The Blame Game
The conventional wisdom in the media is that lists, polls and surveys are sure to create buzz among its viewers, listeners and readers. So, everybody does it.
I was particularly amused today when I saw a poll in the Chicago Tribune asking readers to answer the question, “Who is most to blame for the Adam Dunn debacle?” The question is certainly a legitimate one so I have no problem with the paper posing the inquiry. What made me chuckle was the responses from the 2,462 individuals who participated as of this morning.
–68 percent blamed Dunn himself
–24 percent pointed to GM Kenny Williams, who signed the slugger
–4 percent said skipper Ozzie Guillen
–4 percent said Greg Walker
I don’t know if you agree, but how can only 68 percent blame Dunn himself? I know that nothing is black and white and I can see small percentages for Guillen and Walker if you are so inclined to believe they have had a negative effect. And even though he thought he was getting a proven 40 homer, 100 RBI man, I can see why some blame Williams. But to me, the percentages are way off.
Here’s the way I think it should measure up:
–Dunn: 90 percent…he’s the one who has been unable to hit and has given new meaning to the phrases “mental block” and “being out of shape.”
–Williams: 10 percent…He made the right move, but the player didn’t deliver…Why am I giving him any blame at all? It’s a token gesture since he was the architect of the signing.
–Walker: 0 percent…he’s a hitting coach, not a shrink.
–Guillen: 0 percent…No manager could have been more patient. He played Dunn in an effort to get him out of his doldrums, played him at first in case his inexperience at DH was the problem and rested him when he thought it was prudent. And I don’t buy the argument that Ozzie should have benched Dunn early and often. The hope was that he would turn it around and he couldn’t do that from a seat on the bench. Whether the Big Donkey was in the lineup or sitting next to the skipper in the dugout, the truth is that we were going nowhere without him hitting.