Originally Posted by PaleHoser
Banks and Appling played in a completely different environment.
First, players were bound to their clubs due to the Reserve Clause, so they didn't have the option to play out their contract an leave.
(Can you imagine what Banks would have made on the open market after winning back-to-back MVPs and hitting 40+ HRs for four consecutive seasons? Or Appling after hitting .388? Those numbers were compiled in their first six seasons, when they would have qualified for free agency. They both would have been long gone, and Phil Rizzuto probably wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame.)
Second, Banks and Appling didn't have divisions or the wild card. Finish first overall or your season is finished.
Rios and Dunn simply have to lead their club to the fourth best record in their league once and they are in the postseason. Once in a combined 23 seasons, and have failed.
In the case of Dunn:
It's not "bad luck". This is a simple matter of cause and effect
- He's managed to play a full season on a team that has finished over .500 exactly once in 13 seasons (your 2012 Chicago White Sox)
- He finished the 2008 season on the Diamondbacks, who finished 82-80. But they were 60-58 and in first place with a 1.5 game lead when the traded for him. So they managed to play .500 with him.
- He's played for one club that lost 89, five that have lost 90 and another that lost 103.
- And he's been a free agent twice, so he's had opportunities to sign with clubs that win who've passed on him.
I still fail to see how it is entirely the fault of one player that they did not play on winning teams. I mentioned Butkus and Sayers earlier for a reason; they are loved, and yet their only winning seasons came when they were rookies in 1965. That they were good players is because they were good players and produced, not because of whether or not their teammates were talented. Jon Garland is not a better pitcher than Chris Sale, despite the fact that the former has a world series ring and played on mostly winning Sox teams, where Sale has played on mostly mediocre and bad teams.
In Cincinnati and in Washington, Dunn produced to the benefit of his team. In Chicago, his production has failed to live up to his previous standards. But I don't see how Dunn's 38 HRs and 105 RBIs (or his .398 OBP and .529 slugging) for the 2009 Nationals somehow caused them to lose 103 games. He had a slightly worse 2010 for them, and they won 10 more games. Dunn was not the only factor as to how the team performed.
Also, while Banks and Appling played in a different era, their teams were seldom even good.