The Nats finished up their season yesterday, and Adam Dunn managed only to hit 38 home runs all year. Because he was specifically designed to hit 40 or more (and had done so for 5 consecutive years) he will be disassembled and sold for parts.
Invented in the late 20th century by Honda Research and Development’s Fundamental Technology Research Center, the android eventually known as Adam Dunn was the 4th in a line of robots designed to walk, strike out, and hit home runs.
Called Three True Outcome Robots, Adam is Version4.0, a grand leap in technology from his predecessors. Originally created back in the early 80s, V1.0, nicknamed Dave Nicholson, was good at doing what his creators intended. But on balance, he did too little of the most important outcome, hitting home runs, and was scrapped for parts before most of the engineering world knew of his existence.
V2.0, known as Rob Deer, was very good at hitting home runs, walking, and striking out, just as his programmers intended. But he could do little else, was barely ambulatory, and was unable to remove unsightly facial hair. His abilities did get the world’s attention, and Honda continued to fund the program largely based on his success. The design team had thought they reached perfection with V3.0, the Russell Branyan model, but he was so confined to the TTO parameters that he was underutilized.
The Adam Dunn model is a step up from both of these models. He has been programmed to learn and adapt. In the past he has, to the astonishment of the engineering lab, stolen 19 bases in a season. He is also learning to, when he hits the ball, do things besides hit home runs. Although it may philosophically make him something beyond a Three True Outcome Robot.
He managed to just barely finish the 2009 season with a career batting average high. As noted last week, it would be difficult for him to get as low as his career high. A 3 for 35 streak at the end of the season, as unlikely as it seemed, was just good enough to keep him above the .266 mark, and he finished at .267 topping is career mark in his final season. As for his OBP, that did sink below his career high of .400 down to .398. After 9 seasons and 316 home runs, he has had an impressive career. His contributions to the team were appreciated, although maybe not enough, and he will be missed.