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!!).

12 comments:

JPSchmack said...

Dunn's height also gives him one of the biggest strike zones in the history of baseball. Over the course of history, players 6-6 or taller have higher K-rates than most. Steinbrenner thought Dave Winfield (6-6) struck out too much. Darryl Strawberry (6-6) was top 10 in the NL in seven seasons. 6-4 Jim Thome is 4th all-time in Ks. I shouldn't mention 10th place Dave Kingman (6-6) because everyone ALWAYS try to compare Dunn to Kingman even though Kingman walked 608 times in 16 seasons and Dunn already has 619 in his 7th season.
Dale Murphy (6-5) is 12th. McGwire (6-5) is 23rd all-time in Ks.
Carlos Delgado (6-3) is 27th. Willie McCovery (6-4) is 29th, etc, etc etc.

Tall players strikeout more and hit the ball farther. Dunn is a young Carlos Delgado.

Anonymous said...

While I agree Dunn receives undue criticism and little praise part of your article really bothered me. Why should writers "latch on to all the white players they could..". Should we not enjoy the foreign players simply because they are born in another country or have different skin tone? That part is just troubling to me, and reminds me of backwards thinking such as we need more ::insert ethnic affiliation:: in this sport. What each sport needs is players who are skilled, play hard, and promote the sport.

I think Dunn does not receive the press attention that an Eckstein receives for 2 simple reasons:
1. Eckstein has been on a "winner", and utilizing faulty logic must therefore himself be a 'winning ball player'. In team sports it baffles me how some players are defined as a winner simply because their team wins titles. Is John Paxon really a better basketball player than Reggie Miller because he has numerous rings?
2. Dunn doesn't look like he tries when he plays. I am not saying that is the case, but his demeanor and gait really belies his effort. He is laid back and fans and media are never enamored by that. Hence a player like Ryan Freel is beloved by the Media and Dunn is not. Even though Adam Dunn obviously is a more valuable player

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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.

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