Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
The sequel is rarely better than the original.
I believe this article is the rare exception.
I'll be honest, America. You caught me in a good mood today. That's why I'm about to let you in on a little secret.
Rob, our director of production and design here at TSN, loves to poke fun at me about an article I wrote a while back.
In said article, I crushed Adam Dunn's soul. I mean I ripped that guy to pieces. How he was able to get out of bed and play a full season after all the written abuse I spewed at him, I still can't fathom.
But Dunn did more than that. Much more, in fact. The dude who hit .064 against lefties in 2011 (not even making that up) somehow managed to blast 41 HR en route to destroying any credibility I once had as a professional fantasy writer.
As Dunn pounded hate missile after hate missile, all Rob could do was laugh.
Thank goodness my path never crossed with Dunn's. The 285-pound power-hitting Hercules probably could have launched my skinny behind into orbit. Or at least the upper deck at U.S. Cellular Field.
Vicious hypothetical butt-kickings aside, I was wrong and everyone that believed in Adam Dunn (There had to have been a few of you, right?) in 2012 was rewarded.
Good for you. Now can you let it go already?
Nope. Rob still brings it up, two years later.
The truth is, when you write something like 400 articles in a span of two years, they tend to blend together after a while. So today I went back to see what I actually wrote.
Usually, I'm pretty good at pulling up my past articles but this one took FOREVER to find. Turns out, the Dunn-bashing occurred in my very first article for The Sports Network back on March 13, 2012.
Talk about a trip down memory lane. Back then, I was living in a Hampton Inn across from a car dealership.
To give you an idea of how insanely long ago this was, the photo for the article, which was called "Five 'stars' to avoid," featured Jason Bay. Not only did Jason Bay still matter, but he was playing for the Mets back then.
My criticism of Dunn, which was tame compared to some of the other guys I let loose on (Has Vernon Wells crawled out of his hole yet?), included such classic lines as "They should start spelling his last name D-O-N-E" and "Dunn has always been a strikeout machine." I also said his "confidence looks shattered."
In short, I was a jerk for picking apart an innocent designated hitter while Dunn was an even bigger jerk for having a mildly productive season just to spite me.
So what's everyone up to these days?
Well Rob's office is still right next to mine and Dunn is still on the White Sox, probably plotting his revenge on me in between visits to the batting cage.
After Dunn made me look like an idiot once, I'd have to be insane to go against him a second time, right?
Come on, do you guys even know me? OF COURSE, I'm picking against him.
It's not even hard to explain. Dunn hit .219 last year and that was actually an improvement over what he hit in 2012 (.204). Yes, he's managed to slam 75 HR in that span but in what universe is it acceptable to strike out 411 times in two seasons? Not mine.
Our stat-crunching sabermetric friends at Elias and Fangraphs hate Dunn even more than I do. That's because wins above replacement is their religion.
Dunn's combined WAR since 2011 is -2.4. Call him the anti-Mike Trout.
The lefty/righty disparity I spoke of earlier wasn't as big an issue last year, assuming you're perfectly okay with having one of your top fantasy hitters bat .197 against left-handers.
"But he hit .226 against righties!"
You people make me sick.
It gets worse. The White Sox were second to last in runs scored a year ago. Even if the Sox marginally improve on that, it's hard to envision enough runners getting on base for Dunn to reach 100 RBI, a total he reached seven times in a row between 2004 and 2010.
The most challenging obstacle in the way of Dunn's success isn't his low contact rate. It's the logjam Chicago has created at DH and first base.
That's right. Dunn might not even be a starter this year. With Dunn, Jose Abreu and Paul Konerko, the White Sox have three players to play two positions. I don't think you need an Ivy League education to figure out why that won't work.
So even if Dunn and Konerko "platoon" at DH, we're looking at a maximum of 400 at bats for Dunn. Suddenly, the 35 HR Dunn is good for every year has been reduced to 25. I don't want to speak for everyone, but for me, that's a hard pass.
Two years later, I'm still as anti-Dunn as I ever was. I guess some things never change.
And if Dunn burns me again, well I'm sure Rob will be the first to let me know.