The Gold Glove Award Winners (What a Joke!)

November 6, 2007 at 5:14 pm 36 comments

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The winners of the annual Gold Glove Award were announced today. I have to start out by saying what a joke this award has become. The award doesn’t go to the best defensive player anymore, it goes to the best hitting player that plays good defense. Do the players that won the award play good defense? Sure. Are they the best? Only a few are. I’ll break them down for you and tell you if I agree or disagree with each selection.

Johan Santana (1) – No argument here. He is the best fielding starting pitcher in the AL, possibly in the Majors. He follows through his pitches perfectly, he fields the ball well, and he makes good, smart throws. I have zero argument with Santana.

Greg Maddux (17) – One may argue that he won bu merit. I may agree. But I also believe he is the best fielding pitcher in the game. He exemplifies how to properly follow through on his pitches, landing so that he is always facing the plate, never first base or third base. He make the tough plays and makes perfect throws every time. Still a great selection here.

Ivan Rodriguez (13) – Here is a bad, bad decision. Pudge wins this only because of his name. I wish Joe Mauer would’ve played about 20 more games at catcher so he could’ve rightfully won this award. Pudge was still a very good catcher this year but I would’ve given this award to Kenji Johjima should’ve ran away with this award. He threw out 46.5% and had a fielding percentage (which doesn’t tell the entire story of how good a player is) .998, both were tops in the Majors. He also had a perfect Range Factor (RF) grade. The voters missed this one by a mile.

Russell Martin (1) – Here is a pure case of an offensive player winning a defensive award. Russell Martin does play good defesne and calls an incredible game but he doesn’t compare defensively to the light-hitting Yadier Molina. Molina should’ve won this award. He threw out 54% of baserunners but did not qualify because he didn’t have enough innings. I still think he was good enough to take this award.

Kevin Youkilis (1) – I can’t argue with a guy who didn’t make a single error. But I can argue that he isn’t the best defensive firstbaseman. I think Casey Kotchman is better with the glove, and I think Richie Sexson outperformed them both defensively. But I have to go with Lyle Overbay here. He was 1st in the AL in Range Factor (Youkilis was 8th out of 9 qualifying), and he had 86 more plays than Youkilis. Youkilis still isn’t too bad of a pick but this is a case where fielding percentage is overvalued.

Derrek Lee (3) – Lee is a great fielder but how can this award not be in Todd Helton’s hands? Helton was 1st in the NL in RF, 2nd in Zone Rating (ZR), and 1st in fielding percentage all while making the 2nd most plays in the Majors. Helton should’ve won this award.

Placido Polanco (1) – Another case where the man with no errors wins the award. Again, I can’t really argue with that. He makes all the routine plays and has an accurate arm. Aaron Hill would’ve been a nice choice here as well as Mark Ellis.

Orlando Hudson (3) – Easy choice here. Is that good. A true hands down winner.

Orlando Cabrera (2) – This is the player that should’ve won the award last year and it may be why he got some love from the voters. But did the voters not see John McDonald play shortstop this year?!?! Where the heck were they? This guy made incredible plays all year long and not because he made up for bad range but because he is very good. Cabrera is a good choice but McDonald should’ve won.

Jimmy Rollins (1) – Now this is where I get mad. Not because I think Rollins is a bad shortstop, he’s not, he might be one of the 3 best in the NL, but because I KNOW Troy Tulowitzki is the best fielding shortstop in entire Majors. He lead the Majors in RF, fielding percentage, and was 2nd in ZR. Tulo has it all. Incredible range, arm, and glove. The voters probably don’t even know who he is because he’s a rookie. This was the biggest shock to me of all the picks. A true crime.

David Wright (1) – I do have to say that I agree with this selection. He makes all the plays. But I do think that if Ryan Zimmerman played for the Mets he would’ve won the award. I would be happy with either guy though.

Adrian Beltre (1) – Another selection that I’m okay with. He is long overdue for a Gold Glove and he finally wins it when he didn’t have his best season. He needs to thank Eric Chavez for being injured because the voters probably had him picked until someone told them he was injured. Brandon Inge would’ve also made a nice selection here.

Torii Hunter (7), Grady Sizemore (1), Ichiro Suzuki (7) – How is Coco Crisp not on this list? He was the best outfielder in the game this year hands down. His range is incredible. His catches were made into posters. And he gets a better break on the ball off the bat than everyone not named Andruw Jones. Crisp got robbed. I also think Curtis Granderson should’ve won one. The two I would’ve traded for Crisp and Granderson would’ve been Sizemore and Ichiro. I have no problems with Torii Hunter winning again except for one thing: Carl Crawford got robbed again. If Crawford was on almost any other team he would have at least two Gold Glove right now. He is easily the best leftfielder in the game and he got robbed once again. Hunter wins because his name is automatically on the ballot.

Carlos Beltran (2), Andruw Jones (10), Jeff Francoeur (1), Aaron Rowand (1) – Carlos Beltran and Andruw Jones are definites. They are superstars that actually are in the top 3 defensively. Jeff Francouer and Aaron Rownad aren’t bad picks at all. They both play good defense and we’ve all seen what Francoeur can do with tha arm. I would reccommend that the voters take a look at Austin Kearns and Chris B. Young.

The voters of the Gold Glove Award once again prove that they have no idea what they are voting for.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
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  • 1. Eddie  |  November 6, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    im really concerned about one and thats OC cabrerra should have won and her did.. good call because when you follow the nagels like i do day in and day out… not really an argument.

  • 2. Nicole  |  November 6, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    I agree that Johjima, Molina, Helton, Tulowitzki, and Crisp all should’ve won awards.

    In general, I feel like a lot of the awards are more popularity contests than they are awarded to the most deserving player.

    The award that will likely annoy me the most this year will be the AL MVP. I am a Sox fan and I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to cheap shot A-Rod because he’s a Yankee. There is no arguing that he had the best year, statistically, in the majors. If it weren’t for his production, the Yankees might not have even made the playoffs. I’m not arguing that he’s deserving of the award. The thing that makes me laugh about it is the fact that everyone is saying how he deserves to win the award hands down because of his numbers, when David Ortiz put up very similar numbers in ’06 and didn’t really come close to winning the award when the votes were counted.

    A-Rod ’07
    .314 BA, 54 HR, 156 RBI, 143 R, 376 TB

    Ortiz ’06
    .287 BA, 54 HR, 137 RBI, 115 R, 355 TB

    I realize that there’s the whole debate with value as DH as opposed to a position player, but realistically this award almost always comes down to offensive numbers, so what difference does it make? If A-Rod committed 20 errors that cost NY 10 games, no one would be taking that into consideration. If you can give a guy an MVP award for playing on a last place team, I think you can give the award to a guy who doesn’t play defense.

    Again, I’m not saying A-Rod doesn’t deserve the award this year, but things that appear pretty obvious aren’t always that. Just another example of the guys in charge of the votes not always getting it right.

  • 3. Charlie Nehl  |  November 6, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    I probably watched 90 or so of the Cubs game this season, and Derrek could have played better at first base. The past few seasons it’s really a toss up between Helton and Lee. Has Helton won any? I think he has one.

    Yadier Molina is easily the best catcher in the NL, and probably the best out of the Molina Bros.

    Also Troy Tulo should have been unanimous single vote. The guys is a complete machine… he’s super star in the making, if isn’t there already.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 6, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Eddie – Cabrera is one of the best fielding SS the past 5-8 years but he always gets overlooked because of the “big name” SS that are in the league. It’s a disgrace he hasn’t won more. But I do think John McDonald should’ve won it.

  • 5. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 6, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks Nicole! You are totally correct that this award has become a popularity contest. It’s a complete joke. The MVP, in my opinion, isn’t as bad though. I can totally see your argument and it made me think but I think A-Rod deserves the MVP this year easily.

  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 6, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Right on Charlie! My mom might even agree, she’s a huge Cubs fan. Lee is a great defender but Helton was the best this season in the Majors and should’ve won the award. And you are totally right about Tulo, he is a superstar in the Cal Ripken mold.

  • 7. Nicole  |  November 7, 2007 at 5:07 am

    The MVP isn’t as much a popularity contest, but it is true that what seems like the logical answer isn’t always the case. I absolutely agree that A-Rod deserves the award this year. He, by far, was more important to his team than any other player in baseball. It should be fun to see the A-Rod chase unfold this winter!

  • 8. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 7, 2007 at 6:45 am

    I honestly think that a lot of teams will kick the tires on A-Rod but that only a hand full of teams will be bidding. He’ll probably end up on the West Coast (SF is my guess with the Dodgers or Angels next).

  • 9. Matthew  |  November 7, 2007 at 9:41 am

    How can the team that set the record for the fewest errors not have a single Gold Glove winner? Helton and Tulo were robbed.

  • 10. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 7, 2007 at 11:16 am

    I agree Matthew, it’s a disgrace. Not only did they make the fewest errors but they flat out played the best defense.

  • 11. Brittney  |  November 7, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Well obviously Andruw deserved his 10th,with only 2 errors all season,but I was really glad to see Jeff Franceour get recognized. Frenchy has led the majors in outfield assists (45) since 2005! I can’t help but laugh when I see a 3B coach hold his runner at third when the ball is hit right to Jeff lol

    But,Jonathan,do you think Chipper could have gotten his 1st gold glove had he played more games? I like David Wright,but Chipper led the NL 3B with the fewest errors and he,by far,had one of the best years defensively of his career.

    Oh and I also agree some guys were left out! Wow,I’m tired now lol

  • 12. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 7, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I honestly don’t think Chipper could’ve won. His range isn’t great and just because he made the fewest errors doesn’t mean he was the best. I’d rather give the award to a guy who has a few errors but gets to more balls and shows he’s a better fielder. Chipper is good but not Gold Glove good.

  • 13. Brooke  |  November 7, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    As a sports journalist myself, I am very upset that Kenji didn’t win an award. He should have!

  • 14. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 7, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Brooke – Thanks for commenting! I greatly appreciate it. I’m glad to see there are some people out there that actually know something about fielding. Kenji should’ve won the award hands down!

  • 15. Erik  |  November 8, 2007 at 2:30 am

    As far as gold glove winners the one name that sticks out to me as someone that doesn’t deserve the Award is … Carlos Beltran. To me he is lazy. He is probably the 5th best defensive Centerfielder in the NL alone. Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowand, Mike Cameron and Chris B. Young in my mind played a better defensive CF than Beltran did. And I’m a damn Mets fan for crying out loud.

  • 16. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 7:32 am

    Really? Beltran 5th? I have to respectfully disagree. He may not make Sportscenter a lot and he may “look” lazy but that’s because he is so good at positioning himself and reading the ball off the bat that he doesn’t have to dive for balls that most players do. He is very good in CF. I think he is in the top 3 in the NL at his position, but we all have our opinions.

  • 17. Charlie Nehl  |  November 8, 2007 at 8:18 am

    When you say lazy player, I instantly think of Miguel Cabrera. He’s a pile of trash…. trash that can hit.

  • 18. Denver Browns Baseball  |  November 8, 2007 at 8:32 am

    The Rockies set a major league record for fielding percentage yet had not one gold glove winner….this is s joke…Tulowitzki and Helton should have been a lock…this crappy voting system is exactly why Holliday will not win the MVP and Tulo the ROY..MUCH LOVE D-BROWNS

  • 19. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Charlie – Me too! I think of him and Manny Ramirez, although Manny can play the Monster in Fenway.

  • 20. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 8:56 am

    DBB – Glad to see you on here! I agree with you 100% about the GG voters. I also think it would be a shame if Tulo doesn’t win the ROY. Holliday is a good choice but I still have to go with Jimmy Rollins as my MVP.

  • 21. Nick  |  November 8, 2007 at 10:37 am

    how do they calculate range factor and zone rating?

  • 22. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 10:48 am

    RF – (Putouts + Assists) x 9 divided by Defensive Innings Played

    ZR – A calculation of balls in a players’ “zone” that he made plays on. The higher the number the better the players’ ZR and the more balls he gets to that he should and shouldn’t get to. The worse the ZR the more balls a player shuold’ve gotten to that he didn’t. I don’t know the actuall calculation for that though.

  • 23. Brittney  |  November 8, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Someone that shows he’s a better fielder?!?!….uh,I think you should take a look at some Chipper Jones highlights from the season!! lol I’m 100% confident you’ll change your mind haha =]

  • 24. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Chipper is good, he’s also one of my favorite players but he is not the Gold Glove winner at 3B. Sorry.

  • 25. Brittney  |  November 8, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Just say it and I’ll give you a cookie! lol =/

  • 26. Andy  |  November 8, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Pujols should have won the NL gold glove over both Helton and Lee. And Wright wasn’t even close to the top of NL 3rd baseman, Pedro Feliz and Scott Rolen were both much better.

  • 27. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Andy – I actually agree that Feliz maybe should’ve won it. He could possibly play SS, that’s how good he was at 3B. Rolen missed too much time for me. I think Zimmerman was a good candidate too.

    Pujols deserves to be in the argument just as much but I still give it to Helton by a slim margin.

    Good call Andy!

  • 28. Thomas  |  November 8, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    I think you guys nailed this article. I found myself nodding in agreement throughout. I think the bypass of Coco Crisp was the thing that made me just reject the whole Gold Glove awards as something that isn’t about gloves any more. I’d love to see a 3-minute segment of each player’s best plays and play them back to back – than ask who has the glove of gold. Keep it up guys.

  • 29. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 8, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks Thomas, we really appreciate it. We hope you keep coming back for more!

  • 30. Dan  |  November 9, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Hey Everyone,

    Yes these are great comments about the Gold Gloves. I live in Canada so needless to say there are a million Jays games on during the year.

    John McDonald made so many plays at shortstop and he definitely should have won for that position

    Have a good one


  • 31. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 9, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks Dan, I totally agree. McDonald was simply amazing at short this year. I also think if Polanco would’ve made a couple errors that Aaron Hill would’ve (I shoudl say should’ve b/c the voters probably don’t even know his name) won the award.

  • 32. Brittney  |  November 14, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    After I make this statement,I’m done bringing it up,I promise! =] lol

    You said you want a GG winner to make few errors AND field the ball better.Well,my friend, David Wright had 21 errors and a .954 fielding percentage,while Chipper had 9 errors and a .971 fielding percentage…I’m just sayin’ haha I’m done now =P

  • 33. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 14, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Good point about the Wright and Chipper comparison. I still think after further review that either Ryan Zimmerman or Pedro Feliz should’ve won it.

  • 34. Erik  |  November 14, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I like David Wright as a player and there is no denying the kid has talent. I do feel however if anyone in the NL deserved the award for Gold Glove at Third Base it was Pedro Feliz. I think most people don’t take into account how the fielding percentage is compiled. One of the major reasons Wright’s error total was so high in comparison to that of Chipper Jones is that Wright’s range is a lot greater than that of Chipper’s. Also a lot of the errors charged to Wright should have been an error on Carlos Delgado who was on the recieving end of some of the throws. Wright makes some spectacular plays. He is no brooks robinson (shit I’m dating myself when I started watching baseball) But he is still a quality thirdbaseman.

  • 35. Erik  |  November 14, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Wrights range= 2.71
    Jones’ range = 2.39
    Feliz’ range= 2.76

    That is why I think of anyone deserving the award for Gold Glove in the NL is Pedro Feliz (Navidad). Great I’m turning into Chris Berman…

  • […] winners have been announced. *Sigh*. I’ve made it known that I believe the Gold Glove Awards are a joke and I know I am not alone. I want to believe that the award will one day actually go to the best […]

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