Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NL Gold Glove Awards

Robbed from an award yet again...

The National League Gold Glove Awards were announced.  There aren't any egregious errors like there were with yesterday's awards, but I do have a few comments.

Catcher: Yadier Molina (Cardinals) - Absolutely no complaints here.  Yadier Molina is far and away the best defensive catcher in baseball.  Also, he's the only player in the history of the Fielding Bible Awards that was a unanimous selection.

First base: Albert Pujols (Cardinals) - As I mentioned yesterday, Pujols would've been my selection.  I'm not entirely sure that Pujols was the best choice, but he wins by default because no one else proved to me that they're able to be as consistently good as Pujols. 

Second base: Brandon Phillips (Reds) - Let me preface my comments by saying that Brandon Phillips is a very good defensive second baseman.  In fact, I'd go as far as saying he's great.  That said, he doesn't deserve this award.  Chase Utley, who saved more runs than Phillips despite playing in 300 fewer innings, got screwed again.  Just so you're aware, Utley, per UZR, has been 78.5 runs above average defensively since 2005, and has won zero GGs.  With gross injustices like this, it's no surprise that GG awards are considered to be pretty meaningless.

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) - He was my choice yesterday, but my mood has since changed.  I have no problems with Tulowitski, but Cardinals SS Brendan Ryan was the class of NL shortstops.

Third base: Scott Rolen (Reds) - Scott Rolen won his eighth Gold Glove, and boy was he great this year.  Unfortunately, he wasn't the one who should've won.  That would be Ryan Zimmerman.  I have a feeling that reputation played a pretty big role in Rolen winning the award.

Outfielders: Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies), Shane Victorino (Phillies), Michael Bourn (Astros) - I didn't get any of these right, but Michael Bourn was my alternate, so I don't feel so bad.  Carlos Gonzalez won the award for two reasons:  (1) voters remembered a few of the great plays he made, while forgetting about all of the plays he didn't make, and (2) his success with the bat kept him the forefront of many voters' minds.  As for Victorino, he was good by UZR (3.3), but he was better by DRS (+11).  While he wasn't a bad choice, I would've preferred Andres Torres.  Torres was probably hurt by the fact that he didn't have a set position.  Jay Bruce would've also been a better choice, but right fielders tend to lose out to center fielders (like Victorino) most of the time.  Considering the difference in position difficulty, I can't say I blame the voters for this decision.

Pitcher: Bronson Arroyo (Reds) - This is pretty surprising.  He was good, but I've never considered him to be a top notch defender.  I don't really care so much about pitcher defense.  They could've given the award to Cy Young, and I wouldn't have cared.

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