manny and collect the same stats. Forget the fact that Boston lets Manny bat 4th every game while Dunn has to bat 4th, 5th or 6th (lately having Conine bat 4th...allow a moment of silence for Jerry Narron). We can also toss aside Manny having Damon, Renteria, and Ortiz in front of him in 2005 (144 RBIs). I mean Dunn should easily put up similar numbers with .275 (if he's lucky) hitters in front of him while Manny has .316, .275 and .300 hitters in front of him. In no possible way should anyone compare Dunn to Manny’s 130+ RBI seasons. Manny played/plays on a far superior team and gets paid twice as much as Dunn.

How about we compare him to Vernon Wells, which would be much more realistic. Wells just signed a 7 year $126 million contract last year but is of similar age to Dunn. It can be argued that prior to this year, the talent level on the Blue Jays was similar to that of the Reds. One would think that if Dunn is such a bad deal at $10 million a year, Wells should absolutely crush him for an average of $18 million a year.

They are nearly identical in terms of games played (901 Wells v. 900 Dunn). Wells a .285 lifetime average to Dunn's .247. Lifetime numbers show that Wells also has 47 less runs, 26 less RBIs, and 69 less homeruns during that span. Now time for the "statnerd" numbers. Wells v. Dunn OBP (.333 to .377), slugging (.487 to .561) and OPS (.820 to .894). All of this shows that while Dunn does K at a much higher rate, he is collecting more runs and RBI than Wells. Now don't call me Joe Morgan (please don't) but isn't the point of the game to score runs? Do you want a hitter that strikes out less but also scores and drives in runs at a lower rate? I can see it now..."Way to go guys, we played hard coming up short 7-6. Special recognition to you Vernon, we could have used that run but hey at least you didn't strike out!"

As far as your concern about lack of hustle and people never using their "eyes to judge a player." There are literally hundreds of 30 year old guys dying to play in the Majors, but stuck in the farm system. You think the GMs are saying "man we really need to call that guy up, he hustles to no end...and will probably go 1 for 40 scoring 0 runs and 0 RBIs. Yeah let's pull this consistent productive player." While there is absolutely no argument saying Dunn is going balls to the wall or a great defensive player, are you prepared to spend $18 million for a better defensive player like Wells or spend less but get a guy with heart who doesn't produce?

Finally, I don’t agree with your argument that Dunn being consistent is a bad thing. Do you have any idea how many GMs would fall in love with a consistent player? They know exactly what they are paying for and exactly what they will get. Sign player A (guy like Dunn with a 2 year $18.5 million contract with an option) who will give you 90-110 runs, 90-110 RBIs a year, and 40+ homeruns…or Sign player B (lets just say Pat Burrell who signed for 6 years $50 million) who has seasons that no one can predict putting numbers up all over the board. Which player gives you the consistency you need to form a winning team?

If Dunn wants Wells type money I would think hard before possibly letting him go, but there is just no argument that he is a bust as a $10 million masher. Sure you can find young talent for a tenth of the price...and rebuild forever.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Adam Dunn, All-Star?

Well, no, at least not officially, but should he be on the team? To make his case, let's see how he compares to the 7 (!) National League All-Star outfielders*.

First, Dunn's rank among all National League outfielders in the following (as of July 1):
23 homers (1st)
54 runs (1st)
54 RBI (4th)
39 walks (t-4th)
.561 SLG (7th)

Let's compare Dunn's ranks in the above categories to three actual All-Star outfielders.

Exhibit A) Aaron Rowand
11 homers (t-16th)
50 runs (t-4th)
42 RBI (13th)
28 walks (t-12th)
.478 SLG (24th)
Yes, I realize Rowand is a better defensive player, but it in no way makes up for the gap in hitting prowess. Not to mention the fact that Rowand is playing exceedingly above his head this year, and Dunn consistently mashes. Of course Rowand does lead in the highly valuable "running into walls" category.

Exhibit B) Alfonso Soriano
15 homers (t-4th)
53 runs (2nd)
30 RBI (27th)
21 walks (28th)
.544 SLG (8th)
Take away Soriano's recent tear the last few weeks, and his numbers would be even more dismal than they already are. However, this still falls considerably short of what should be deemed an All-Star season. 27th in the National League in RBI among ONLY OUTFIELDERS for the $100+ million man? Seriously?

Exhibit C) Carlos Beltran
14 homers (7th)
45 runs (8th)
49 RBI (9th)
36 walks (9th)
.482 SLG (20th)
Beltran was voted in by the fans, so if this is who they want to see, they got him. However, based strictly on the numbers, he is not an All-Star.

So it appears that Adam Dunn should be an All-Star this season. By now, we should realize the Reds fans themselves would never vote in Dunn, so there's no way he could beat out Beltran. However, he should have definitely made this team ahead of both Rowand and Soriano. Also, how is Jimmy Rollins not an All-Star? I suppose I'll leave that analysis up to a Phillies fan.

* KAD reserves the right to cherry pick the stats that best support our case.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Narron Fired!

Keep Adam Dunn is elated to report the following: Jerry Narron has finally been fired! Advance scout Pete Mackanin was chosen interim manager. The Reds are currently 31-51. Even if a Bobby Cox-Jim Leyland-Jack McKeon amalgam was coaching this squad, they still wouldn't be anywhere near .500. However, it will be nice to get a guy in there who (hopefully) won't do the following:
  • Bat Adam Dunn 6th and sometimes even 7th in the lineup. [And people wonder why he has fewer RBI than other sluggers.]
  • Bat 78 year old Jeff Conine clean-up.
  • Pinch hit for Josh Hamilton in a crucial 9th inning situation with .195 OBP machine Juan Castro, citing Castro's 1 for 1 history* against the pitcher as reason for doing so. [The hit was a double that occured in 2000, a mere SEVEN FUCKING YEARS AGO]
  • Wear out his bullpen by riding his "hot arm of the week" for 5 appearances in 5 days. Pretty sure David Weathers' arm is about ready to fall off.
  • Hit Brandon Phillips 3rd EVER.
  • Make an example of young Edwin Encarnacion by benching him after failing to run out a routine pop-up. [Come on, Jerry. It's Major League Baseball, not Junior Varsity for the Adena Warriors**]

*KAD small sample size alert. Our first of many.

**My high school. A reference no one will get.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Case Against Krivsky

Joe Sheehan outlined some potential Adam Dunn trade destinations for Baseball Prospectus and also what Krivsky hopes to get for Dunn:
To his discredit, Krivsky is again largely focused on adding a reliever, in particularly a closer, in a Dunn deal. For a team that may not win 120 games between now and Opening Day 2009, it’s a ridiculous approach. A closer, even a very good one, isn’t going to make a difference to this team, and it’s a role that can be filled accidentally when the Reds are ready to contend. Krivsky needs to stop worrying about filling a low-value roster role and focus on getting the most talent, at any position, he can get.

First, let me say I am against any trade involving Adam Dunn; it's simply too big of a risk to try to get fair value for a 28 year old masher, especially with our current GM. But for Krivsky to say he's hoping to get a CLOSER in a Dunn deal is insane. Yes, the Reds pen has cost us games this year, but does any rational human being (this might eliminate Wayne) think a closer will net us more wins than Dunn could alone with his bat? And even if he does succeed in getting a closer who pitches well for the rest of the year, how long will that last? Closer is the most volatile position in baseball (and seemingly easiest to fill with a quad-A player). Back to Sheehan:

Wayne Krivsky blew up what was a fringe wild-card contender by overpaying badly for relievers Bill Bray and Gary Majewski. Sending away Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez killed the team’s strength, its offense, while providing absolutely no gains anywhere else.

Allow me to step inside Wayne's head for a bit.

I really blew it last year trading away solid bats for bullpen help, thinking our team was thisclose to contending. I might as well roll the dice on another proven-bat-for-unproven-relievers trade. It can't possibly blow up in my face again. Right? Right?

Okay, enough of that. Not nearly as fun as I thought it would be. But to answer your question Wayne, yes, YES, 1000 times YES, you can (and will) blow it again. Keep Adam Dunn.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jonah Keri = not an idiot

One of the major problems I have with most (if not all) Reds fans is their belief that Adam Dunn is not a valuable player because he strikes out way too much. They base their anti-Dunn argument on his strikeout totals and his sub-par defense in left field. Of course by doing so they completely neglect his 40+ homer potential and yearly .900+ OPS, not to mention the fact that Dunn is only 28 years old and likely entering his prime offensive years. Here's to hoping that other MLB general managers are swayed by Dunn's strikeout totals and choose not to make fair offers for Adam Dunn. [Of course, in Wayne Krivsky's case, a fair deal usually means a grossly lopsided deal where the Reds get screwed.] Dunn could (SHOULD) be our foundation for the next 8 years.

Jonah Keri recently addressed Adam Dunn's strengths in an article for ESPN. Specifically he discussed another one of the common Dunn gripes, that he is not "clutch."

After I defended Dunn on air, I got a bunch of angry e-mails from other Reds fans, listing Dunn's supposedly numerous faults, the biggest one being his complete inability to drive runners home, especially in "clutch" situations.

Here are Dunn's averages over the past three seasons:
Situation: AVG/OBP/SLG

All: .249/.380/.533

Scoring position: .236/.434/.538

Scoring position, 2 out: .249/.460/.534

If there's an overarching pattern, I'm not seeing it. Strip out intentional walks and Dunn's the same hitter with or without runners in scoring position...Dunn is one of the best hitters in the game, period.

Again, Jonah Keri = not an idiot. Most Reds fans = idiots.