Happy birthday to Adam Dunn, King of the Three True Outcomes
Something felt amiss in Major League Baseball last year. As the strikeout rate remained above 20 percent for the second straight year and home runs rose back to 2012 levels, there was one player who was conspicuously absent: Adam Dunn. The large kind-of-outfielder, kind-of-first-baseman with a career .237/.364/.490 batting line and 462 home runs -- to go with the third-most strikeouts in Major League history (2,379) and the 41st-most walks (1,317) -- was sorely missed.
Sure, Joc Pederson did his best approximation of power, patience and whiffitude, but it just wasn't the same.
After all, there are few people in human history with the strength to smash massive blasts like these:
And Dunn hit plenty of big moment homers with 10 walk-offs. That even includes this very un-Dunn-like laser grand slam against Bob Wickman in the Reds' cross-state rivalry. Just read that sentence back again and tell me it's not everything you could ever hope for:
Naturally, he drove in plenty of runs on walks, too. Twenty-two to be exact, with another two coming in on hit-by-pitches.
And while position players pitching is one of life's greatest joys, few can pitch with such verve and swagger.
And, as far as we know, no Major Leaguers appeared in Oscar-nominated films in 2015.
So here's to you, Adam Dunn. We can only assume that your life is still dominated by this rule of threes -- that as you go to face your birthday cake covered in candles, you either blow them all out with one puff, sit by and watch as they burn down, the wax covering the entire cake, or you take a massive puff and find that all of the wicks are still alight.
And if that's not true, I don't want to know. I just want to think of majestic dingers.