(Ed. We are happy to welcome frequent commenter Y-City Jim, who has submitted the following guest column.)
While I will miss Adam Dunn, the trade was probably the right thing for the Reds to do. The Reds will have a difficult time replacing his offensive production but that isn’t what irks me about the trade.
What really bothers me is the lack of respect given to Dunn after more than seven seasons with this club. He gave fans some wonderful highlights such as the walk-off HRs, and before his arm was hurt, some magnificient assists from his left field spot. In return, he earns derogatory remarks like the following from the likes of sports writers like Paul Daugherty:
He was slow, he had a mediocre arm, he played a dangerous left field. He was a big man whose bigness could give the impression he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t trying. Baseball wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t his passion. It was his job. He played it that way.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Another day closer to retirement,” Dunn said once a few years ago, around the batting cage before a game. That was Dunn. His teammates liked him, but he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t lead. Laid back should be a character trait, not a career choice. Not when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re making $13 million.
Slow, by what standards? No, he was no Jesse Owens but he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a snail either.
As for treating baseball like a job, is that a bad thing? Perhaps that is why he played hurt and why he played in 152 games or more each season except his rookie year and 2003. Passion is not a bad thing either but it certainly is a rare thing.
So he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t lead? There seems to be this image of a leader being someone screaming and yelling. A leader is someone who others follow. Dunn seems to fit that description perfectly.
Laid back shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be a career choice? So everyone should be a Type A personality, I guess. Nothing like a clubhouse full of impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about their status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation individuals. Sounds like a room full of Jimmy Piersalls.
Or you could suggest Dunn ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t all that.
Are you kidding me? Could you make any more of a snide remark? Totally unnecessary and unprofessional comment.
More to the point: Dunn never improved. He went through a steady stream of hitting coaches, none of whom could change his style or approach. After coach No. 3 or 4, you start to believe it was the hitter, not his coach.
Of course, you checked with all those hitting coaches to confirm this? Actually, a team that goes through that kind of a steady stream of hitting coaches in seven plus seasons seems to have a bigger problem.
Fortunately, some in the Reds media camp such as Hal McCoy were able to see a different Adam Dunn and appreciated the time and effort the big guy devoted to the club and his Ã¢â‚¬Å“job.Ã¢â‚¬Â
It was Sunday, long after the Cincinnati Reds lost their sixth straight game, long after they lost for the 14th time in 16 games.
Most of the players were dressed and gone, fleeing the scene of the carnage.
There were, though, five players gathered in a corner discussing the mess the team made this year, the embarrassment of losing, what it would take to improve the stifling situation.
The players were: Paul Bako, Jerry Hairston, Josh Fogg, Jolbert Cabrera and Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
And Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Adam Dunn.
Yes, Adam Dunn. So many fans misread Dunn. They thought him lazy. Have you ever tried moving 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds of muscle and bone? AinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t easy, pal.
Finally, I guess this comment pretty much dismisses the Ã¢â‚¬Å“doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t careÃ¢â‚¬Â label:
He said it, admitted it. He told the media he was awful at times. In 36 years of covering the Reds, I never met a more honest or self-deprecating guy. He never made excuses. He took the blame, sometimes blame he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t deserve.
Good Luck, Dunner! If you do, some day, prove to be worthy to be a Hall of Famer, I hope it can be wearing a Reds ball cap — but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure that we are worthy.