Oh Really John?
John subtitles his column "OF has shown he deserves long-term deal". Then John goes on to make his case for signing Dunn long term. What are John's reasons?
#1 John writes that Dunn's OPS is annually among the best in baseball. He then goes on to write "He's 22nd in the category among active players. Only three players under age 30 are above him - No. 2 Albert Pujols, No. 14 Miguel Cabrera and No. 20 Mark Teixeira. "
This is the kind of classic name dropping stuff which has helped to fuel the Adam Dunn overratedness in Cincinnati all along. On a whole it's laughable to put Adam Dunn in the same conversation as Albert Pujols, Cabrera or Teixeira. It misrepresents Dunn's value/contributions as a baseball player to make these types of comparisons implying that Dunn's value in some way approaches the value of these other legitimately great "young" players.
#2 John writes "Those who value the more traditional numbers - batting average and strikeouts - dislike Dunn. " Again, John implies that those who value more "traditional" numbers focus primarily on batting average and strikeouts. This is absolutely wrong. Traditional numbers/analysis also took into account bases on balls, extra base hits, fielding, speed...etc... all the things that the new one stop shop saber formulas do but just didn't wrap them all up in extra formulas. "Traditionalists" wouldn't like Dunn's low BA and excessive strikeouts but equally important they wouldn't like is overall awful baseball fundamentals/smarts, awful fielding, lack of intensity/urgency in his game, situational struggles, horrible hitting with RISP, horrible bat control and relatively high left fielder salary on a team with a relatively low payroll.
#3 John writes "I also think the most overlooked stat in baseball is games played." You think so John? You have 25 players on the team. You also have the ability to bring players up from the minors or sign free agents. Which serves the team better to get peak performances from all players 130/140 games a year or have guys out there playing tired, hurt and/or just to accumulate personal stat lines to improve bargaining position for salary negotiations. Check the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 1990 Reds roster John and see the "games played" numbers for that group of everyday players (only one player appeared in greater than 150 games).
John goes on to write: (and this is good stuff)
"But my argument for keeping Dunn goes beyond numbers. He came to the Reds almost at the exact time I took over the beat in July 2001. He's a guy who always has been liked by everyone who covers the team on a daily basis."
"Dunn's a stand-up guy. Good game or bad game, he's there to talk. He's funny, self-deprecating - probably to a fault - and unafraid to speak his mind."
"He's a regular guy - if a regular guy can be 6 feet 6 and 275 pounds, hit the ball 500 feet and make $13 million a year."
"But, most important, he's become a leader. He'll call out guys. The karaoke event he organized last week was one of the best things the Reds have done for new players in a long time."
Those John are the extra "intangible" attributes of Dunn which you would base your decsion to sign him on? Those are the extra attributes which you would use to justify making Dunn your highest paid player for the next 5 years and to "build" your team around?
John says Dunn came to the Reds "almost at the exact time I took over the beat in July 2001". John might be a "nice guy". Dunn might be a "nice guy". Reds have been a sub .500 baseball team for 7 years. You connect the dots.