(Ed. Bumped to top because people need to see this.)

After reading some of the more outrageous comments about how Adam Dunn caused the Reds to lose, I spent wasted 15 minutes looking at his game logs. The Reds were far better with Dunn than without. This is something that should be obvious to anyone, but sadly, isn’t.

The Reds, without, and with Adam Dunn:

With Dunn
Year W L Wins Per 162 G
2001 31 35 0.470 76
2002 76 82 0.481 78
2003 54 62 0.466 75
2004 76 85 0.472 76
2005 71 88 0.447 72
2006 79 81 0.494 80
2007 69 83 0.454 74
2008 50 64 0.439 71
Total 506 580 0.466 75
Without Dunn
W L 162
35 61 0.365 59
2 2 0.500 81
15 31 0.326 53
0 1 0.000
2 1 0.667 108
1 1 0.500 81
3 7 0.300 49
5 6 0.455 74
63 110 0.364 59
Total
W L
66 96 .407
78 84 .481
69 93 .426
76 86 .469
73 89 .451
80 82 .494
72 90 .444
55 70 .440
569 690 .452

Breaking that down:

With Dunn, they were the equivalent of a 75-87 team. Not good, but much better than the 59-103 atrocity they were without him, and the 73-89 team they were, overall during his career.

Oh, and the D-Backs are 4-2 since they got him..

27 Responses

  1. Chris

    Dunn critics will note that the D-Backs have fallen into a tie for first since the Dunn trade. (The Dodgers, led by fellow slacker Manny, have gone 6-1 and caught up).

  2. Matt Steele

    Espn was commenting the other day about how many runs the Dbacks have scored since Dunn was in their lineup. They brought up the good things he does, ie. Get on base, take pitches (2nd in majors) and perhaps make pitchers pitch better to other hitters (though I always felt that that was a dubious claim regardless of the batter)

    I’ll admit, I’m still bitter that the Reds traded away my favorite player. I haven’t been able to really watch a full game since then.

    Dunn wasn’t the greatest player ever and like many players he certainly had his flaws, but how people blamed (blame) him so viciously for the Reds not doing well is beside me. I’ll probably never understand how so many people don’t like him or think that he’s so much worse than he is.

  3. Phill

    I’ll never understand why Dunn creates such a split. It seems like you either hate his guts or love him. I liked Dunn and enjoyed watching him play and hope he continues to do well.

    Aparently batting average and strikeouts are the most important things when it comes to evaluating a player to some people. Also that a player has to be a hotheaded ass to everyone to show how much he cares otherwise they’re lazy and don’t care about baseball.

  4. Kurt Frost

    I think what it all comes down to is two things:

    1. Most people are stupid.
    2. Most people aren’t happy unless they have something to bitch about.

  5. Jack

    Winning cures all…but this town hasn’t had a cure in a long time.

  6. Sultan of Swaff

    Over at Red Reporter there was a post about the team’s fortunes after they traded away their best home run hitter going back to the big Klu. Yeah, the next season was abysmal, but by the second or third season they were back in the World Series. The lesson to me is that there’s more than one way to build this thing, and the Reds are transitioning to a new model–one not centered around power hitting corner outfielders (is that ever successful??).

  7. Mark

    Your stats above very well may be the same reason why people do not believe that this team should have built around Adam Dunn. With Dunn, the team never achieved .500 ball for a season in any of the 8 seasons. Is that fair? Perhaps not, but it would be a tough pill for Reds fans to swallow if the club gave him a huge pay raise and decided to build around him when it just has not produced the right formula in the past.

  8. John in Louisville

    People don’t like Dunn because of his personality. It seems like he doesn’t care about the game – that is a major turn off. Fans want to see excitement and players that are giving everything they got – and perception is reality. Dunn was giving it his all, but many times it didn’t look that way.

    Once your gut tells you to like or dislike a player, then you look for other evidence to support your argument. So Dunn haters point to BA and Ks. Dunn lovers point to taters and OPS.

  9. Mark T

    The critical stat is 75-87 – yes, they did better with Dunn in the lineup, but were not good.

    Dunn can be a cog in a larger machine – surround him with other power hitters and he’ll blend well and produce. In Cincinnati he absorbed so much of the payroll that the team could not afford to provide those other power hitters. So it was left to the streaky, slump-prone Dunn to carry the team. He was not capable. The Reds were wise to trade him.

    The off-season will be interesting. Give me two cheaper 270/20 home run guys to replace Dunn, and it could get interesting.

  10. daedalus

    Those are numbers. The toothless Daugherty Dittoheads don’t understand those.

  11. justcorbly

    People who argue that Dunn caused the Reds to lose are wrong, as are people who claim that Dunn caused the Reds to win.

    Dunn was traded because the team made a judgment that his contribution to the team would cost more than it’s worth. That’s what owners and managers do — they make judgments about personnel. Otherwise, we’d simply write some statistics software to determine who plays and when.

    I’ve always found Dunn to be a disappointing player. What he does well, he does consistently. But, he has never been a quality batter.

    The Reds made a fundamental mistake when they built the GAP as a homer-friendly park without loading the team with high-average power hitters and low-ERA pitchers. They forgot, apparently, that the visiting team could hit balls out of the GAP, too. And, because the visitors almost always field better pitchers, the Reds almost always lose that contest.

    So, once again, we return to the self-evident reality that the key to the Reds’ future is better pitching, followed closely by better defense, better hitting for average, and better baserunning.

    The Reds with Dunn were like a soccer mom stuck with an eight-cylinder SUV with 100k miles on it and kids who are leaving home next year. Time to make a change.

  12. justcorbly

    For “GAP”, please read “that fireworks-spewing thing on the river”, not the clothes shop in the mall. Sigh….

  13. Mark in CC

    This horse has been ridden to death until it is just bones in the sand. I don’t think anyone can argue that the last place/small market Reds were a better team with Adam Dunn in the line-up. But the Reds can not afford(financially) to build there team around one player. If, as you said a few days ago it would take $17.5 million to sign him next year, that makes 20% of your payroll on one player and that isn’t going to work. You say it shouldn’t be about money, but it is about the money.

    Small market teams can win in todays financial climate, and I hope that is what the Reds are trying to do, but we can’t do it with 20% of our money going to one guy.

    The horse id dead, the bones are in the sand. Time to take off the saddle, put it on a new horse and come to the realization that we finally have a management team that is going to take a realistic approach to giving us a winner.

    When the winning begins maybe they can afford a superstar salary (hopefully by the time Bruce is demanding it) like Pujols on the Cardinals. That is how they did it (and still do to some extent) and they guy who did that building is now doing ours.

  14. Josh

    Those numbers are skewed. There are so many variables surrounding them that its difficult for me to allow that they really “mean” anything.

    There are simply too many factors involved for us to take this as Dunn “made the team better” including, but not limited to, who the starting pitchers were on that day (Reds and opponent), runs scored against, his replacement player, etc.

    I loved Dunn. Love him. The only Reds jersey I’ve owned was his and I wish they kept him, but to make this argument is no more than grasping at straws for another argument on why we should have kept Dunner. Lets just get past the fact that he’s gone and look forward…

  15. Chris

    I agree entirely, Josh. Baseball is a team game, and no one player is responsible for winning or losing.

    However, several people are making the opposite claim – that Dunn somehow made the team worse, despite being productive (a career .380 OBP is “quality,” justcorbly).

    The numbers I looked up may not affirmatively prove anything, but I’m pretty comfortable that they do disprove that particular bit of nonsense.

    Predictably, some people still look at those numbers and find fault with Adam Dunn (See #11 – “yes, they did better with Dunn in the lineup, but were not good.”)

    “Some men, you just can’t reach.”

  16. jason1972

    Cincinnati fans like players who hustle, act as team cheerleaders in public, and who play every day. Dunn was only 1 of those 3 things. It’s the same reason Cincinnati fans were brutal to players like Griffey and Eric Davis and loved guys like Pete Rose, Chris Sabo, and Sean Casey.

    Dunn just didn’t reflect the values fickle Cincinnati fans project on their star players, and being one of few quality players on this team in the last 8 years made him uncomfortably the center of attention.

    The Reds utlimately were never going to go anywhere with Dunn in the lineup anyway, so I don’t have a problem with the way they moved him.

    It’s time for you guys to get over it and move on, you aren’t going to change any minds at this point.

  17. orangeandbrown

    Excellent thread. I’m certainly disappointed in the trade, but I can see why it had to be done. I believe Dunn was a good player and produced in ways that were important. Some baseball fans don’t look past batting average, and they never will. As for building for the future, I hope there’s a plan. Right now, its only apparent what the plan isn’t.

  18. World

    I don’t think many of the contributers here are taking into account that Adam Dunn would have all the teams to bargain with at the end of the season. I don’t think that it was exclusively a Reds’ decision as to whether he stayed or went. Bob Castellini was not going to pay him $16M a season, I can tell you that for sure.

    So it was time to start over. It is just a true shame that Dunn’s bat wasn’t traded to the AL before the season began. Someone with that power, despiute all his warts, should have brought more than what has been shuffled over to the Reds. Cincinnati has enough question marks and players who spend more time with Mark Mann and Choo-Choo Baumann than they do with Billy Hatcher and Chris Speier.

    Well, Dunn’s service here is done now and it is time to look to the future. If the first round pick is the read deal, then it’s a year or so before he and Joey Votto and Bruce and Phillips are making everyone forget about Adam Dunn. Walt J. knows how to put a team together. He’s doing the additon by subtraction thing now. In the offseason I’m sure he will sign what the Reds need to push towards .500 and beyond.

    And Adam Dunn will be the DH in Boston or Cleveland or some such place and will be a richer and happier man.

  19. Phill

    Maybe it’s just me but I could see Dunn being a good fit with the Rangers. An outfield of Dunn, Hamilton and Murphy wouldn’t be too shabby. Then again they would probably be better off trying to get quality pitching first.

  20. per14

    He’s going to the Yankees, will DH, and will 400 more HRs.

  21. Mark T

    Part of the problem was Castellini’s goal of winning now and winning in the future too. It put Krivsky in the impossible position of having to keep Dunn and Griffey while developing other talent too – what Castellini wanted was impossible to achieve. Had he merely told Wayne to build for the future, he could have traded Dunn for prospects long ago.

  22. Andy

    16. Yes, there are other factors that contribute to whether the team won or loss, but I’d think the sample size we’re talking about here — 1,000 + games and over a seasons worth of games played without AD — is enough to negate the outside factors somewhat. It may not be a completely air-tight hypothesis, I think you’d have to go back and link some kind of measure of performance that you could attribute to an individual, but as jumping off point you could do a lot worse.

  23. justcorbly

    Chris: First, I was never anti-Dunn or a proponent of a trade. Second, I was addressing batting and hitting skill, not .OBP. Two different animals. When youy need a hit, as opposed to a walk, Dunn is not your best choice. (How many times did we see Dunn come up with men on base and produce a walk rather than an RBI?) Third: Someone decided Dunn’s contribution wasn’t worth the money. That doesn’t make Dunn a bad ball player. It just makes him a ball player the Reds don’t want to pay for.

    Mark’s take is on target. The way for teams like the Reds to win is to build teams of several young and outstanding players, and to understand that they are likely to keep such a team intact for only a few years. Fans need to understand that. (Even the primary starting eight players of the Big Red Machine of the ’70’s stated togther for just a few years.) Players almost always follow the money. A few extra million buys a lot of loyalty.

  24. Josh

    25, Andy. Yes, I’ll give you that 1000 games is pretty good, but a season’s worth of “without AD” is not even close. First, there are two major outliers…only two years have them without Dunn for more than 11 games. And lets look at the two seasons that Dunn was out for a substantial period.

    In 2001 I challenge you to find more than 3 pitchers that were on the roster at any point that still have big league jobs. I think Reitsma is working. Pretty sure Denys Reyes (ol’ Senor Sweat) is still out there, but after that I’m not sure. This team was flat out rotten. Dunn didn’t change that for better or worse.

    In 03 the team had a pretty strong outfield, but because of that, they probably wouldn’t have missed Dunn as much. The OF had Dunn, Griffey, Kearns, and Jose Guillen, and maybe Wily Mo got his first bit of PT. Anyways, I know that Griffey was out a significant portion as well, so we can’t really base anything on the mere absence of Dunn. I wouldn’t try to argue if you told me that the Reds were significantly worse with both Griffey and Dunn out. The pitching, again, was horrific.

    Anyways, I like poking holes and instigating a little bit. Again, i like Dunn and would have liked for him to stay, but this theory that with him out of the lineup the Reds were worse than they already are is flimsy at best.