Since I write about defense a lot here, I figured I’d throw up a quick post on the Gold Glove Awards that were just announced. Hopefully, you guys know by now to not take these things seriously, as they’re by far the biggest farce of any major award in sports. The managers just don’t take these things that seriously, nor do they generally understand how to properly value defensive players.
By and large, they just pencil in the same names over and over every year, leading to things like Greg Maddux winning his 17th gold glove today. Now, I’m not here to argue that Maddux isn’t a great defender for a pitcher – he is – but there’s no way he’s been the best defender in baseball at his position in 17 of the last 18 years. That’s just laziness from the voters and a reflection of how reputation, and not any kind of performance, is the main evaluative tool for managers when it comes to defense.
But, regardless of our misgivings about how these awards are given out, they still receive notoriety, so congratulations to Ichiro and Adrian Beltre on being recognized for their defensive contributions. I’m not sure I’d have voted for Beltre, honestly, and I say this as a card carrying member of the Adrian Beltre Fanboy Club, but it’s nice to see him being recognized as a superb defender.
And, just for fun, if I was voting, these would have been my selections:
Catcher: Gerald Laird, Yadier Molina
1st Base: Kevin Youkilis, Albert Pujols
2nd Base: Mark Ellis, Chase Utley
Shortstop: John McDonald, Troy Tulowitzki
3rd Base: Brandon Inge, Pedro Feliz
Outfield: Curtis Granderson, David DeJesus, CoCo Crisp, Andruw Jones, Carlos Beltran, Juan Pierre