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TeamBoone
09-30-2007, 01:37 AM
Long, but very interesting article about Adam Dunn with input from the Brennamans, Brantley, and Steve Phillips.


Dunn is Reds' lightning rod
By JOHN ERARDI / The Cincinnati Enquirer

CINCINNATI — Wanna light up the switchboard?

Mention the name of Adam Dunn.

Even today, in a football-crazed city a day away from hosting the biggest-name team on the NFL’s Monday Night marquee, mention the name of the big ol’ country boy from New Caney, Texas, and the callers will come out of the knotty pine to attack or defend the Cincinnati Reds left fielder.

It happened last Sunday morning on a local sports radio show. Co-host Ken Broo hadn’t come to the studio that morning intending to discuss Dunn. But a caller did, and after that, it was off to the “Big Donkey” races, Big Donkey being Dunn’s nickname.

“You mention Adam Dunn, and you’ll get calls all over the map — ’keep him,’ ’get rid of him,’ ’let him walk,’.” Broo says. “I’ve only done the show since May, but it’s startling what a lightning rod he is.”

So, Sunday — Fan Appreciation Day at Great American Ball Park — we try to answer why that’s the case.

For his part, Dunn understands the passion Reds fans have for their pastime. What happens on the field is fair game.

But he cannot understand why, for example, fans care what he does on his off-day. He doesn’t care what other people, not even the super-celebrities, do on theirs.

“I look at USA TODAY, but only for the crossword puzzle,” he says.

He made headlines a few weeks ago when he called out talk radio’s Bill Cunningham for saying Dunn was drunk while playing a game. Cunningham later apologized to Dunn in person.

When it comes to his performance on the field, Dunn accepts as “part of the game” that he is going to be critiqued on Reds radio and TV broadcasts and on sports talk shows. He doesn’t listen, but says that people pass along the radio and TV criticism to him, even though he tells them he doesn’t want to hear it.

“It’s like 12-year-old girls in middle school trying to stir up trouble,” Dunn says. “It doesn’t work with me, because I really don’t care.”

Had the Reds been competitive this season, Dunn may have been less of a target. But after suffering through six straight losing seasons, Reds fans went into 2007 with high hopes. When the team almost immediately began to struggle, fans went in search of a reason.

And, as so often happens, everybody focused on the big guy: What’s he not giving us that we need?

Is it the money?

It will cost the Reds $13 million to pick up Dunn’s option for next year. The team hasn’t announced what it’s going to do, but Dunn recently met with Reds owner Bob Castellini for a private lunch, and both sides said it went well.

The $13 million option is a lot of money for someone who is not seen as a complete player — Dunn will probably never win a Gold Glove for his defense — but very much in line for a player with Dunn’s offensive production. In his last four seasons Dunn has hit at least 40 home runs. During that time he has 401 RBI.

But Reds radio announcers Marty and Thom Brennaman, and Jeff Brantley, who do so much to inform — and form — the popular opinion in Reds Nation, did not mention money when they were asked about why the name “Dunn” so incites.

Instead, they point to his size and a laid-back personality that sometimes is interpreted as indifference.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Dunn is as big as an offensive lineman, but not nearly as anonymous. When he looks ungraceful on a ball hit to the outfield, or doesn’t show good instincts on the bases, or whiffs with men on second and third, his faux pas are magnified. And Dunn strikes out a lot — 722 times over the past four years.

“I don’t think there’s a player on this team that creates more conversation than he does,” Marty Brennaman says. “I think it’s because at one point you see one of the great power hitters, a guy who has tremendous knowledge of the strike zone, yet to contradict that, he strikes out well over a hundred times every year. He’s really an enigma in many respects.”

Agrees Brantley: “There’s so much to talk about when people hear the name, ’Adam Dunn.’ He represents the good and the bad when it comes to a baseball player ... The perception (of those differences) is what makes people respond. But for who he is, and for what god-given talent he’s got, he does a pretty damn good job.”

Brantley said he’s changed his opinion of Dunn after watching him every day over the course of a full season.

“Big-time,” he said. “I’ve had an opportunity to watch him through thick and thin. After taking away all of the perceptions I had of him, and giving him a fresh start and saying (to myself) after the All-Star break, ’What kind of ballplayer would I rate this guy?’ my rating is, ’Impressive.’.”

Marty Brennaman, who has not minced words when it’s come to critiquing Dunn’s game, also said his view of the player has changed this season. He’s impressed that Dunn, who had arthroscopic knee surgery last week, played with knee pain the past two seasons and never let on publicly.

“I’m not so sure that the knee wasn’t bothering him a helluva lot longer than he let on,” Marty Brennaman said. “And you know something? If this team were playing for something right now, he’d be in the lineup.”

Big year despite bad knee

Two days after Brennaman’s comments, Dunn was sitting on a couch in the middle of the Reds clubhouse signing baseball cards for charity. He admitted that the knee bothered him not only this season, but last season as well.

He would have had surgery last season, he said, but the Reds were in a pennant race, so he put off surgery and instead began rehabbing the knee last October, thinking the knee would heal. It never did.

In other words, Dunn took a bad knee into this season and still had another big year at the plate.

Dunn said he feels good after the surgery to clean out the knee and repair a torn meniscus.

“Yeah, that’s the one thing (that feels good),” Dunn says. “It hurts right now, but it feels good to know (that next year, I won’t be) in the outfield thinking about stopping — ’Golly, I’m going to have to run into the wall here to stop me instead of having to stop on my knee’ — and that meant I couldn’t make the turn that might have allowed me to throw the guy out at second. But, anyway ...”

He had gone too far, said too much.

He was appreciative, however, when a reporter mentioned what Marty Brennaman had said about him being a gamer.

“That means a lot, too,” says Dunn, nodding.

The two podiums — star player, and presenters/commentators of that player — have sometimes put the announcers and Dunn at odds.

The broadcasters insist it is nothing personal. In fact, Thom Brennaman said he wishes Dunn was a little more outgoing.

Take, for instance, pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who is as comfortable playing guitar and singing for Reds fans at concerts as he his pitching for them. Dunn would just as soon go fishing on his off-day.

“In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve found (Dunn) to be an outgoing, just a nice guy,” Thom Brennaman says. “But I’m not sure if any of the fans have seen him really warm to being a Red. I don’t know why that is, and that might be completely inaccurate.

”But it seems to me a guy like him could have really owned this town, because he has such an engaging personality ... I’ve thought this about a lot of different players in a lot of different towns: If the players never make it feel like they want to be one with the fans, the fans are not going to treat them like they are. I think the fans want to see that Adam wants to be a Red forever. They want to feel like he wants to be here.“

Dunn believes Reds making progress

Dunn says he does want to be here, that he’s ”made that known“ over the years. Maybe fans misinterpret his body language as being indifferent, that’s not the case, Dunn says.

Dunn did allow, however, that there was a time this season when he would have been happy to go elsewhere if it meant winning immediately. That feeling passed when the Reds started to show some life around the All Star break.

”If we had played the second half (of this season) the way we played the first half, I would have said, ’Listen, I deal with too much (garbage) off the field to stink on the field’.“ Dunn said. ”But the way Pete (Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin) has kind of done his thing, the way the young guys have come in and brought a breath of fresh air, it’s been great. We still haven’t played great, but we’ve made progress. We’re headed in the right direction.“

A recent lunch organized by Reds owner Bob Castellini also reinvigorated the slugger’s sense of belonging.

”That’s the first time anybody approached me like that since I’ve been here,“ Dunn says. ”It was as though somebody wanted to get my opinion instead of looking at me like I’m still the young guy, the rookie. It’s treating me like I’m a veteran now. That was kind of refreshing. It wasn’t like I went into it thinking, ’Nobody likes me.’ It was just good to know they kind of value my opinion. Whether they take it or not, who cares?“

Thom Brennaman said he thinks more fans are coming around to Dunn.

”If you had asked most Reds fans in July, ’Should the Reds pick up Dunn’s option?’ eight out of 10 would have said ’No way,’.“ Thom Brennaman said. ”If you ask them now, I bet eight out of 10 would say ’Absolutely.’ There’s just something about the way the numbers keep adding up when you play everyday.“

Flaws out front

About those numbers. There are lots of home runs. But there are lots of strikeouts, too.

”Blindingly obvious“ is the phrase used by statistical analyst Greg Gajus to describe Dunn’s flaws, even though Gajus supports Dunn because Dunn gets on base at a high percentage rate, and getting on base is what produces runs.

”Defense and strikeouts — you see them every game,“ said Gajus, a researcher on books about the Reds. ”Think about it: He strikes out about once a game, only homers once every four games ... Most fans don’t understand that all those walks are much more valuable than the (so-called) ’productive outs.’ When Dunn gets a walk, it is a disappointment (for fans, because) everyone thinks the only thing he does is hit home runs. It is particularly disappointing to them when he doesn’t hit one with runners on base.“

The big strikeout — the flip side of the monster home run — is particularly noticeable: In 152 games this season, Dunn struck out 165 times. Last season he struck out 194 times in 160 games.

Steve Phillips, the former New York Mets general manager who is now with ESPN, said the big strikeout during a rally ”stops everything“ for fans.

But it can’t just be the strikeouts that have turned some fans off of Dunn. The Phillies’ Ryan Howard, who is the most popular player in Philadelphia, is leading the major leagues in strikeouts (197 going into Friday’s game). Last season Howard struck out 181 times, good for second behind Dunn.

Another ugly number is Dunn’s batting average with runners in scoring position (RISP). This season, he hit 23 points lower with RISP (.241) than he did overall (.264). Over his career, the discrepancy is even bigger — 26 points (.222 to .248, respectively).

But analysts like Gajus counter that too much importance is placed on RISP. Scoring more runs than the other team is what wins games, and you score runs by getting on base. Dunn does that by drawing lots of walks.

This season, Dunn walked 101 times, good for seventh in the majors through Thursday’s games. In 2006, Dunn had 115 walks, second-best in the majors.

Then there’s what ESPN’s Phillips refers to as ”the outward grit.“

Because Dunn comes off as lacking it, he doesn’t get the free pass issued to every other hustling Red who is perceived as being made in the image of this city’s ultimate icon, Pete Rose.

Stats-cruncher Justin Inaz, who writes a blog about the Reds, said ”Dunn is in many ways the complete opposite (of Rose). He’s huge, doesn’t look like he’s hustling much, strikes out a ton, has tons of power, and often gets as many extra base hits as he does singles.

“I think he’s good at exactly those things that Cincinnati fans have somehow decided aren’t important - even though they do help win ballgames.”

Love from within

Dunn’s teammates like him for what he can do, rather than what he cannot. Plus, they enjoy his laid-back presence in the clubhouse. Somebody has to be that way, just to keep things loose in the 162-game season.

A great argument can be made that more fire is needed in the Reds clubhouse, but that doesn’t mean the Reds brass should ditch Dunn to make room for it, his teammates say.

“I love Dunner, he’s a good guy,” says the Reds’ best player, Brandon Phillips. “He’s a great teammate.”

Scott Hatteberg, one of the team’s best hitters and arguably its best student, notes that Dunn’s shortcomings on the field are not a result of Dunn not trying.

“He has told me that his average with runners in scoring position is a frustrating thing for him,” Hatteberg says. “He wishes he were better at that. But with him, he’s in scoring position when he walks to the plate. That stat (has application) to somebody like me, a guy who doesn’t drive the ball out of the yard as much. It’s not a fair stat when you’re talking about him.”

“For me,” concludes Hatteberg, “signing Dunn to the option (for next year) is a no-brainer.”

Why?

“He just keeps getting better — his (batting) average is better, his strikeouts are down, his (overall) run production is second to none,” Hatteberg says. “And he’s what, 26? (Dunn is 27) The knock on him is his defense, but it was a knock for Ted Williams, too.”

Sunday, Dunn will be in his usual upbeat mood as his teammates close out the season.

“I think I’ve matured a lot this year,” he says. “If the off-the-field stuff had happened to me a few years ago, I think I’d have reacted differently. But I’m still kickin’, still feelin’ good. I’d be preaching a different note if we hadn’t picked it up the way we did (before Ken Griffey Jr. got hurt). We had guys come here and do well who I’d never even heard of before.

”That was exciting for me. I’m excited about next year.“



For excerpts from interviews with former Mets general manager Steve Phillips and other baseball analysts on Adam Dunn, go to Cincinnati.com.
http://www.coshoctontribune.com:80/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070929/UPDATES04/70929019/1006/SPORTS

Cedric
09-30-2007, 01:59 AM
Damn good article. I'm amazed that people think Marty and Brantley hate Adam because they harp on him at times. They both have shown over time that they respect his game and really value what he brings to the team. Marty sometimes get's frustrated and for some reason people think it's only with Adam. He's never been personal with Adam and people need to realize that. It's a shame he's been labeled a Dunn hater and the perception can't be turned around to the truth.

MWM
09-30-2007, 02:01 AM
What off the field stuff does he keep referring to? Is it just the whole Cunningham thing?

Caveat Emperor
09-30-2007, 02:49 AM
What off the field stuff does he keep referring to? Is it just the whole Cunningham thing?

Cunningham, Marty, and just about every other yakbag talking head in town that seems to think if you aren't gutting out every fly ball to 1st that you don't deserve a game check.

GAC
09-30-2007, 06:07 AM
http://www.entertainmentwise.com/photos/Image/CRAZYBRITNEYFAN.jpg

LEAVE ADAM ALONE!


Good article. Even living/working up here in central Ohio I'm around alot of Red fans. I work 3rd shift, so every night, as I get to work, the Red's game is coming to an end. And because I'm such an avid fan, people are always coming up to me and asking the score, and wanting to talk about the other aspects of the game. During the course of the season there are alot of discussions on the Reds in general. Alot on guys like Dunn (and Griffey).

And every time the name of Adam Dunn is brought up I'd say 75% of them say the same stereotypical perceptions that have been believed about Adam.... while they are impressed with his power, and love seeing his mammoth Hrs, they say he Ks too much, has a mediocre B/A, can't hit with runners on base, is a liability in the OF, and either they hope they trade him or they wouldn't be upset if they got rid of him. He certainly isn't worth 13 Mil/season.

And do you know who alot of them say is their favorite ballplayer? Ryan Freel. And when it comes down to the type of ballplayer they prefer, it always comes down to the superficial (what they see on the outside).... He hustles. He acts like he really cares and wants to win. He's out there throwing himself all over the place, making diving catches, running into walls, stealing bases, yadda, yadda, yadda.

He's exciting. Fans want to view excitement. That's why they are drawn to guys like a Freel and Hopper. I've had more then my share of Norris Hooper conversations at work too. Keppinger is now starting to gain a following also.

And to many, the only time Dunn is exciting is when he hits one into the river. And when he fails to do that, then he's boring to watch. When I try to explain to some of these guys about other more viable stats, like OB%, total bases, and especially that Dunn draws walks (gets on base), it's almost like they are being lulled to sleep.... B-O-R-I-N-G. To them, anyone can walk. Walks are not EXCITING. We pay Adam to hit Hrs and drive guys in.


Had the Reds been competitive this season, Dunn may have been less of a target. But after suffering through six straight losing seasons, Reds fans went into 2007 with high hopes. When the team almost immediately began to struggle, fans went in search of a reason.

And here's another issue that I've had alot of discussion on at work. The consistent losing of the Reds is misdirected towards the wrong players or areas of the Red's game. It's funny because every night when we come into work and listen to another Red's loss, we're all saying the same thing.... "Well, so-and-so really pitched a bad game" or "The bullpen really blew another one!" But if Dunn or Jr didn't hit a Hr, or maybe K'd in a key situation, that'll also get thrown in as to why we lost.

I look at them and say "Guys. Do you see a consistent pattern here?" I want to take a Sharpie and write on their forehead P-I-T-C-H-I-N-G :lol:

Our pitching puts us in a huge hole, and they expect guys like Dunn to overcome/compensate for that. There isn't an offense in MLB that can offset the runs allowed that this staff gives up.

But the blame has to be directed somewhere, and it's those high paid, high profile players like a Jr or Dunn that are going to get the blunt of the criticism.

This forum has "spoiled" alot of us. For the most part - not only is everyone on here an avid Red's fan who likes to sit down and watch/listen to a game; but we also go one step farther.... we like to analyze that game. Break it down and get into the "mechanics" of why it works (or why it isn't working). And while the number of fans that like doing that is growing. Those fans are still vastly outnumbered in "fandom".

Again. It's the superficial. All they care about is the results. What they can see and excites their senses. People love to drive their cars or play on the computer/surf the internet. They could care less about the mundane how-whys that make it work. That is until it breaks. ;)


Because Dunn comes off as lacking it, he doesn’t get the free pass issued to every other hustling Red who is perceived as being made in the image of this city’s ultimate icon, Pete Rose.

Damn that Pete Rose!

I wonder if Adam feels like Jan from Brady Bunch whenever the "iconic" Rose is brought up?

"Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!"

Trade Adam so I don't have to keep going into work and defending him. I want to talk about something else. :lol:

Or maybe we need to have Cliff Robertson (Ben Parker) give Adam a pep talk?.....

"Remember Pete...err... Adam. With great power comes great responsibility."

"This is my gift. My curse. I'm Spider.... uh..... Adam Dunn"

Matt700wlw
09-30-2007, 10:34 AM
Damn good article. I'm amazed that people think Marty and Brantley hate Adam because they harp on him at times.

It's only "hating" if they disagree with it.

He was all over Majewski the other night, and nobody said squat about it.

westofyou
09-30-2007, 10:56 AM
Most fans don’t understand that all those walks are much more valuable than the (so-called) ’productive outs.’ When Dunn gets a walk, it is a disappointment (for fans, because) everyone thinks the only thing he does is hit home runs. It is particularly disappointing to them when he doesn’t hit one with runners on base.“

Shoot, we covered this years ago. Leave it to Cincinnati press to actually print it 5 years later.

In football season.

MWM
09-30-2007, 11:00 AM
It's only "hating" if they disagree with it.

He was all over Majewski the other night, and nobody said squat about it.

Because he happens to be right about that one. BIG difference. All the whining about poor Marty and about what a "shame" it is people get on Marty about his dislike of certain players has got be every bit as bad as all the "haters" of Marty. Marty might have said some nice things about Dunn for the purpose of this article, but based on what he says on a nightly basis during the seasons weights much heavier than a few quotes for an article like the one above. It has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing. Marty's been very clear how he feels about Adam's game over the years. What he said here doesn't erase that.

Heck, I think Marty is every bit the lightning rod that Dunn is. And I bet if you look at the masses who are the peopla GAC describe that he works with, they'll mostly be the same people who fawm over Marty. It's probably not a perfect one to one relationship, but I bet it's pretty darn close.

Matt700wlw
09-30-2007, 11:18 AM
I'm not whining about "poor Marty," I just don't think what he says about players is as big a deal as some people want to make it.

Some people get so worked up because he may voice an opinion that differs from theirs, and that he has the cajones (and I would say the ok from his bosses) to voice those opinions.

Some people don't like that.

MWM
09-30-2007, 11:22 AM
Some people get so worked up because he may voice an opinion that differs from theirs

If it were just that, I don't think anyone would care all that much. It's much more than that and it's been discussed tirelessly on this site. I'm not going to rehash all the reasons why, but you're definitely wrong about the "differing opinion" angle being what people don't like about Marty.

Matt700wlw
09-30-2007, 11:24 AM
If it were just that, I don't think anyone would care all that much. It's much more than that and it's been discussed tirelessly on this site. I'm not going to rehash all the reasons why, but you're definitely wrong about the "differing opinion" angle being what people don't like about Marty.

Probably a good idea....we don't another Marty thread :D

Cyclone792
09-30-2007, 12:03 PM
I doubt John Erardi would even want the gig, but it'd be oh-so-nice if he were the Reds' beat writer for the Enquirer.

TeamBoone
09-30-2007, 01:25 PM
Cunningham, Marty, and just about every other yakbag talking head in town that seems to think if you aren't gutting out every fly ball to 1st that you don't deserve a game check.

I think that part of this stems from the hullabaloo earlier this season (or was it last season), when Adam brought his golf clubs to the clubhouse. Fans were livid over that, why, I don't know. I think you can even find at least one thread on this site that dealt with it.

Fans don't like that he fishes on his day off... they want him to be at the park hitting in the cage, etc., especially because of the money he makes. They want him focusing on baseball, baseball, baseball... even on his day off, even though it may be one or two days a month. I suppose these fans go to their workplace every weekend when they are off to hone their trade.


“He has told me that his average with runners in scoring position is a frustrating thing for him,” Hatteberg says. “He wishes he were better at that. But with him, he’s in scoring position when he walks to the plate. That stat (has application) to somebody like me, a guy who doesn’t drive the ball out of the yard as much. It’s not a fair stat when you’re talking about him.”

Amen, Hatte. Too bad a whole lot of other people can't see it that way.

Without runners in scoring position, he hit 19 solo HRs this year. Of the remaining 21 HRs, fourteen were with runners on 1B. That's 47 RBI with runners NOT in scoring position (around a .275 BA).... but those scored runs don't count in the RISP stat.

Scott's right; for a power hitter, they need to come up with a new stat... one that's just as recognizable to the casual fan as RISP.


It's only "hating" if they disagree with it.

He was all over Majewski the other night, and nobody said squat about it.

That's because Majik doesn't do his job very well... a huge difference between him and Adam Dunn, who does do his job well, but still gets ripped on an almost daily basis, not only for each thing he does in the game that's perceivably wrong to Marty Brennaman who does not see the forest for the trees, but also for his personal personna, which is purely conjecture on Marty's part.

pedro
09-30-2007, 01:28 PM
I'm not whining about "poor Marty," I just don't think what he says about players is as big a deal as some people want to make it.

Some people get so worked up because he may voice an opinion that differs from theirs, and that he has the cajones (and I would say the ok from his bosses) to voice those opinions.

Some people don't like that.

As far as I know Marty's never suggested that Majewski's troubles were do to the fact that he was lazy or didn't care.

Matt700wlw
09-30-2007, 01:29 PM
As far as I know Marty's never suggested that Majewski's troubles were do to the fact that he was lazy or didn't care.

I've wondered if Dunn cares before....I think he does, he's just laid back, which sometimes makes it appear that he doesn't.

Majewski just stinks :D

Unassisted
10-01-2007, 12:39 PM
Erardi also had this column (http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070930/SPT04/709300387/1062/SPT) yesterday.



Radio announcers influence fans
Early criticism of Dunn helped him become hot topic
BY JOHN ERARDI | JERARDI@ENQUIRER.COM

When it comes to the public's perception of players, Marty and Thom Brennaman might have more influence than anybody else - including the athletes themselves.

The two Brennamans, along with fellow announcer Jeff Brantley, have not been shy about calling attention to Adam Dunn's shortcomings.

Greg Gajus, who writes about and researches baseball statistics, said the Brennamans helped turn fans against Dunn, particularly early in the season.

"(Their) constant carping of his weaknesses is what has made him more of a lightning rod," Gajus says. "A characteristic of all bad teams, and their fans, is that they focus on the shortcomings of their best players, instead of the real weaknesses of the team."

True, the two Brennamans and Brantley focused on Dunn's weaknesses. But in the second half of the season, they became backers of Dunn, to whom they'd dished out criticism leading up to the trade deadline.

Marty Brennaman understands why some people might blame him and his cohorts for making Dunn the focus of discontent.

"But, like I've said before, 'If I'm going to praise you when you play well, then I reserve the right to be critical of you when you don't.' ... If (listeners) were turned off on Adam Dunn by my comments from April to the All-Star Game, then they've got to be turned on to him by what I've said since then."

The Brennamans say they think Dunn could do something about his standing with Reds fans. Thom says Dunn could warm up to the idea of being a Red, and Marty says if Dunn lost some weight, he'd reach more balls in the outfield and score on more balls hit through the infield.

Like most big men, Dunn does take awhile to get moving.

"He is not physically able to cover the ground people want him to cover," Brantley says. "As a result, he's diving for balls he probably shouldn't be diving for (because it puts his health, and thus, his real value on offense at risk), but he's trying to prove to people, 'I'm trying as hard as I can.' "

Chip R
10-01-2007, 12:44 PM
Also, 3 other articles

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070930/SPT04/309300004

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070930/SPT04/309300003

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070930/SPT04/309300002

KittyDuran
10-01-2007, 12:55 PM
Excerpts from an interview with statistical analyst Justin Inaz on Adam Dunn.

"Who was the greatest baseball hero in Cincinnati? For a lot of fans, at least up to my generation, it was Pete Rose: a scrappy, hustling, guy who didn't strike out much, didn't have a whole lot of power, and got lots of base hits. He wasn't the best player in baseball, and often wasn't the best player on the Reds team, but he was the hero.

"Adam Dunn is in many ways the complete opposite. He's huge, doesn't look like he's hustling much on the field (though he's durable as heck, which he gets no credit for...played through the 2005 season with a broken hand!), strikes out a ton, has tons of power, and often gets almost as many extra base hits as he does singles. I think he's good at exactly those things that Cincinnati fans somehow have decided aren't important. Even if they do help win ballgames.

"As an aside, Philadelphia has two players that are a lot like Dunn: Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard. And there fans love Howard and hate Burrell. Go figure."

"The biggest need for the Reds is still better run prevention, be it via improved fielding or improved pitching. Without knowing the trade market and free agent market, it's hard to know what exactly is feasible. But getting another plus defender in the outfield, either by trading Griffey or moving Dunn to 1B, would be a step in the right direction in terms of the fielding problem."

Another reason that not mentioned here is that Rose is also from Cincinnati - a hometown guy. Not the best reason, but an important reason for many fans in the area.

westofyou
10-01-2007, 12:56 PM
Maybe I missed it, but one of the big reasons that Rose is the ultimate sports icon in Cincinnati, is that he is a hometown guy.

So was Larkin and he was at times treated like he was from Cleveland.

Johnny Footstool
10-01-2007, 12:56 PM
Shoot, we covered this years ago. Leave it to Cincinnati press to actually print it 5 years later.

In football season.

Next we'll be hearing about those crazy new "radar ranges" that can cook food in under a minute.

KittyDuran
10-01-2007, 01:11 PM
So was Larkin and he was at times treated like he was from Cleveland.True, and we can list other "home-grown" Cincinnati ballplayers and they pale against Pete...but I included the home-grown angle with the other so-called "qualities" of Rose. Larkin is hometown but I wouldn't classify him as having those qualities that Inaz mentioned in his article:


a scrappy, hustling, guy who didn't strike out much, didn't have a whole lot of power, and got lots of base hits. He wasn't the best player in baseball, and often wasn't the best player on the Reds team, but he was the hero.

westofyou
10-01-2007, 01:15 PM
True, and we can list other "home-grown" Cincinnati ballplayers and they pale against Pete...but I included the home-grown angle with the other so-called "qualities" of Rose. Larkin is hometown but I wouldn't classify him as having those qualities that Inaz mentioned in his article:

If you want to compile a list of Home Town HOF players treated like crap put Barry on top.


a scrappy, hustling, guy who didn't strike out much, didn't have a whole lot of power, and got lots of base hits.
Sounds a lot like the Barry Larkin I remember.

Doubles are a sign of power, Pete had those coming out of his ears.

Roy Tucker
10-01-2007, 01:27 PM
I doubt John Erardi would even want the gig, but it'd be oh-so-nice if he were the Reds' beat writer for the Enquirer.

My sentiments exactly.

When I saw this article on the front page of the Enquirer sports section and John Erardi was the author, I took a cup of coffee over the couch to read this and savor and enjoy.

Erardi always does excellent and quality work. I really can't say the same about Scoop Fay. To his credit, Fay was better in 2007, but that brings him up to "barely competent".

KittyDuran
10-01-2007, 01:40 PM
If you want to compile a list of Home Town HOF players treated like crap put Barry on top.


Sounds a lot like the Barry Larkin I remember.

Doubles are a sign of power, Pete had those coming out of his ears.HUH??? Why didn't you include the other part of the quote?


He wasn't the best player in baseball, and often wasn't the best player on the Reds team, but he was the hero.
Barry was one of the supreme players at his position - there was no contest with Rose, even tho' Pete played multiple positions adequately, he was no gold glover - Barry gets it hands-down. And for many years Barry was the best player on the Reds.

Oh well, to each his own, but "scappy, hustling" means to me means having to "scape out" playing baseball because you don't have the natural gifts (see Nunnley, Stynes, Hopper, Keppinger, etc.). What many fans see, unfortunately, is themselves in these players, they can relate because the majority would never be good enough to play MLB because they don't have any natural talent.

westofyou
10-01-2007, 02:04 PM
Oh well, to each his own, but "scappy, hustling" means to me means having to "scape out" playing baseball because you don't have the natural gifts (see Nunnley, Stynes, Hopper, Keppinger, etc.). What many fans see, unfortunately, is themselves in these players, they can relate because the majority would never be good enough to play MLB because they don't have any natural talent.

I'm not anti scrappy by any means, but I also never thought of Pete Rose as being in the scrappy pile, he was a superstar on a superstar team. The other guys are every men for their play, Pete was an everyman because he was able to get along with every man, he was a witty, verbose jock in his hometown, he was a story everyday he stepped out of his house in Cincinnati. That IMO is what made him huge in town, that and he could play the game, anywhere on the field.

KittyDuran
10-01-2007, 02:08 PM
I'm not anti scrappy by any means, but I also never thought of Pete Rose as being in the scrappy pile, he was a superstar on a superstar team. The other guys are every men for their play, Pete was an everyman because he was able to get along with every man, he was a witty, verbose jock in his hometown, he was a story everyday he stepped out of his house in Cincinnati. That IMO is what made him huge in town, that and he could play the game, anywhere on the field.So, Barry was crapped on here in Cincinnati because of__________? (if him and Pete were so much alike as you say - there much be something else...maybe non-baseball related - if that is what you're hinting at???).

westofyou
10-01-2007, 02:18 PM
So, Barry was crapped on here in Cincinnati because of__________? (if him and Pete were so much alike as you say - there much be something else...maybe non-baseball related - if that is what you're hinting at???).

Mainly because he was outspoken in an era that was just starting to deal with outspoken ballplayers, not just speaking about their salary that is. He was more complaining about the running of the club where as Pete was known to complain about his salary. However there is the black and white thing, as well as East Cincinnati vs West Cincinnati and the fact that Barry went to Michigan probably irks a few fans. My take is that many felt Pete was the ultimate symbol of the city and that Barry despite being from the city never was, I don't see any streets named after him.

We all know that not everyone can be Pete Rose, we're just starting to see that not everyone can be Barry Larkin too.

Chip R
10-01-2007, 03:21 PM
Mainly because he was outspoken in an era that was just starting to deal with outspoken ballplayers, not just speaking about their salary that is. He was more complaining about the running of the club where as Pete was known to complain about his salary. However there is the black and white thing, as well as East Cincinnati vs West Cincinnati and the fact that Barry went to Michigan probably irks a few fans. My take is that many felt Pete was the ultimate symbol of the city and that Barry despite being from the city never was, I don't see any streets named after him.



I seem to recall him being critical of Marge back in the early 90s when she made her statements about blacks. I wasn't living here then but I do recall reading something about the natives being very critical of him and it eventually made him move down to FLA.

KittyDuran
10-01-2007, 03:42 PM
I seem to recall him being critical of Marge back in the early 90s when she made her statements about blacks. I wasn't living here then but I do recall reading something about the natives being very critical of him and it eventually made him move down to FLA.I would like to think that him and other ballplayers move to FL because of their money... [but it's a good story]

red-in-la
10-01-2007, 03:50 PM
Doesn't this debate start and end with what the roster looks like next year.....or better put, who are the 5 outfielders next year?

Does Jay Bruce start the season with the team? Does JR play every day?

Does Ryan Freel have a place on this team anymore? Does Gonzalez have a place? Is Keppinger the starting SS?

It seems to me that you could have 5 outfielders named Bruce, Griffey, Hopper, Hamilton and Dunn. That would mean that only Hopper was RH.

I guess my point is, being critical of Dunn or supporting him may not be the issue.....the issue may be the need to improve the balance of the roster.

Chip R
10-01-2007, 05:03 PM
I don't want to turn this into a Poor Adam Dunn thread but this quote from Thom really intrigued me.

"In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve found (Dunn) to be an outgoing, just a nice guy,” Thom Brennaman says. “But I’m not sure if any of the fans have seen him really warm to being a Red. I don’t know why that is, and that might be completely inaccurate.

”But it seems to me a guy like him could have really owned this town, because he has such an engaging personality ... I’ve thought this about a lot of different players in a lot of different towns: If the players never make it feel like they want to be one with the fans, the fans are not going to treat them like they are. I think the fans want to see that Adam wants to be a Red forever. They want to feel like he wants to be here.“

I don't know what he has to do to make people believe that he wants to be a Red. He didn't have to sign that deal when Wayne took over. He could have gone to arbitration and bailed after his 6th year.

westofyou
10-01-2007, 05:17 PM
2nd on the team in seniority, he's still here.. what else does have to do?

Eat a bag of JTM at Fountain Square with Bill Cunningham?

pedro
10-01-2007, 06:39 PM
I don't want to turn this into a Poor Adam Dunn thread but this quote from Thom really intrigued me.

"In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve found (Dunn) to be an outgoing, just a nice guy,” Thom Brennaman says. “But I’m not sure if any of the fans have seen him really warm to being a Red. I don’t know why that is, and that might be completely inaccurate.

”But it seems to me a guy like him could have really owned this town, because he has such an engaging personality ... I’ve thought this about a lot of different players in a lot of different towns: If the players never make it feel like they want to be one with the fans, the fans are not going to treat them like they are. I think the fans want to see that Adam wants to be a Red forever. They want to feel like he wants to be here.“

I don't know what he has to do to make people believe that he wants to be a Red. He didn't have to sign that deal when Wayne took over. He could have gone to arbitration and bailed after his 6th year.

yeah, other than say he wants to be a Red in the press. Thom is a moron.

Chip R
10-01-2007, 07:00 PM
yeah, other than say he wants to be a Red in the press. Thom is a moron.


That may be so but he's probably not wrong. I honestly think people feel like that. I think people felt like that about Eric Davis tgoo. They probably felt that the forst opportunity he got, he'd be off to LA. Of course he did end up there but it wasn't his doing. People here get their undies in a bunch if a Reds' player even hints that he likes to play in another city. When the Reds went out to SEA Jr. was so moved by the response of the Mariners fans he said he wouldn't mind going back to SEA. You remember the tempest it caused. When Arroyo was traded here he kept saying he missed BOS and even though he was having a good year, he caught a lot of flack for that until he signed that long term deal.

RedsManRick
10-01-2007, 07:02 PM
yeah, other than say he wants to be a Red in the press. Thom is a moron.

I happen to agree with Thom's perception of the fans problem with Dunn. Many, if not most Reds fans haven't adopted Dunn as one of their own. They just don't see him as a "true Red". Just as the Yankees have this mythical identity which involves doing certain things, so do the Reds. A-Rod, for all his wonderful performance, isn't a "true Yankee" the way Jeter or Bernie Williams is.

It's a cultural thing more than anything else. Dunn doesn't seem like he could be from Cincinnati and hasn't sucked up to the right people. He hasn't sacrificed for the team. He hasn't taken less money or carried the team to the playoffs on his back. Obviously these aren't fair criticisms. They are more judgments on the way fans react to players than anything else. But I don't think Thom Brennamen is at fault for recognizing it.

You can tell when the player has been adopted because people will talk about their strengths rather than their weaknesses. Sean Casey was a friendly guy who could rope doubles rather than a power challenged, slow footed, slap hitter. Dunn is a lazy guy who swings the fences and doesn't care about striking out or defense rather than a offensive machine who walks 100 times a year while hitting 40 homers.

Now, if Thom is implying that Adam Dunn should be more outgoing and trying to win a fan base, I'd have to disagree. The problem lies with stupid fans. But I don't think there's any doubt that Dunn has never been accepted by a large portion of the Reds fanbase.

westofyou
10-01-2007, 08:02 PM
It's a cultural thing more than anything else. Dunn doesn't seem like he could be from Cincinnati and hasn't sucked up to the right people.

Funny... the same has been said about me.

RFS62
10-01-2007, 08:08 PM
Funny... the same has been said about me.


It's because you don't use the little words that win posts.

Rally killer.

RFS62
10-01-2007, 08:10 PM
I am completely convinced that the Cincinnati public's opinion of Adam Dunn is shaped by one Franchester Brennamen. His word is gospel in the Rhineland, and no matter how he explains away his relentless attacks, they are woven into the fabric of Dunn's public persona.

pedro
10-01-2007, 08:34 PM
If the people of Cincinnati are waiting for Adam Dunn to say how much he loves them because they're the greatest ever and he'd be willing to play there for free forever (and cut down on strikeouts!!) because it's just the bestest place on the planet then that's their problem. Honestly, if this is true then Cincinnati has a bigger collective chip on it's shoulder than I thought. How lame.

KittyDuran
10-01-2007, 09:46 PM
yeah, other than say he wants to be a Red in the press. Thom is a moron.A couple years ago in the Houston press he more or less said he wouldn't mind being an Astro - he was just saying it probably to be nice (and who wouldn't want to go back home) - but it got fans uppitty.

Bear with me on this... (ramble)
The problem I see not only with this issue but with other issues surrounding baseball is that baseball fans like to live in the past. The player that some fans want/desire no longer exists. Gone are the days when players identified with not only a team but with the city/region as well. Some, notably Arroyo and Harang, have reached out to the community and are more visible. It's petty to look at these things and not the product on the field, but fans want a complete package to really feel as if the player wants to be here. It can be very petty in a very small way, i.e., not posing for pictures at the previous RedsFest (not last year's which he missed with the new baby) - I along with others who were not interested in autographs were disappointed. But it sticks…:( And NO I don't hate Dunn, I was just disappointed.

I was going to go into comparing Dunn with Perez and Bench but it sounded strange...

KittyDuran
10-01-2007, 09:46 PM
If the people of Cincinnati are waiting for Adam Dunn to say how much he loves them because they're the greatest ever and he'd be willing to play there for free forever (and cut down on strikeouts!!) because it's just the bestest place on the planet then that's their problem. Honestly, if this is true then Cincinnati has a bigger collective chip on it's shoulder than I thought. How lame.Hey, we're morons, remember???!!! ;)

Edit... Thom's a moron - but the people are a close second!!!

TeamBoone
10-01-2007, 11:08 PM
IIRC, he was asked the Houston press if he wanted to play for the Astros and he responded something like.... (paraphrasing) sure, everyone wants to go home someday.

... instead of really looking at what he said, Cincinnati fans went balistic.

It wasn't a flat out "do you want to play for Houston" and he answered "yes, I do".

KronoRed
10-02-2007, 02:00 AM
If he wanted out he wouldn't have signed a deal that gives the Reds 3 years, he could have refused and already be gone.

Why do people miss that?

TeamBoone
10-02-2007, 02:07 AM
If he wanted out he wouldn't have signed a deal that gives the Reds 3 years, he could have refused and already be gone.

Why do people miss that?

I don't know, Krono... I just don't know.

Ron Madden
10-02-2007, 02:22 AM
If he wanted out he wouldn't have signed a deal that gives the Reds 3 years, he could have refused and already be gone.

Why do people miss that?

I quess some people choose to ignore any/everything that goes against their preconcieved notions. It's easier for them that way.
;)

KittyDuran
10-02-2007, 05:43 AM
IIRC, he was asked the Houston press if he wanted to play for the Astros and he responded something like.... (paraphrasing) sure, everyone wants to go home someday.

... instead of really looking at what he said, Cincinnati fans went balistic.

It wasn't a flat out "do you want to play for Houston" and he answered "yes, I do"."Someday" could be next year or ten years - it was still very poor PR on his part IMHO. :thumbdown

KittyDuran
10-02-2007, 05:46 AM
I quess some people choose to ignore any/everything that goes against their preconcieved notions. It's easier for them that way.
;)And that's why RedsZone has too many threads on Dunn and Marty! ;)

KittyDuran
10-02-2007, 05:52 AM
IIRC, he was asked the Houston press if he wanted to play for the Astros and he responded something like.... (paraphrasing) sure, everyone wants to go home someday.

... instead of really looking at what he said, Cincinnati fans went balistic.

It wasn't a flat out "do you want to play for Houston" and he answered "yes, I do".Here's the thread in question...
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35672&highlight=dunn+houston+play

KittyDuran
10-02-2007, 06:29 AM
If he wanted out he wouldn't have signed a deal that gives the Reds 3 years, he could have refused and already be gone.

Why do people miss that?I dunno, would he be gone? I thought the Reds/Dunn signed the 3 year deal to avoid arbitration. When does Dunn become a free agent anyway? :confused:

pedro
10-02-2007, 01:19 PM
"Someday" could be next year or ten years - it was still very poor PR on his part IMHO. :thumbdown

I think that's pretty harsh for a guy who just answered a question honestly.

If he said no then people in Cincinnati would just accuse him of lying. The guy can't win IMO.

KronoRed
10-02-2007, 01:30 PM
I dunno, would he be gone? I thought the Reds/Dunn signed the 3 year deal to avoid arbitration. When does Dunn become a free agent anyway? :confused:

Pretty sure if he didn't sign that deal he would have been one after last season.

flyer85
10-02-2007, 01:32 PM
I dunno, would he be gone? I thought the Reds/Dunn signed the 3 year deal to avoid arbitration. When does Dunn become a free agent anyway? :confused:Dunn could have become a free agent after 2007, instead he signed a two year deal before the 2006 season with a club option for a 3rd that bought out a year of free agency.

If the Reds decline the option he would immediately become a free agent. If they pick up the option and he doesn't sign an extension he will become a free agent after the 2008 season.

KronoRed
10-02-2007, 01:40 PM
So it's only 2007? ok then, if Dunn hated it here so much, why not demand a PLAYER option? ;)

KittyDuran
10-02-2007, 01:40 PM
I think that's pretty harsh for a guy who just answered a question honestly.

If he said no then people in Cincinnati would just accuse him of lying. The guy can't win IMO.Silence is golden! ;)

KittyDuran
10-02-2007, 01:41 PM
So it's only 2007? ok then, if Dunn hated it here so much, why not demand a PLAYER option? ;)Maybe that's what he did during lunch with Bob! :)

pedro
10-02-2007, 01:41 PM
Silence is golden! ;)

But Kitty, then he'd be accused of being a jerk. Can't win I tell ya.

KittyDuran
10-02-2007, 01:48 PM
I think that's pretty harsh for a guy who just answered a question honestly.

If he said no then people in Cincinnati would just accuse him of lying. The guy can't win IMO.

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard (1868 - 1930)

Honesty is a good thing, but it is not profitable to its possessor unless it is kept under control. Don Marquis (1878 - 1937)

Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

:)

pedro
10-02-2007, 01:50 PM
Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard (1868 - 1930)

Honesty is a good thing, but it is not profitable to its possessor unless it is kept under control. Don Marquis (1878 - 1937)

Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

:)

nice. :)

KittyDuran
10-02-2007, 02:01 PM
nice. :)I was going to post this often repeated Twain quote...

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

But Dunn's not always the big dumb Texan... :D