Originally Posted by doublem23
That's true, but Dunn's struggles with the Sox are still nothing short of stunning. The idea that SABR folks think that stats alone can 100% predict the future is another one of these ridiculous strawmen arguments anti-SABR people make to try and justify their old school methods. Past performance is never a guarantee of future performance, but the question is which way is better? Even if you hated Dunn and don't think his approach to baseball is good, I would wager to bet that anyone who relies solely on the eye test would be stunned to know that in nearly 300 games with the Sox, Dunn's slash line is .179/.307/.377.
And the drop in numbers coincides with Dunn signing his big contract. It also coincides with going to a team that was supposed to be his first true contender. It also corresponds with him going to the American League and DHing regular for the first time and appendicitis. Indeed Dunn's numbers were historically bad. But free-agency baseball is full of players who sign big contracts after great years and never come approach their numbers after they get their big contract, going back to Richie Zisk and Oscar Gamble, two 30-home run hitters who played home games in Old Comiskey, left as free agents and never came anywhere near 30-home run seasons again.
Maybe Dunn's contract has nothing to do with him being so bad at baseball (although I would love to see him turn it around), but many of us have to wonder with so many players underachieving after signing free-agent contracts if Dunn were in a contract year and playing for money and not just to win if he would have had such a dismal second year with the White Sox. If a 1970s Harry Caray were calling last season's White Sox games, how do you think he would have treated Adam Dunn, shattering the AL strikeout record while constantly failing with runners in scoring position in the thick of a diviison race?
When you sign a free agent, you want him to have a strong will to win because they are no longer playing for money.