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OnBaseMachine
06-30-2006, 06:39 AM
I find the bolded part very interesting. Burleson tweaked with McGwire's stand in hopes of it producing a higher batting average and more contact, the result was a down year. Sound familiar?

Great article by Mr. Damiani. I'm trying to find his email address so that I can email him and tell him what a breath of fresh air his article was.

Dunn v. Erstad
By David Damiani

So many facts of life mystify me on a daily basis. There’s the Burger King commercial with the dirtbike-riding chicken, Pennsylvania’s massive instruction manual for partnership tax returns, and Nashville artists’ refusal to record my country song about a vengeful Waffle House waitress (“She Left My Heart Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Chunked, and Topped”). Intriguing mysteries all, but the topper is the baseball press’s often absurd decisions as to who is and isn’t a good player. Take the cases of Reds outfielder Adam Dunn and Angels outfielder/first baseman Darin Erstad. Dunn has been among the most productive hitters in baseball for several seasons, Erstad one of the least. Naturally, the media has regularly lambasted Dunn while celebrating Erstad.

In 2004, 2005, and as of this writing 2006, Dunn has posted on-base percentages of .388, .387, and .372; slugging averages of .569, .540, and .541; and a combined 110 home runs (24 this season). Not many top him when it comes to creating runs. But neither the Cincinnati nor national press give much play to these prodigious numbers, choosing instead to pillory Dunn for his relatively low batting average and strikeouts. Dunn hasn’t hit better than .266 in any full season and is at .226 so far this year. He struck out 195 times in 2004, 168 times last year, and 88 to date in 2006.

Granted, “three true outcomes” hitters (extremely patient batters who often walk, strike out, or hit home runs) aren’t always aesthetically pleasant to watch. In an ideal world, Dunn would maintain his fearsome power and walk numbers while cutting down on the strikeouts and boosting his batting average. But restructuring a batter’s approach that is already successful on many levels isn’t necessarily an avenue to greater success. I am reminded of batting coach Rick Burleson’s work with Mark McGwire in 1991. At the time, McGwire was coming off two seasons of hitting in the .230s, but with over 30 home runs and a high on-base percentage in each. Burleson decided to tweak McGwire’s stance and focus him on hitting for a higher average. Other factors such as poorer training and personal problems contributed, but McGwire never found a comfortable stance and hit .201 with 22 homers in ’91. (A substantially bulkier and stronger McGwire, returning to his original stance, would later hit for much higher averages while boosting both his home run and walk totals.)

Burleson failed to recognize that McGwire was already a very valuable player for his power and patience that made pitchers work harder, and his ability to avoid making outs when he didn’t put the ball in play. Similarly, criticism of what Dunn can’t do ignores the fact that he’s one of the most dangerous offensive forces in baseball. (Not to mention that his strikeouts aren’t the result of wild, unproductive swinging but of selectivity; if Dunn were Rob Picciolo or Alfredo Griffin, one would be more concerned.) If Dunn were to focus on contact hitting and make his batting average prettier with a few more singles, a decrease in walks or extra-base hits might well accompany this revised approach and limit his effectiveness. When attempting to improve one of the game’s best offensive players, one must be advised first to do no harm—a truism that escaped Burleson and continues to elude those who deny Dunn’s greatness.

Dunn also once went 1,085 plate appearances without a sacrifice fly, a stat reviled endlessly in many media outlets. A closer look reveals that Dunn had 65 plate appearances in that stretch with a runner on third and less than two out; in those appearances he reached base 28 times. Thus, Dunn was castigated for posting a .431 on-base percentage in a particular situation over a two-year span, the criminal. Criticizing him for not notching any sacrifices stems from the false assumptions that a sacrifice fly should be a hitter’s goal and is his affirmative choice in such situations. It also supposes a fearsome batter like Dunn should limit his capabilities and give up the chance to keep a rally going by making an out, or swing at bad pitches in the hopes of lofting one rather than accepting a walk. The absurd fetishization of outs may have reached its apex recently: as the Fire Joe Morgan blog reported, Braves broadcaster Ron Gant—who was a pretty similar hitter to Dunn, come to think of it—praised a sacrifice hit that afforded the Braves one run in a game they trailed by four, suggesting that going for an actual hit would have been greedy.

Out-worship also contributes to the perpetual inflation of Erstad, who ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian recently described as “the fiber that keeps the Angels together,” echoing dozens of sports commentators before him. Erstad, once a fine hitter and still a good defensive player, has been in a severe and premature offensive decline since his age 26 season. He posted a .309 on-base and .333 slugging percentage in 2003, and after a slight batting average-driven improvement in ’04, came up with a .325/.371 in 2005. He had a negative Value Over Replacement Player in both ’03 and ’05 and has been even worse (and injured) in ’06. These are horrible numbers for any offensive player, particularly one who frequently plays at the power position of first base.

Erstad has proudly stated that those who criticize his statistics overlook that many of his groundouts to the right side of the infield advance runners. I don’t care if they cause a rain of gold on Angel Stadium; Erstad is not a productive player by any stretch of the imagination. As to his intangible, cotton-like value as “fiber,” it’s hard to say that anyone has kept the Angels “together” considering how spectacularly they’ve underachieved. Most of Erstad’s praise as a gamer and a team leader inevitably draws on his having played college football (as a punter), which to many baseball writers gives him a mystical toughness. But what of Frank Thomas, who played tight end at Auburn? Thomas has been an infinitely more valuable player than Erstad, but the baseball press long ago decided it didn’t like him, so his name is not synonymous with grit and leadership.

All we learn from the presentation of Dunn and Erstad is that the major media despise certain classes of highly productive players and inexplicably adore certain former football players. Dunn may be a three-true-outcomes hitter, but Erstad contributes the worst outcome—outs—by the bushel. Their respective treatment tells you just about all you need to know about the baseball press.

David Damiani is a CPA with Witt Mares, PLC, in Newport News, Virginia. He is the Friday sports columnist for The American Enterprise Online.

http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleID.19270/article_detail.asp

RedsBaron
06-30-2006, 06:45 AM
Excellent article. Thanks for posting it.:thumbup:

oneupper
06-30-2006, 09:10 AM
Isn't Rick Burleson managing one of the REDS minor league teams?

Johnny Footstool
06-30-2006, 09:28 AM
Typical number-cruncher nonsense. What do friggin' CPAs know about baseball?


:laugh:

flyer85
06-30-2006, 09:32 AM
Like I've said in the past the people who don't like Dunn as a player are ones who have created a caricature of what they want him to be and when the real Dunn falls short they get upset. Instead of appreciating him for what he is, warts and all, they get upset and fail to appreciate what an offensive asset he truly is.

flyer85
06-30-2006, 09:33 AM
Out-worshipwhat a great term. There are obviously those who sacrifice(no pun intended) at the altar of the exact opposite of success(in baseball terms).

princeton
06-30-2006, 09:42 AM
I've always felt that it was a terrible tragedy that the Chicago Bulls actually tried to coach Michael Jordan into being a player that could actually hit jumpers, play great defense, and read the triangle offense.

should have left him alone. He could have had a Dominique Wilkins career.

M2
06-30-2006, 09:48 AM
I've always felt that it was a terrible tragedy that the Chicago Bulls actually tried to coach Michael Jordan into being a player that could actually hit jumpers, play great defense, and read the triangle offense.

should have left him alone. He could have had a Dominique Wilkins career.

Wow, talk about comparing apples and thumbtacks.

princeton
06-30-2006, 09:58 AM
Wow, talk about comparing apples and thumbtacks.

agreed. As Huey Long once said, "Every Kingman should stay a Kingman"

flyer85
06-30-2006, 10:01 AM
"Every Kingman I thought it was kingfish :laugh:

M2
06-30-2006, 10:03 AM
agreed. As Huey Long once said, "Every Kingman should stay a Kingman"

Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Dave Kingman and Huey Long. You are having yourself one lousy analogy day.

vaticanplum
06-30-2006, 10:10 AM
Dunn also once went 1,085 plate appearances without a sacrifice fly, a stat reviled endlessly in many media outlets. A closer look reveals that Dunn had 65 plate appearances in that stretch with a runner on third and less than two out; in those appearances he reached base 28 times. Thus, Dunn was castigated for posting a .431 on-base percentage in a particular situation over a two-year span, the criminal. Criticizing him for not notching any sacrifices stems from the false assumptions that a sacrifice fly should be a hitter’s goal and is his affirmative choice in such situations.

This section is a PERFECT example of both using stats and looking beyond them. Too often in baseball observers are lumped into one of two categories: those who blindly accept stats and those who blatantly ignore them. In actuality the numbers are crucial and tell us things that we can never see with our own eyes, but the numbers don't stand alone: a brain has to critically think through them and have the creativity and foresight to see which ones are most applicable in any given situation. Well done, CPA dude. I'm going to memorize these numbers to use in conversation.

KittyDuran
06-30-2006, 10:19 AM
Isn't Rick Burleson managing one of the REDS minor league teams?Billings Mustangs...

M2
06-30-2006, 10:20 AM
It should be noted here that Tom Robson already Burlesoned Dunn.

ochre
06-30-2006, 10:32 AM
and then he was Levebvrvbred.

edabbs44
06-30-2006, 10:35 AM
Yep, everything David Damiani says is gospel. Isn't he in the writer's wing of the HOF?

Seriously though, if the pro-Dunn faction of RZ wants the anti-Dunn faction to "stop bashing Dunn", then threads like this should be controlled as well. It cracks me up when someone posts something about Dunn and OBP, everyone starts glowing with pride like their child brought home a report card with straight As. Then someone crashes the Dunn lovefest and posts something regarding BA. Pandemonium ensues.

So the question is, why can everyone beat the dead horse on Adam Dunn's great OBP? I think I have heard enough on how great Dunn's OBP is. Thanks...he walks a lot. I think the board gets the picture.

Now for those of you pro-Dunners who thought I was being rude and a jerk in that last statement, I was just trying to let you see what it is like on the other side of the debate.

Thanks, and now back to our regularly scheduled OBP programming.:D

westofyou
06-30-2006, 10:41 AM
It cracks me up when someone posts something about Dunn and OBP, everyone starts glowing with pride like their child brought home a report card with straight As. Then someone crashes the Dunn lovefest and posts something regarding BA. Pandemonium ensues.
Yeah it's almost as funny as people trying to say that OB% doesn't matter in the fabric of the offense.

Kills me everytime, it's the Buster Keaton of baseball talk to me.

M2
06-30-2006, 10:42 AM
I'm fine with someone making a valid critical point about Dunn's game. The guy plays everyday and he's THE central player in the team's offense, so he's going to come up in discussion.

It's the endless parade of dopey points I could live without.

VR
06-30-2006, 10:43 AM
It is fair to say that Dunn's #'s are in fact extremely productive.....shouldn't we be singing the praises of these hitting instructors and managers?

ochre
06-30-2006, 10:43 AM
Do you understand how the factors he mentions in this article contribute to team runs scored? Do you understand that team runs scored is nearly half the battle? The fact that you don't like Dunn's game does not diminish the demonstrable fact that he's good at generating runs. Teams need that. Really they do.

gonelong
06-30-2006, 10:45 AM
I've always felt that it was a terrible tragedy that the Chicago Bulls actually tried to coach Michael Jordan into being a player that could actually hit jumpers, play great defense, and read the triangle offense.

should have left him alone. He could have had a Dominique Wilkins career.

We don't have a Jordan on our hands, we have a Shaq. Shaq is a nice piece to have if you can put a Kobe or Wade around him.

When you try to turn Shaq into Jordan, you get neither.

GL

M2
06-30-2006, 10:46 AM
It is fair to say that Dunn's #'s are in fact extremely productive.....shouldn't we be singing the praises of these hitting instructors and managers?

Chris Chambliss deserves praise for sure and not just with Dunn, but with the entire offense. As soon as he arrived, the team started being more selective and got a lot more dangerous.

edabbs44
06-30-2006, 10:48 AM
Do you understand how the factors he mentions in this article contribute to team runs scored? Do you understand that team runs scored is nearly half the battle? The fact that you don't like Dunn's game does not diminish the demonstrable fact that he's good at generating runs. Teams need that. Really they do.
Why are we turning this into an OBP session? All I am saying is that the most popular specific topics on this board are:

1) How bad Dunn's BA is
2) How good Dunn's OBP is
3) How bad the bullpen is

The minute someone brings up Dunn's BA, 90% of the board starts crying about how it has been beaten to death.

The minute OBP comes up, it is talked about like a brand new subject.

Just pointing it out...didn't mean to break up the happytime. Let me know where I spoke about the non-worth of OBP in this thread.

gonelong
06-30-2006, 10:49 AM
Chris Chambliss deserves praise for sure and not just with Dunn, but with the entire offense. As soon as he arrived, the team started being more selective and got a lot more dangerous.

This is the part where the clouds part, the sun shines in, the trumpets blare, and the chorus of Angels sing hallelujah. http://www.surromomsonline.com/support/images/smilies/angelwings.gif

Feel free to sing along. :)

GL

registerthis
06-30-2006, 10:50 AM
The minute someone brings up Dunn's BA, 90% of the board starts crying about how it has been beaten to death.

One begets the other. If people didn't mercilessly harp on Dunn's BA, there wouldn't be a need to ceaselessly remind them of the value of a high OBP.

M2
06-30-2006, 10:53 AM
Why are we turning this into an OBP session? All I am saying is that the most popular specific topics on this board are:

1) How bad Dunn's BA is
2) How good Dunn's OBP is
3) How bad the bullpen is

The minute someone brings up Dunn's BA, 90% of the board starts crying about how it has been beaten to death.

The minute OBP comes up, it is talked about like a brand new subject.

Just pointing it out...didn't mean to break up the happytime. Let me know where I spoke about the non-worth of OBP in this thread.

You mean the board seems to react negatively to the hackneyed garbage you learned off the back of a baseball card at age six and seems to cotton to discussions about actual run production? If so, here's a big :thumbup: for Redszone.

westofyou
06-30-2006, 10:54 AM
The minute someone brings up Dunn's BA, 90% of the board starts crying about how it has been beaten to death.
“Would a system that placed nickels, dimes, quarters, and 50-cent pieces on the same basis, be much of system whereby to compare a mans financial resources?

“And yet it is precisely such a loose, inaccurate system, which obtains in baseball… Pretty poor system isn’t it. To govern the most popular department of the most popular of all the games.”

F.C. Lane 1916

ochre
06-30-2006, 10:56 AM
“Would a system that placed nickels, dimes, quarters, and 50-cent pieces on the same basis, be much of system whereby to compare a mans financial resources?

“And yet it is precisely such a loose, inaccurate system, which obtains in baseball… Pretty poor system isn’t it. To govern the most popular department of the most popular of all the games.”

F.C. Lane 1916
Lane is on of the original 10?

SteelSD
06-30-2006, 11:13 AM
Great article.

And no, I didn't write it.

edabbs44
06-30-2006, 11:21 AM
I am reminded of batting coach Rick Burleson’s work with Mark McGwire in 1991. At the time, McGwire was coming off two seasons of hitting in the .230s, but with over 30 home runs and a high on-base percentage in each. Burleson decided to tweak McGwire’s stance and focus him on hitting for a higher average. Other factors such as poorer training and personal problems contributed, but McGwire never found a comfortable stance and hit .201 with 22 homers in ’91. (A substantially bulkier and stronger McGwire, returning to his original stance, would later hit for much higher averages while boosting both his home run and walk totals.).

Funny thing here is the seasons being mentioned are 1989-1991.

1989 OBP: .339
1990 OBP: .370
1991 OBP: .330

So if his OBP in 1989 was considered "high" by this guy, this "awful" season in 1991 wasn't that far away even though his BA went down, which is a meaningless stat anyway.

princeton
06-30-2006, 11:30 AM
We don't have a Jordan on our hands, we have a Shaq.



agreed, we have an LSU Shaq. Which is good.

but I like how Shaq raised his game post-LSU. better feel, much better vision. He paid attention to something. It made him a much bigger peak force, and has kept him a force even as he has eroded.

some coaches are bad. Bad coaching is a bad thing. But coaching isn't inherently bad, and good coaching is never a bad thing. Good coaching good, bad coaching bad. No coaching bad.

M2
06-30-2006, 11:32 AM
Funny thing here is the seasons being mentioned are 1989-1991.

1989 OBP: .339
1990 OBP: .370
1991 OBP: .330

So if his OBP in 1989 was considered "high" by this guy, this "awful" season in 1991 wasn't that far away even though his BA went down, which is a meaningless stat anyway.

True enough. The real thing that dropped off for McGwire in 1991 was his power (SLG all the way to .383). After that he got his swing priorities back to the right place and concentrated on destroying pitches within a constricted bandwidth instead of trying to be a jack of all trades. Basically that's what Dunn needs to do, improve the swing he puts on pitches he should swing at. If he can accomplish that (and I think he's slowly moving in that direction), he can be a .260-.280 hitter and that would turn him into a weapon of mass destruction. Right now he's just an M1 tank.

M2
06-30-2006, 11:35 AM
agreed, we have an LSU Shaq. Which is good.

but I like how Shaq raised his game post-LSU. better feel, much better vision. He paid attention to something. It made him a much bigger peak force, and has kept him a force even as he has eroded.

some coaches are bad. Bad coaching is a bad thing. But coaching isn't inherently bad, and good coaching is never a bad thing. Good coaching good, bad coaching bad.

I'd say you've got the Orlando Magic version of Shaq in Dunn. He can be dominant, but Hakeen Olajuwon could still use him at will.

princeton
06-30-2006, 11:40 AM
I'd say you've got the Orlando Magic version of Shaq in Dunn. He can be dominant, but Hakeen Olajuwon could still use him at will.

you're having a dreadful analogy day

M2
06-30-2006, 11:41 AM
you're having a dreadful analogy day

Far better than you. LSU-level Shaq, please.

edabbs44
06-30-2006, 11:43 AM
True enough. The real thing that dropped off for McGwire in 1991 was his power (SLG all the way to .383). After that he got his swing priorities back to the right place and concentrated on destroying pitches within a constricted bandwidth instead of trying to be a jack of all trades. Basically that's what Dunn needs to do, improve the swing he puts on pitches he should swing at. If he can accomplish that (and I think he's slowly moving in that direction), he can be a .260-.280 hitter and that would turn him into a weapon of mass destruction. Right now he's just an M1 tank.
In all seriousness, this guy should have picked a better example. Using an all-but-convicted steroid abuser as an example is pretty weak. Maybe he went off the juice during that season. That's like saying the SF batting coach is the best in the business since Bonds' stats blew up when he got there.

M2
06-30-2006, 11:46 AM
In all seriousness, this guy should have picked a better example. Using an all-but-convicted steroid abuser as an example is pretty weak. Maybe he went off the juice during that season. That's like saying the SF batting coach is the best in the business since Bonds' stats blew up when he got there.

The example was a solid one because juice or no, Burleson did try to make Mac more of a contact hitter and the results were disastrous. To quote the one useful thing princeton's said in this thread, "bad coaching bad."

princeton
06-30-2006, 11:47 AM
Burleson failed to recognize that McGwire was already a very valuable player for his power and patience... a substantially bulkier and stronger McGwire, returning to his original stance, would later hit for much higher averages while boosting both his home run and walk totals.

in hindsight, Burleson's chief problem was that he was a hitting coach, not steroid chemist ;)

westofyou
06-30-2006, 11:48 AM
The example was a solid one because juice or no, Burleson did try to make Mac more of a contact hitter and the results were disastrous. To quote the one useful thing princeton's said in this thread, "bad coaching bad."
91 was a brutal year for the A's and I got to watch it first hand... good times.

McGwire was getting it from both ends, fans and the team.

ochre
06-30-2006, 11:48 AM
princeton is very pro-chemist

princeton
06-30-2006, 11:49 AM
princeton is very pro-chemist

in the '90's, team chemistry was clinically proven to produce a lot of runs

VR
06-30-2006, 11:55 AM
91 was a brutal year for the A's and I got to watch it first hand... good times.

McGwire was getting it from both ends, fans and the team.


The media that year was all about his 'devastating divorce'. It nearly killed the man, seriously. He was a shell of a man that year, all baseball aside.

westofyou
06-30-2006, 12:00 PM
The media that year was all about his 'devastating divorce'. It nearly killed the man, seriously. He was a shell of a man that year, all baseball aside.
Yep, it was a shellacking, hey but it's okay, he's all but convicted.

VR
06-30-2006, 12:03 PM
Yep, it was a shellacking, hey but it's okay, he's all but convicted.

Quote from a Time Article.

"His hitting slumped so badly, he was booed by fans. "When I tore my left foot for the third time, I went in the clubhouse and I said, 'That's it. I am tired of rehab. I'm tired of going through this b.s.,'" he says, remembering the moment in 1991 when he almost quit the sport. "I had my family and friends talk me out of it. They said it would be the biggest regret of my life, and they were right." It's from this experience that McGwire's strength, his ability to separate emotion from action, emerged. It's when he entered therapy"

I saw a lot of the A's in the late 80's, early 90's. They were fun to watch. I worked for a guy named Lew Wolff. Decided I needed a different boss. :(

TeamBoone
06-30-2006, 12:15 PM
I found these articles interesting as well, especially with all the controversy surrounding Adam Dunn's work ethic:


06-30-2006

In clutch, a Dunn deal
Double in 8th scores game-winner vs. Royals
By Josh Katzowitz / Post staff writer

As Adam Dunn collected his first hit in Thursday's game, Reds shortstop Felipe Lopez - who, seconds earlier, had completed his own home run trot - jumped on the bullpen railing and watched with amusement as his teammate's shot sailed 432 feet into the stands.

Just before Dunn's second hit of the game, Lopez, standing on first base, knew Cincinnati's left fielder would give his team the lead again.

When Dunn's line drive sailed over the head of Royals right fielder Reggie Sanders to score pinch-hitter Ryan Freel with the eventual game-winning run, Lopez wasn't the least bit surprised.

"I had a feeling that he was going to get it done," said Lopez, who was thrown out at the plate on that play. "He's been swinging a hot bat lately. All that hard work he's putting in has to pay off sometime."

The Reds, 6-5 winners against Kansas City, celebrated the effects Thursday.

"Unfairly, people get on him about driving in runs, and I think he's got more than he did last year at this time," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "You know what you're going to get out of him. I know when he steps in the box, the opposing pitcher sure doesn't want to face him."

Dunn's third-inning home run, following Ken Griffey Jr.'s shot in the first and Lopez's blast, gave the Reds 44 homers in the month, breaking a club record for June (the team hit 43 in 1957 and 2005).

Dunn's double in the eighth gave him 48 RBIs on the season. Last year after the June 29 game, he had recorded 40.

All that gave him enough confidence to take his time at the plate with the game on the line and Royals reliever Jimmy Gobble on the mound.

"I've never faced the guy before, and I've been feeling good against left-handers, so I wanted to see a pitch from him," Dunn said. "I saw him."

After taking a first-pitch strike from Gobble, the Royals left-hander threw Dunn a slider that Dunn thought was low and outside. After home plate umpire Ed Hickox called it a strike - and Dunn visibly showed his displeasure - Dunn fouled off a pitch.

On Gobble's next offering, Dunn performed exactly how Lopez expected.

He hit a hard line drive that Sanders appeared to misjudge, the right fielder couldn't recover in time to make the catch, and Freel scored.

Good thing for the Reds. They needed every bit of Dunn's offense, because, once again, the bullpen couldn't protect a lead.

Right-hander Bronson Arroyo pitched well enough to earn his 10th win of the season, allowing five hits and two runs in seven innings, but after throwing 108 pitches, he felt a little tired. With a 5-2 lead, Narron decided Arroyo had done enough.

"I'd love to have kept him in for nine innings and pitch tomorrow night," Narron said. "Can't do it either way. ... He was tired. He had done his job."

Said Arroyo: "I wasn't out of gas. I've been in worse shape and gone back out there. I didn't feel like I had my best stuff the whole night. With six outs to go and us up by three, I felt like it was enough of a lead. I thought it would work out."

Not exactly. Narron summoned relievers Chris Hammond (1/3 of an inning, three hits, three runs) and David Weathers, who allowed each of his inherited runners to score.

But it didn't matter, because a half-inning later, Lopez's intuition about Dunn proved true.

"In Hammond and Weather's defense, they get a groundball by Emil Brown through the infield and you get a bloop single into right field that's fair," said Narron, who got a perfect ninth inning from closer Todd Coffey (seven saves). "For us to be successful, everybody in the bullpen has to do well. We'll keep using guys and try our best to go with somebody that's hot out there."

Even with a bullpen ERA of 5.18 that ranks as the worst in the National League, the Reds moved to within a game of first-place St. Louis (idle Thursday). So they should be happy with that.

Plus it just would have been embarrassing to lose a home series to the worst team in baseball.

"The Royals have been playing good baseball lately," Dunn said. "But it would have been disappointing to lose a series to those guys."
http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060630/SPT05/606300320/1027


Dunn's double lifts Reds over Royals
Reds 6 Royals 5Arroyo loses chance for 10th win after bullpen blows lead.
By Hal McCoy / Staff Writer

CINCINNATI — Adam Dunn was spraying baseballs to left, center and right — none over the fence — during an early extra batting practice session Thursday in Great American Ball Park. Ryan Freel chided him for not knocking balls into the great beyond.

“This is batting practice, dude,” said Dunn. “This is where you work on things. I can hit them out of the park at will in batting practice, but I’m working on things.”

Whatever it was, it worked. Dunn drove a double to the right field wall in the eighth inning to break a tie and lift the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

It shouldn’t have been that hard, but the bullpen reared its ugly head in the eighth and messed up a three-run lead, a lead belonging to starter Bronson Arroyo that cost him his 10th victory.

It was bashball and bludgeonball for the Reds — three more homers, including a 433-foot down range blast by Dunn.

And there was one by Ken Griffey Jr., his fourth in four games. And one by Felipe Lopez.

In winning two of three from the Royals, to slip to within one game of first place St. Louis, the Reds hit nine homers and 13 of their 21 runs in the series came via the home run.

Arroyo turned a 5-2 lead over to the bullpen and was annoyed that he didn’t get the win.

“Yeah, you can’t say you enjoy that,” he said. “It irritates and p.o.’s you, not to put anything on the guys in the pen because they are doing the best they can. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

They need a padlock on the bullpen gate. Maybe two locks in case one fails. And if a relief pitcher escapes, they need Dunn to tackle him on his way to the mound.

Matters have become that bad, that dire, for the bullpen. What resembled an easy victory for Arroyo, turned ugly in the eighth when Chris Hammond and David Weathers were asked to protect a three-run lead.

Instead of Rottweilers, they were a pair of hush puppies, giving up three runs and five hits, enabling the Royals to tie it.

Dunn saved it in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and two on against left-hander Jimmy Gobble. He doubled on an 0-and-2 pitch over right fielder Reggie Sanders’ head for a run.

“It was a slider and, no, I wasn’t looking for it,” he said. “It is dumb to say and I’ll probably get yelled at for saying it, but I never faced that guy before. I’m feeling good against lefties so I wanted to see a pitch. So I took it and it happened to be a slider right there.

“Then I got the same pitch again,” Dunn added. “When I hit it, I thought it was right at Reggie. It had backspin or knuckling or something. When Reggie is that close, he makes that play.”

http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/sports/content/sports/stories/2006/06/30/SNSsp0630reds.html

dsmith421
06-30-2006, 12:20 PM
"In Hammond and Weathers' defense, they get a groundball by Emil Brown through the infield and you get a bloop single into right field that's fair," said Narron, who got a perfect ninth inning from closer Todd Coffey (seven saves). "For us to be successful, everybody in the bullpen has to do well. We'll keep using guys and try our best to go with somebody that's hot out there."

God almighty...he just doesn't get it.

pedro
06-30-2006, 12:26 PM
Team Boone, you know those articles are lies. Jason Larue and Dunn were really out fishing during batting practice while David Ross was busy charting pitches, helping to make policy directives for the World Bank and restoring antique paintings at the same time.

edabbs44
06-30-2006, 12:33 PM
"In Hammond and Weathers' defense, they get a groundball by Emil Brown through the infield and you get a bloop single into right field that's fair," said Narron, who got a perfect ninth inning from closer Todd Coffey (seven saves). "For us to be successful, everybody in the bullpen has to do well. We'll keep using guys and try our best to go with somebody that's hot out there."

God almighty...he just doesn't get it.
He didn't say what the options are if no one is hot.

dsmith421
06-30-2006, 12:34 PM
He didn't say what the options are if no one is hot.

He's implying that Hammond and Weathers are good pitchers victimized by bad luck. You tend to get a lot of bad luck when you throw a straight 80-mph fastball to major league hitters (even the Royals).

What that means to me: the WHY boys (Weathers, Hammond & Yan) will be continuing to pitch in high-leverage situations.

Edit: WHY is a high-powered international crime organization that for some nefarious reason has decided to foment revolution and disrupt world markets by infiltrating the Reds bullpen and refusing to get anyone out. Their "special powers" include a 71-mph changeup, having no chin, and sweating a lot. A special task force, involving Jack Bauer and Chris Denorfia, is on the case--but will they make it in time?

registerthis
06-30-2006, 01:12 PM
What I got tired of hearing last night were Welsh and Grande continuing to make up excuses for the poor performance of Weathers and Hammond.

"Well, sometimes they just land in the wrong place."

"Sometimes your best stuff just gets hit."

"That pitch was right where he wanted it, but the batter was still able to hit it."

How about "You know for the better part of a month the two guys the Reds have run out there tonight have really stunk up the joint. This result isn't at all surprising."

vaticanplum
06-30-2006, 01:19 PM
"Well, sometimes they just land in the wrong place."

This is what is commonly known as "bad pitching".


"Sometimes your best stuff just gets hit."

My best stuff always gets hit. That's why I don't pitch for a major league team.


"That pitch was right where he wanted it, but the batter was still able to hit it."

Then he should really work on that where he "wants" it thing.

Did he really say all those things? :bang:

Chip R
06-30-2006, 01:41 PM
He's implying that Hammond and Weathers are good pitchers victimized by bad luck. You tend to get a lot of bad luck when you throw a straight 80-mph fastball to major league hitters (even the Royals).

What that means to me: the WHY boys (Weathers, Hammond & Yan) will be continuing to pitch in high-leverage situations.


Narron isn't the type of guy who is going to say someone really stinks out there. They are his guys, for better or for worse, and he is going to continue to say nice things about them in public. Actions speak louder than words. Remember when Coffey was inserted into the closer's spot after Weathers had some bad outings? It just happened and Narron basically said that Weathers had pitched a couple of innings the night before and Coffey was fresh and they went with him that night but Weathers may be back in there. Ever since then Coffey has been the closer and Weathers has been a set up guy. If the Reds have a small lead this weekend and the 7th or 8th innings roll around and Belisle is in ther instead of Weathers or Hammond, you have to think that Belisle is the new set up guy and what Narron said didn't amount to a hill of beans. But if Weathers is in there again come the late innings, then we know Narron was sincere in his statements.

registerthis
06-30-2006, 01:42 PM
Did he really say all those things? :bang:

They both did, yes As in, here's Hammond and Weathers pitching their hearts out and throwing well, and the KC batters STILL are somehow able to get hits. Not one word was uttered about the lack of velocity shown by either pitcher, or about how most of the pitches getting hit were hanging breaking balls or "fastballs" left right over the plate. It was a "sometimes you just can't get 'em out" attitude.

And it was both Welsh and Grande, they appeared incredulous that Hammond and Weathers got hit around like they did.

RFS62
06-30-2006, 01:48 PM
Don't misunderstand, because I thought the performance last night was massivly sucky. But a manager or pitching coach DOES have to use some of these considerations in deciding how well his pitcher did. The results aren't enough to make a judgment.





"Well, sometimes they just land in the wrong place."

"Sometimes your best stuff just gets hit."

"That pitch was right where he wanted it, but the batter was still able to hit it."





Again, not necessarily referring to last night, but these statements are absolutely true.

You look to see if a pitcher is hitting his spots. That's command.

You look to see if his stuff is what you expect it to be, if his velocity is down.

Many, MANY times you'll make a perfect pitch and get hammered. That's the nature of pitching.

To properly judge how a pitcher did, you have to know what he was trying to do, did he hit his spot, and did he have his expected movement.

ochre
06-30-2006, 01:53 PM
Don't misunderstand, because I thought the performance last night was massivly sucky. But a manager or pitching coach DOES have to use some of these considerations in deciding how well his pitcher did. The results aren't enough to make a judgment.






Again, not necessarily referring to last night, but these statements are absolutely true.

You look to see if a pitcher is hitting his spots. That's command.

You look to see if his stuff is what you expect it to be, if his velocity is down.

Many, MANY times you'll make a perfect pitch and get hammered. That's the nature of pitching.

To properly judge how a pitcher did, you have to know what he was trying to do, did he hit his spot, and did he have his expected movement.
at some point, though, those individual activities do form a trend. I think posters are complaining about our fair-haired duo ignoring the trend in their sycophantic platitudinal apologetics.

RFS62
06-30-2006, 01:55 PM
at some point, though, those individual activities do form a trend.


If it's a trend, then their best stuff isn't enough to make it in the bigs.




I think posters are complaining about our fair-haired duo ignoring the trend in their sycophantic platitudinal apologetics.



Hey, you know me. I'm all about smacking down sycophantic platitudinal apologetics.

:cool:

VR
06-30-2006, 02:05 PM
If it's a trend, then their best stuff isn't enough to make it in the bigs.



Hey, you know me. I'm all about smacking down sycophantic platitudinal apologetics.

:cool:

somebody got a thesaurus for their birthday!:party:

ochre
06-30-2006, 02:09 PM
somebody got a thesaurus for their birthday!:party:
nah. I actually talk like that. It's great fun at parties.

registerthis
06-30-2006, 02:48 PM
at some point, though, those individual activities do form a trend. I think posters are complaining about our fair-haired duo ignoring the trend in their sycophantic platitudinal apologetics.

Well, not those exact words per se... :) But, yes, that's what I'm referring to. You can look at a pitcher like Arroyo or Harang, and if their veolcity is good and control is good, but they're still giving up hits, it may just be one of those "ah well" situations.

That wasn't the case last night. Weathers and hammond were CLEARLY not throwing anything that was fooling anyone, Hammond's breaking ball didn't break and his fastball wasn't fast. Ditto Weathers. And that had been the case for quite awhile leading up to last night. It wasn't an anomaly, but to hear Grande and Welsh describe it, they simply couldn't believe that the Royals were hitting the Cy Young-caliber stuff that the dynamic dup were throwing.