So, I live in the Valley of the Sun where the D-Backs play, and... they LOVE Adam Dunn here. And, while I don't think that the radio personalities here are great by any stretch of the imagination, there was something astonishing (to me anyway) that happened this morning.
Derek Hall, the President of the Diamonbacks was on the morning show on 620 AM KTAR -- Doug and Wolf, and they spent several minutes discussing Dunn's performance since he's been a D-Back. Do you know what didn't come up? His strikeouts, whether he's a winner, nor his base-clogging ways. Do you know what they did discuss? His OBP (over .500), his slugging pct (over .600), and the fact that he's been a leader! Derek Hall said that he stayed late after the game yesterday taking batting practice, and other Diamonback players followed suit. He remarked that Dunn has really been a positive influence in the clubhouse particularly on the young players on the squad (which the D-backs have plenty).
If you want to hear the interview, it will be available later today here...
I realize that the stats that they are quoting here are small sample sizes, but it's striking to me that they seem to get what's important and what Dunn brings to the table. It's also remarkable to me that I haven't heard once that fact that he strikes out alot and is just a baseclogging loafer who can't play defense and has never been a part of a winner.
For what it's worth, as young and transient a town Phoenix is with only a few years of being a baseball town under it's belt... they sure seem to dwarf Cincinnati in their savvy and appreciation of a player like Dunn. Also, with Derek Hall, local radio personalities, and other D-backs management and players fully behind him, Dunn must feel that he's in a utopian work environment compared to Cincy. I wouldn't be shocked if he really has his best stretch of baseball here through the end of the season and into the playoffs. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's working for a 9-figure contract.