Dangerous Experiment: A Roster of 25 Adam Dunns

clones

One of the things we tend to love about baseball is when the game breaks, and a player ends up doing something they’re not supposed to be doing. Don Mattingly playing second base to finish off the Pine Tar Game, Randy Johnson manning left field on a double switch, Skip Schumaker firing fastballs that would make Tommy Milone jealous: these are the images of incongruity and improvisation that stick to us. We wait for the situations not because we want our heroes to fail, necessarily, but because throwing them out of their element makes them resemble us, just for a moment.

But why wait for the planets to align in real life, when we can simulate our dreams right now?

Thus I began this mad, stupid experiment. The premise is simple: using everyone’s favorite realistic baseball simulation, Out of the Park 2015, I created teams of baseball players by cloning a single player until they filled the active roster, and set them against each other in 162 games of gory combat. The results exceeded my wildest expectations.

The four teams in the CBL (Clone Baseball League) are:

• The Adam Dunns
• The Dee Gordons
• The Bartolo Colons
• The Koji Ueharas

I chose Adam Dunn because, when I started this project a couple of weeks ago, I never imagined that Dunn would be a gigantic jerk and pitch for the first time after fourteen years. I chose Dee Gordon because I’m an idiot and didn’t think of Jose Altuve until it was too late. I chose Bartolo Colon because I’m not completely an idiot. And I chose Koji Uehara because I like Koji Uehara. Each of the four teams has a strength: power, speed, stamina, and stuff, respectively, and I wanted to see which would win out. In a perfect world, they might form a delicate balance. It was not a perfect world.

In terms of methodology, I kept all four players at their original, OOTP-assigned ratings, only guessing what I thought the hitters’ fastballs would clock in at. I locked the rosters at 25 because it would take too long to populate a minor league system, and I didn’t want the computer to sneak some unauthorized eighteen year-old Cuban onto the club to use as fresh legs. I assigned each homunculi a position, set five starters and a closer, and designated the rest as middle relievers. Then I lit the fuse and backed away.

expectations

The first piece of news was Dee Gordon getting five hits on Opening Day; not bad. In fact, all the teams seemed to be doing okay except the Colons, who were struggling badly. But then, on April 12, I saw my first ill omen (click for box score). Right fielder Adam Dunn went 5 for 6 with three walks, two homers, and 12 RBI. 13 Dee Gordons pitched, with the starter throwing 65 pitches of 8-run, 1.1 inning ball.

But it was only a skirmish heralding April 20, where the Dunns returned and beat the Gordons by a score of 164 to 12 (boxscore). The game began at 7:05 EST, with a paid attendance of 30,861; no word on how many remained after the final pitch at 4:26 the following morning. The Dunns went up to the plate as a team 230 times. They set more single-game records than I care to count, including 29 runs scored (by two players), 24 walks (also two), and 25 RBI. The final Dee Gordon, abandoned on the mound by his disqualified teammates, pitched the final 3.1 innings and gave up 86 earned runs on 58 walks and 37 hits, for a total of 476 pitches.

This would crush the spirit of most players, but not Dee Gordon(s). They came back and beat the Colons the next night, 6-4.

The Colons had it rough. They didn’t win a series until the end of April, and before long they began peppering my inbox with retirement announcements at the end of the year. By October every position player had called it quits except the first baseman, theoretically due to the strain of exercise, although the Colons weren’t actually any worse at fielding than the Dunns or the Ueharas. Instead, it was their pitching that failed them: the Colons starters, facing nine pitchers, nine shortstops and nine Adam Dunns, only managed an ERA of 7.80, barely better than the Dunns themselves.

As the season plodded onward, it became a two-team race between the Adam Dunns and the surprising Koji Ueharas. The Ueharas, by committing to a sixteen-man bullpen, were able to rotate out pitchers without overworking them, and their health played a huge factor. Meanwhile, they proved capable hitters, slapping out singles past stationary fielders three at a time to score runs.

Without a doubt, however, the saddest storyline of the season belongs to Dee P. Gordon, who returned from a month-long injury to take the mound on August 8 and pitched every single inning of the final 37 games of the season. His stat line reads like the end of a Poe short story (click to embiggen):

deepgordon

Because Out of the Park isn’t programmed to allow forfeitures, the Gordons were frozen with exactly nine unbroken players left on their roster, and thus there was no one to save Dee P. from his fate. That he even won four games (one a 51-50 nailbiter) is kind of amazing. The lowlight was definitely October 2, when a certainly hollow, cadaverous Gordon threw 944 pitches in a 164-16 loss, in which he somehow played both pitcher and first base. His game score was -813.

Over those final two months, Gordon suffered the following injuries: a torn labrum, a herniated disc, a sore wrist, biceps tendinitis, a forearm strain, two damaged elbow ligaments, two mild hamstring strains, a sore ankle, a sore forearm, acute elbow soreness, a sort thumb, a strained hamstring, a wild calf strain, an intercostal strain, and a tired arm.

The day after the season ended, and roster restrictions were lifted, Out of the Park destroyed the painting in Dee P. Gordon’s attic, and he immediately suffered a back spasms that shelved him for the next 19 months. The insanity and the peeling of his own skin were not included in the diagnosis. The game listed his morale as “unhappy”.

standings

The Ueharas, behind their 4.18 ERA (league average, counting Gordons dead and otherwise, was 13.82), actually beat out the Dunns for the pennant by a single game. They also took a commanding 3-1 lead in the World Series, including an amazing three-hit effort by a trio of Ueharas. But then in Game 5 the Dunns made a miraculous comeback with three in the ninth, carried the momentum through game 6 and busted through the Uehara bullpen to win the final game, 12-10 (box score), and claim the World Championship. Their $312,000,000 payroll had all been worth it.

In terms of awards, Dee Gordons won the Gold Glove at every position except center field, which went to Adam Dunn. Koji Uehara won the Cy Young with a 5.7 WAR season, going 22-5 with a 6.11 ERA.And in a mild upset, shortstop Adam D. Dunn won the MVP award over right fielder Adam G. Dunn, who had three more wins above replacement level. The nerds, somehow, lost again.

Enjoy Adam G. Dunn’s final stat line:

adamgdunn

The Clone Baseball League was a certified success. I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of poor fielding; the game translated each player’s poor defensive skill into terrible range, rather than hilarious gaffes. (Shortstop Adam Dunn, who led the league in errors with 73, lazily edged the real major league postwar record of 51 by Roy Smalley.) This led to inflated BABIPs (.424 league average) and thus .350-hitting pitchers. And thanks to the die rolls, we had no Clint Barmes-style injuries or 100-game hitting streaks.

Still, it gave us Adam Dunn, Gold Glove-winning center fielder, and that’s enough. Thank you, OOTP.




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Patrick Dubuque is a wastrel and a general layabout. Many of the sites he has written for are now dead. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.


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bradsgotmoxy
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

Thoroughly enjoyed this….well done Patrick.

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 9 months ago

CAUTION: Wait to go home to read this, if you’re the “skip to the comments” type.

Or else risk having to explain yourself to the boss.

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 9 months ago

oh yes, and #KEEPNOTGRAPHS!!

Mike Trout, Mike Carp and AJ Pollock Walk into a sushi bar, and the sushitender
Guest
Mike Trout, Mike Carp and AJ Pollock Walk into a sushi bar, and the sushitender
1 year 9 months ago

Best baseball post ever!

#KeepNotGraphs

shysocks
Member
shysocks
1 year 9 months ago

“In terms of awards, Dee Gordons won the Gold Glove at every position except center field, which went to Adam Dunn.”

This caused me a spit take.

Yirmiyahu
Member
1 year 9 months ago

The whole thing seemed very plausible (including an ERA of 7.80 by the Bartolo Colons) until this part. Utterly ridiculous.

This was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on Notgraphs.

#KeepNotgraphs #KillCistulli

macseries
Guest
macseries
1 year 9 months ago

“Dees Gordon” would be correct (and more hilarious).

Bucky LaGrange
Guest
Bucky LaGrange
1 year 9 months ago

Dee Gordtw.

Torgen
Guest
Torgen
1 year 9 months ago

Koji-tachi Uehara.

filihok
Member
1 year 9 months ago

Fun

#KeepNotGraphs

DolemiteMofo
Guest
DolemiteMofo
1 year 9 months ago

This is the best Notgraphs article ever….. I enjoyed this a ton!

Well-Beered Englishman
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Well-Beered Englishman
1 year 9 months ago

I have been laughing nonstop for twenty minutes.

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
1 year 9 months ago

But what did you think of the article?

#KeepNotGraphs

The Great Ejector
Guest
The Great Ejector
1 year 9 months ago

Honestly the funniest article I’ve ever read online. Amazing. #KEEPNOTGRAPHS

MustBunique
Member
Member
1 year 9 months ago

Absolutely agree. The people around me in my office think that I’m a giggling fool, and I inhaled a little sriracha and had a coughing fit. This was maybe the greatest example ever of why we need to #KeepNotGraphs.

chri521
Member
1 year 9 months ago

So in other words, SS Adam Dunn’s range factor was Jeter-esque?

ElJosharino
Member
ElJosharino
1 year 9 months ago

Well this is just magnificent, all around.

I think my favorite part, though, is that Adam G. Dunn only managed to tie Barry Bond’s .609 OBP in 2004, and his SLG was 24 points behind 2001 Bonds.

SS Cabathia
Guest
SS Cabathia
1 year 9 months ago

Team of Barry Bonds next?

Lenard
Guest
Lenard
1 year 9 months ago

In 50 years poor Dee P. is going to have a story about how rough he had it that none of his grandkids will ever believe. It certainly tops the “walking to school in 6 feet of snow whilst going uphill both ways” story.

Bluebird in Boulder
Guest
Bluebird in Boulder
1 year 9 months ago

He will also have a successful twitter account where he derides the accomplishments of todays pitchers.

Matt
Guest
Matt
1 year 9 months ago

Would be more fair to run it with injuries disabled. Would have been more fair than saddle them with a -42 WAR pitcher…

Clock
Guest
Clock
1 year 9 months ago

Best thing ever. #KeepNotGraphs

I want to see this with a league of Trouts, Hamiltons, Kershaws, and Kimbrels!

Brad
Guest
Brad
1 year 9 months ago

Love this article. Always fun to see people do creative things with this sandbox of a game.

Bradley Woodrum
Member
Member
1 year 9 months ago

This is too funny. Thank you, Patrick!

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
1 year 9 months ago

Seconded, fantastic fun!

Phillies113
Member
Member
1 year 9 months ago

I openly chuckled at the trials and tribulations of poor Dee P. Gordon. Does that make me a bad person?

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 9 months ago

I chuckled and almost “P”ed myself!

McBane
Guest
McBane
1 year 9 months ago

You see this, Carson “Mendoza Line Little League Hitter” Cistulli? This is what you’re taking away from us!

MENDOZA!

Andrew Patrick
Member
Andrew Patrick
1 year 9 months ago

Somewhere Billy Beane’s team of all Scott Hattebergs is ready to blow you out of the water.

Scott Hattebergs
Guest
Scott Hattebergs
1 year 9 months ago

But we don’t know how to play every position.

Brad Pitt
Guest
Brad Pitt
1 year 9 months ago

They’re all easy. Tell him Wash.

Ron Washington
Guest
Ron Washington
1 year 9 months ago

They’re all incredibly hard.

Mack
Guest
Mack
1 year 9 months ago

Run it again with Dunn, Chapman, Buehrle, and Span, and watch the Dunns win 37 games.

Resrup
Guest
Resrup
1 year 9 months ago

Please, please, please do this again!

#KeepNotGraphs

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.
1 year 9 months ago

Agreed!

Will Bill Bergen make a showing?

Adaman
Guest
Adaman
1 year 9 months ago

That picture looks like the baseball version of West Side Story. The Kojis are ready for a rumble.

rg29
Member
rg29
1 year 9 months ago

This article had me in tears. Thanks for providing one of the heaviest laughters of all time.

Joe
Guest
Joe
1 year 9 months ago

Would love to see a team like the “Jason Lanes” go up against the “Micah Owingses”…”Micah Owings’?”…well, you get the idea.

reillocity
Guest
reillocity
1 year 9 months ago

My thoughts, too. 25 versions of the same marginal two-way player. With 25 more of him on standby in AAA for reinforcements.

ElJosharino
Member
ElJosharino
1 year 9 months ago

Throw in a team of Rick Ankiels and team of Brooks Kieschnicks and you’ve got yourself a league.

Mike Carp
Guest
Mike Carp
1 year 9 months ago

I’m available!

Danny Ainge
Guest
Danny Ainge
1 year 9 months ago

You can’t talk about awful baseball players without me..

smpeterson327
Member
smpeterson327
1 year 9 months ago

This is the best post I’ve ever read

The Great Ejector
Guest
The Great Ejector
1 year 9 months ago

I vote we open this up to some crowd sourcing, and let some of us place votes on who the next teams should consist of, and then vote for who we think will win. This article was a blast.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
1 year 9 months ago

Can we talk about the mismanagement of the Dee Gordon bullpen in screenshot #2? One of the Dee Gordons retires the first batter and then is pulled immediately. Another Dee Gordon lasts only as long as a five-pitch walk. Even the very first Dee Gordon was on a frighteningly quick hook, lasting only two batters.

Also, in that one game, the Dee Gordons combined for TWELVE BALKS.

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.
1 year 9 months ago

Looking at the April 20th 164-12 eruption, a few observations:

1. Somehow Adam Dunn had over 200 PAs and only managed to strike out once. Seriously? Dunn strikes out three times going to bathroom.

2. Announcers like to mention when every batter in the line-up has a hit except one guy who is outside looking in (typically to the candy store). Everyone on the Dunns hit a HOME RUN except for the last pitching Dunn who didn’t bat.

3. The Adam Dunns also had two SHs. When? Why? HOW??? (I also like how the Dee Browns also have a SH despite being down by 6 runs before getting to the plate. I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.)

sam
Guest
sam
1 year 9 months ago

SS Adam Dunn also had a whopping 7 home runs in only 6 at bats

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.
1 year 9 months ago

Ah. I misread the box score. The HR column for batters is the total home runs for the season, not the game. The Dunns “only” hit 12 home runs this game. From the summary underneath it appears that 9 different Dunns hit home runs, though whether those were the 9 starters is unknown, given that all Adam Dunns pretty much look alike. Someone should do something about that. I recommend face tattoos.

a eskpert
Guest
a eskpert
1 year 9 months ago

Dee Gordon doesn’t have any stuff. Adam Dunn knows when to lay off. Ergo, no strikeouts.

Clear and Present Menger
Guest
Clear and Present Menger
1 year 8 months ago

re: #3, it’s because the coaching staff was a dozen clones of Dusty Baker.

Johnston
Guest
Johnston
1 year 9 months ago

Do it again with 30 teams, each of a different player.

With OOTP you can also import historical players, so we could have teams of all Mayses, all Drysdales, all Roses, etc..

Bon Jois
Guest
Bon Jois
1 year 9 months ago

Please include a team of BEEFTANKS in the next iteration:

http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2013/9/5/4691010/breaking-madden-clarence-beeftank-jaguars

RC
Member
Member
RC
1 year 9 months ago

This was fantastic. Not only is the article hilarious, but it’s also made me realize I’m almost certainly going to go buy this game now.

Johnston
Guest
Johnston
1 year 9 months ago

If you love baseball then you should definitely own a copy. It’s a great simulator.

August Fagerstrom
Member
Member
1 year 9 months ago

“The Colons had it rough.”

It’s all about emphasis.

#KeepNotGraphs

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 9 months ago

My colon had it rough, trying not to burst like my lungs and bladder were laughing at this.

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 9 months ago

Can we expect any regression to the mean for poor Dee P. Gordon, given the .597 BABIP against him?

I mean, his FIP was just 17.82….

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 year 9 months ago

Best part for me was the list of injuries suffered by poor Dee P. Ending it with “a tired arm” was perfect.

John Elway
Member
1 year 9 months ago

“A wild calf strain”!!!!

LMHAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#KeepNotGraphs

joe
Guest
joe
1 year 9 months ago

Any chance you can do a league of Trouts, Kershaws, Andrelton Simmons, and 2007 Micah Owings?

Kris
Guest
Kris
1 year 9 months ago

You get Cistulli’s BBWAA membership, Patrick. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a very long time.

Matt
Guest
Matt
1 year 9 months ago

I am trying this on my own now but running into an issue. Did you get any errors saying a team had no SP even if you changed the player to SP?

Mike
Guest
Mike
1 year 9 months ago

Me, too… Even though I changed each in the editor to a pitcher…

tk
Guest
tk
1 year 9 months ago

If you have a WAR of -42.1 in 41 games, does that mean a replacement level player would win 42 out of 41 games?

Embiggens Papiamentu
Guest
Embiggens Papiamentu
1 year 9 months ago

What I wouldn’t give to see a double play go “Dunn-Dunn-Dunn”!

Westish Harpooners
Guest
Westish Harpooners
1 year 9 months ago

Honestly, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time. My neck hurts.

Bill
Guest
Bill
1 year 9 months ago

Adam Dunn should not bat .428 even in a fictional world, and he wouldn’t win a Gold Glove in center over a replacement-level tree stump.

Darkstone42
Member
Darkstone42
1 year 9 months ago

My God. This was beautiful.

#KeepNotGraphs

Enrique
Guest
Enrique
1 year 9 months ago

I read a lot of stuff on the internet, but this was by far one of the best things I have ever read. Adam Dunns all the way!

Aaron (UK)
Member
Aaron (UK)
1 year 9 months ago

Phenomenal, Patrick. I particularly liked the portentous and dramatic double play: Dunn-Dunn-Dunn

Cecil ESPY Award Music
Guest
Cecil ESPY Award Music
1 year 9 months ago

Dunn-Dunn-Dunn, Dunn-Dunn-Dunn

Darth Vader
Guest
Darth Vader
1 year 9 months ago

Announcing the entire starting lineup:
Dunn dunn dunn, Dunn d’ dunn, dunn d’ dunn
Begun, the clone wars have

DunnTrelle Willis is waiting.

John Elway
Member
1 year 9 months ago

This deserves some category of an ESPY or something.

Just neighing.

#KeepNotGraphs

Grandpa
Guest
Grandpa
1 year 9 months ago

When the league expands for next season, will there do room for a team of me’s?

Seriously. #KeepNotGraphs
Guest
Seriously. #KeepNotGraphs
1 year 9 months ago

If this doesn’t convince you that we should #KeepNotGraphs, nothing will.

Seriously. #KeepNotGraphs
Guest
Seriously. #KeepNotGraphs
1 year 9 months ago

Also, props to the header graphic.

Johan Santa
Guest
Johan Santa
1 year 9 months ago

This is like everything I’ve done with create-a-player and franchise modes ever, only distilled into one glorious season and like a thousand times better. This is like Walter White’s blue meth to my chili powder crap.

Josh
Guest
Josh
1 year 9 months ago

I have never commented on a NotGraphs article, being more of a main site fan myself, but this was absolutely fantastic. Laughed for 10 minutes. A+

#KeepNotGraphs

Angels Fan
Guest
Angels Fan
1 year 9 months ago

I think the fact that each player chosen is viewed as horrifically, and probably hilariously, bad at certain parts of baseball while excelling at others is what makes this work. While I would be interested in this series continuing I probably wouldn’t be as interested it if it focused an all-around greats, unless another compelling hook were involved.

Billy Beane
Guest
Billy Beane
1 year 8 months ago

Patrick, this is genius. Came across this while looking at Dunn’s FanGraphs splits against R/L. I posted it on a friend’s FB page who loves Adam Dunn types in his OOTP teams. Can you post a screenshot of the batting stats of the Adam Dunns? I want to see how the nimble shortstop Adam Dunn differs from the big first baseman Adam Dunn, not to mention that speedy Gold Glove center fielder who robs home runs with his height, the great Adam Dunn. (yes I know they all have the same offensive and defensive ratings. ;) )

Late to the Party
Guest
Late to the Party
1 year 4 months ago

Teams Theme songs:
Ueharas: “We are the World” – USA for Africa
Gordons: “Hurt” – Johnny Cash
Colons: “Low Rider” by WAR
Dunns: Beethoven’s 5th.

MustBunique
Member
Member
10 months 29 days ago

This is still incredible and laughter inducing. I stop back ehre every once in a while, and it is pure gold every time.

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