Tag Archives: Adam Dunn

The Big Donkey rides off into the sunset

10703722_10152794247093760_4412678523046929989_n

There are so few of guys over my history following the game that I feel like I had a real connection with – Adam Dunn was probably at the top of that totem pole of players. Probably my favorite player of my adult life retired today.

When I first got my drivers license, when Dunn was a 21-year old pup; I started driving myself two hours to games just to see him play. The first time I went to see him play he homered. When he poked his head out of the dugout that day we held a short conversation. It was meaningful to me because players at that point still seemed larger than life.

It seemed like he hit about 20 home runs when I was at the park. There were the memorable Opening Day blasts. The walk-off Grand slam off Bob Wickman. The night I saw him hit one out of the stadium off John Smoltz.

When I was in college I moved to Cincinnati and it was a treat because I could go to the ballpark when the Reds were home and see Dunn play. It was the summer of 2004 – and it’s what I consider to be Adam Dunn’s finest year in baseball. He hit 46 home runs that year and hit .266 with a .956 OPS. He was truly a dominating offensive presence at the age of 24 when there was little other reason to watch the Reds at night unless it was to see if Dunn dialed long distance on one.

There were countless off the field stories that I heard about Dunn that made me chuckle. We were around the same age – when I was in college Dunn was carousing in his own right in Cincinnati. From all accounts I heard, Dunn as a young player seemed like a fun loving, good, genuine dude who was well liked in the clubhouse and easy to root for. The Reds were abhorrent back in those days but you knew that a brighter day sat off in the distance. You knew we were on the way up. In a way; the Adam Dunn Reds era was a happier, simpler time.

I have argued with friends and family members about whether or not Adam Dunn is a good ballplayer. Whether his body of work is worthy of him being considered for greatness during a period of time. It’s useless to have these arguments the same way that arguing politics with someone on the other side is.

The fact of the matter is – I’ve always favored sluggers who could hit video-game style home runs and if a guy could do that, I care less about his glove. Adam Dunn was as true of a slugger as there ever was, he was the perfect player for me to fall in love with. He is hard to categorize or compare as Joe Posnanski did recently, because there is no other baseball atom just like Dunn ever before. One should stand back and appreciate his fabulous career for what it was as Jayson Stark recently did; because the fact of the matter is that Dunn was a very rare offensive weapon.

Career slugging of .490, career OPS of .854, reaching a .900 OPS in six seasons and coming very close in three others. He was a three true outcomes guy, and I loved it. He usually homered, walked, or struck out. Two out of three ain’t bad.

He was a tough Texan who I’m not sure ever really gave up dipping – I even saw him in with a lipper last night. A good old boy who just loved playing ball – he was chronicled in a 2002 Sports Illustrated article that displayed what a simple guy he was. I already liked what I saw from him his rookie year, but it was then I decided that Adam Dunn was my guy.  I tore the article out of my magazine and taped it on my dorm room wall. This was the guy I would hang my hat on. He didn’t let me down. One thing I really appreciated about Dunn following him closely is he seemed to always be in the lineup. I recall him one 90 degree Sunday early afternoon lumbering out of the clubhouse just before gametime. He had probably been out the night before until God knows when. I sure the Hell wouldn’t have played. He dunked his head into a cold tub for a few seconds, dried his face with a towel, and then grabbed his glove. That stuck with me.

Dunn was in the game a long time and took a lot of unreal pitchers deep (look at the names on this list of 462). Where there are guys who struggle against elite pitching and only shoot cripples, Dunn seemed to be just as likely to get a piece of the elite and struggle against the soft-tossing lefty. Without even looking I can tell you he dominated Roger Clemens and struggled against Oliver Perez.

Baseball is so much about tying eras together. There was no player that carried me through the end of high school, all of college, into my life as a young and full adult like Dunn did. I continued to root for him when he sadly moved on to several stops. Last night when Oakland blew the lead for the third and final time and the camera panned to a long-faced Dunner; I knew that was it. I knew that my guy was never going to appear in a postseason game and that’s a damn shame.

Maybe Dunn didn’t live up to everything he was supposed to be – in 2002 he hit .300 on the nose the first half of the season before he became only a pure slugger. He never would hit for much average or be a complete player. But Dunn had a great career and was a feared bat in the middle of every lineup he was in. When the big man came to the plate, you made sure you were paying attention. I think that speaks volumes about his ability.

His signed baseball will sit on my bedroom shelf for as long as I live and I will hold the memories he provided me with as a player very near and dear. They’re etched and burned into a special place in my memory. Thank you for that, Adam. Your career was vastly appreciated by this guy. You made me love following the game more and I always looked for your name in the box scores (when he began his career it was the newspaper, when he ended his career it was on an iPhone).

I’ll end it by going Chris Berman-ism on you all, with a saying I used to say a lot about the Donkey when he was in Cincinnati:

‘Cows come and cows go, but the Big Donkey lives on forever’.

One Last Stop for the Big Donkey

Adam+Dunn+Seattle+Mariners+v+Oakland+Athletics+SilcYl29Adkl

In what is looking like the final chapter in a long and storied career of home runs, Adam Dunn hit his 461st career blast today in his first at-bat as an Oakland Athletic.

Let us just say; we’re totally not ready for a baseball world without Adam Dunn being a part of it. It seems like just yesterday it was May of 2002, and Dunn was 22 years old in his first full big league season; and we were saying hello to him just as he came out of the Cincinnati dugout at old Riverfront Stadium before a game to get warm.

Where did the years go!

At least Dunn will finally get a chance to appear in some postseason games unless something unlikely happens. And Billy Beane finally has that coveted player that was written about in Moneyball.

Mike Trout sets a career high in home runs

Mike+Trout+Oakland+Athletics+v+Los+Angeles+sunHVBRqE0Ll

In an odd turn of events, the Anaheim Angels have won six games in a row; including a four-game sweep of the team that was supposed to win the American League West after acquiring the two biggest arms on the trade market. In yesterday’s 8-1 win in Anaheim, Mike Trout drove in three runs and set a new career high for home runs in a season with his 31st of the year off Jesse Chavez on a pitch that was in a zone that should never be sniffed to Mike Trout:

The Angels now sit five full games up on the Athletics who are scrambling to find some offense. Many awoke to the news yesterday that Adam Dunn had been traded to the Athletics at the waiver wire deadline.

Adam Dunn threw the ninth inning in Chicago last evening

The White Sox were brutalized last night by the Texas Rangers by a score of 16-0. But for those who paid hard earned money for a ticket, all was not lost.

There are certain ‘baseball things’ you grab your cell phone for when you’re half asleep to fire off a handful of texts to your buddies. Big Adam Dunn coming out of the wind-up, painting corners at 80 would be at the top of that list.

There’s only a select few players in the game’s scavenger hunt of history who have pitched an inning on the mound and hit over 400 career home runs. Babe Ruth is one of them, and one of our all-time favorites Adam Dunn is now part of that list.

Things like this make baseball fun.

b21957aca0965d636235444f9d9c9dba1fb3fd90d21b44bfea3688cc35490a7d

Chicago White Sox 2014 Team Preview

ChrisSale7

Of the 30 active teams in Major League baseball, the Chicago White Sox are one of 12 teams to have a franchise record above .500 (8,855-8,672). But, considering recent history, the South Side pale-hosers have been back and forth between an above .500 and a losing team since the won the World Series in 2005. Culminating in a crap-tastic 63-99 record last season. They may have one of the best pitchers in baseball in Chris Sale, but when you only manage to outscore the Miami Marlins, you can’t expect to win many baseball games.

So, how do you address a putrid offense? You add pieces to that offense. The White Sox traded Hector Santiago over the offseason in a three-team trade with the Diamondbacks and Angels, netting them the scrappy Adam Eaton. They signed Cuban defector, Jose Abreu, and handed him the keys to the job at first base. They limited the aging Paul Konerko (and his off-the-charts will-to-win stat) to the DH role and, for the love of God, you platoon Adam Dunn. Continue reading

I Somehow missed Adam Dunn in The Dallas Buyers Club

dunn

I saw The Dallas Buyer’s Club over the weekend – excellent movie by the way – and I was so busy paying attention to the storyline that I completely forgot that our boy Adam Dunn had a cameo in the film as a bartender.

The film was so strong it will win many Oscars, and Adam Dunn will be present at those awards most likely.

The slugger has an invite, a ride and a reason to attend the 86th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, but he wouldn’t go if the team has an issue. Dunn said Monday that manager Robin Ventura has spoken with him about the trip, but Dunn hasn’t made up his mind.

Dunn is part of the production company Truth Entertainment that helped to create “Dallas Buyers Club,” which is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture. Matthew McConaughey is up for Best Actor, and Jared Leto is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Dunn has two scenes but no lines in the movie that also is up for Best Original Screenplay as well as achievements in hair and makeup and editing.

To my knowledge, Dunn didn’t hold a speaking part in the film and there was no straight on shot of him that makes you say ‘my gosh, that’s one of baseball’s best sluggers’. But it’s pretty cool to know that Adam Dunn made an appearance in one of the best films of 2013.

Let’s hope Dunn’s follow up performance in the 2014 season ends with similar rave reviews. We want Dunn to go out strong!

Fourth of July Recap

Milwaukee+Brewers+v+Washington+Nationals

I’m absolutely exhausted upon my return from Las Vegas, so there will be no 4th of July fireworks for me tonight. I’m just settled in watching the Dodgers against the Rockies at Coors Field, and Vin Scully has the night off! It must be vacation week for Vin like so many others this time of year because I think I hear Steve “Psycho” Lyons doing the game.

Here’s a brief recap of the holiday baseball action, with still a very full weekend of ball to follow:

  • In Wilson Ramos’ first game back from the disabled list, the Nationals got a HUGE game out of their catcher. Ramos collected three hits and drove in five runs, including a three run home run that stood up to be the difference and give them a 8-5 win over the Brewers. They earn the home split with Milwaukee after Drew Storen again hiccuped the lead away again. Bryce Harper went 0 for 3 with two walks and a stolen base.
  • Adam Dunn hit a walk-off home run to win the game for the White Sox in Chicago today. It was his 23rd of the season.
  • The Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants were rained out in Cincinnati, bummer.
  • All-Star Game voting ends in like two hours. I finally cast a few ballots just to be a good sport about it. This is the first year ever I really didn’t care to do it much.
  • Yasiel Puig batting average update: .434 after singling up the middle to drive in a run. Yasiel Puig bat-flip coverage: here.
  • Tomorrow’s slate: Pirates/Cubs at Wrigley at 4:00 to kick off the weekend (gotta love that, you think people are partying in Chicago this weekend or what?), Padres at Nationals, Mariners at Reds, maybe a little Orioles at Yankees all at 7:00, Dodgers at Giants at 10:15. Good slate of baseball tomorrow.
  • Everth Cabrera returns tomorrow.
  • Joey Chestnut set a Coney Island record today, 69 hot dogs.

That’s pretty much a wrap for the holiday in baseball, at least with what we care to talk about.

Oh yeah, and I bought this shirt for myself in Vegas. I had to have it.

For you non-Spanish speaking readers, it’s a spin off “Bo Knows”. And this kid is the closest thing we’ve seen to Bo Jackson in a number of years.

Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week

Cows come, and cows go. But the Big Donkey lives on forever.
Cows come, and cows go. But the Big Donkey lives on forever.

You would never figure a guy hitting in the .180’s would be the Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week. But I need you to consider that in the past week this man raised his average from .165 to the staggering .183 it sits at today.

Dunn went 8 for 25 for the week with four home runs with 8 RBI. The last time we wrote about him, we were sticking a fork in him. But this past week, Adam Dunn went and danced with the girl who brought him to the dance. The long ball. It’s his one redeeming quality. It’s what has kept his career afloat through all the late nights, and the broads, and the booze, and the booing fans. The son of a gun knows how to hit it where a play can’t be made on it.

His career home run log is a lot of fun to read through. He’s up to 424 career blasts now. If there are such a thing as baseball gods, he’ll reach 500 so we have something to talk about forever with Dunn. And we always predicted he would get to 500 on his career.

We love the guy. It would be nice to see him really break out the rest of the way and hit .220. My goodness, read that last sentence and then someone slap me.

And look what I found because I have no life, and I am addicted to watching baseball’s past. If you’ve got two hours to waste, here is our award’s namesake hitting those four homers at Old Riverfront.

Goodbye, Adam Dunn

seattle-mariners-v-chicago-white-20130407-121145-806

If you look back through the archives of this blog, you’ll read a lot of good times for us provided by The Big Donkey Adam Dunn. He was the original Godfather of Diamond Hoggers. He was a key cog on our fantasy teams from about 2002 until 2008. He probably gave us anywhere from 250 to 300 fantasy home runs, and was the reason we won the home run title every year.

This season, we took an unexpected late round flier on Dunn to provide some power. And at this time of year with guys dropping like flies and pitchers that need to be streamed, tough decisions needed to be made. Dunn went 0 for 3 with a measly hit-by-pitch tonight in Toronto, dropping his season average down to .128 with just two home runs.

We added Brandon Moss. It’s kind of like that scene in Goodfellas when Pauly hands Henry $300 after all they’ve been through together. Three Ben Franklins for a lifetime of service. For all Adam Dunn has done for us, the guy we drop him for for the final time is Brandon Moss.

We’ll never own Adam Dunn again in fantasy baseball. It’s over. It’s the end of an era. It looks like twilight is settling in on an incredible power hitter’s career. It’s become painful to watch him swing and we’re moving on.

And if the ride ends soon, what a ride it’s been. We’re not sure there’s been a bigger Adam Dunn fan on the planet than us – this is just business. Like a cowboy riding off into the sunset for the last time; we tip our cap to you, big Texan. Hit those 92 more dingers and hang them up.

Adam Dunn stole a base on Friday Night

You see, I remember when Adam Dunn was still a kid and actually had some speed. I’ve been at a game when he’s accomplished the feat. Back in 2002 he actually stole 19. It’s true, look it up.

But in Las Vegas, the over/under for ‘2013 Adam Dunn stolen bases’ would probably be set at one. Dunn needs just one more in the remainder of the season for you believers in his wheels to cash in.

The Sox announcers actually compliment done on his decent speed. They’re clearly full of shit at this juncture. He isn’t fast anymore. We still admire him for being a wiley cuss that will rob you when you aren’t looking.

2013 Chicago White Sox Team Preview

The White Sox are always a peculiar team to me.  They rarely come into a season with fanfare, but seem to ride a mix of veterans and mildly known young guys to a good enough record to not be horrible, but also not make the playoffs.  the last time they made the playoffs was 2008 and since they’ve finished either 2nd or 3rd in the AL Central.  How long can the White Sox continue to flounder in the middle.  Probably for a while if they want to.  The White Sox are in a hard spot that many teams find themselves in.  They have enough talent to maybe go for it, but they might be better off to start over and get some prospects to rebuild.  Their attendance has been slowly declining since 2006 and settled in at just over 24k last year.  Unlike that other Chicago team, the White Sox don’t enjoy sellouts every game just because drunk people like to drink.  Could they flip Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn for some mid-level prospects?  Maybe, but I don’t know how many teams are knocking down the door to get these guys.

What the the Sox do this off season and does it tell us which direction they are leaning.

Major Off-Season Moves:

  • Signed Jeff Keppinger to a 3 yr/$12M deal

It looks like the White Sox don’t even know what they wanted to do.  They didn’t really play in the free agent market except to replace the departed Kevin Youkilis at 3rd base.  Keppinger has bounced around a bit, but is a versatile player with a decent bat and is stats should improve simply from playing 81 games in US Cellular Field.  I don’t think this is a “going for it” move – just a needed replacement.  Later we’ll see some moves that suggest they want to move on to younger players.

Let’s take a look at more after the jump.

Continue reading

Adam Dunn is a Hollywood Movie Star

adam-dunn

Adam Dunn has long been one of our favorite athletes of all-time. Nothing can ever change that, not time nor space or argument from opposing fan about him being wortless defensively or a beer league softball player. He is spoken of as icon status on this blog, do you understand?

We always knew Dunner was capable of big things, and now he’s about to delve into a new realm and unleash his talents on the silver screen. Adam Dunn is going to be in a movie directed by Matthew McConaughey this summer.

Matthew McConaughey has a new movie coming out this summer called “Dallas Buyer’s Club” that, according to IMDB, tells “the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a drug taking, women loving, homophobic man who, in 1986 was diagnosed with full blown HIV/AIDS and given thirty days to live.”

Dallas Buyer’s Club sounds like an unbelievable movie in the mold of Boogie Nights or something close. I would want to see it even if Dunn’s part was played by Casey Affleck or someone else who can’t act. To get Dunn is just a bonus. Hopefully he’s one of Ron Woodroof’s skirt-chasing, hard drinking sidekicks. This would be a natural role for Dunn that he played well in his years in Cincinnati before he settled down (it happens to us all around age 30).

This is the highlight of my very sad, boring day.

UPDATE: Dunn is cast as a bartender in the movie. This is perfect.

Weekend Wrap Up

-Congrats to Adam Dunn on his 400th career home run. An opposite field shot that landed in the Kauffman Stadium fountain; I find it fitting that this milestone blast came on a Saturday night. Adam Dunn is a Saturday night type of guy. I remember so many of the 400 Dunner. Right down to your first.

-The Pittsburgh Pirates survived 19 innings of baseball on getaway day in St. Louis to beat the Cardinals 6-3 today. As the game wore on, I had a thought. I decided that these two teams were playing for much more than just a single ‘W’ in the standings. The loser of this game could not possibly recover, and the winner would survive to fight another day. I think this is the nail in the Cardinals coffin, truly.

-The Cincinnati Reds pulled a little more magic from their hat on Sunday, winning in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Chicago Cubs. The Reds took 3 of 4 over the weekend. It’s just one of those rare years for the Cincinnati Reds. Everything is turning to gold. Xavier Paul? Ryan Ludwick? Todd Frazier? It’s all flowing for the Redlegs right now, and it’s not about to stop anytime soon.

-The only Grady Sizemore mention on any baseball blog today. Sizemore’s status? Yup, still hurt.

-Bryce Harper homered today, his 12th. Your Harper home run post coming momentarily.

2012 MLB All-Star Game

[Box Score]

[HBT] [ESPN Diary]

-It wasn’t a banner All Star debut for Bryce Harper. Still, the gold cleats and a couple mighty hacks off Jered Weaver and company was good to see. VIDEO

-Chipper Jones walked off into the sunset with his single and his win. His pre-game speech was a memorable one, the NL clearly dominated for Chipper.

-Mike Trout singled, walked, stole a couple of bags in his AS Game debut. He’s unbelievable. Good read from the OC Register if you have time. Great read from Baseball Prospectus about Trout v. Harper debate that you might as well give a whirl to. Video of the pre-game presser available too.

-Quiet night for all Cincinnati Reds involved in the game.

-Even quieter night for Adam Dunn, the only regular not to appear in the game. When I read this, I realized possible reasons why.

Baseball is doing something right: