Now on to the post...
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.