Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Oh, You Didn't Hear? Four Red Sox Players Finalists For 2011 Gold Glove Awards
We can all agree that MLB's Gold Glove awards became a complete joke when New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter kept winning it despite having some of the worst defensive ratings at his position.
Gold Gloves are seemingly all about rewarding big name players and turning a blind eye to common thought and empirical data (like only baseball can). With that said, I found it shocking that until this morning, I didn't even know that the 2011 Boston Red Sox have four finalists for 2011 Gold Gloves.
This is the first time that MLB has announced the finalists at each position and not simply winners, "see, progress!"-Bud Selig. The awards will be handed out tonight at 10 p.m. on ESPN2, talk about riveting television.
At first base, Red Sox star Adrian Gonzalez (who won 2 with the Padres) is up against Casey Kotchman (Rays) and Mark Teixeira (Yankees). At second base, Dustin Pedroia (a 2008 Gold Glover) faces Robinson Cano (Yankees) and Ian Kinsler (Rangers). At third base, Kevin Youkilis is pitted vs. Adrian Beltre (Rangers) and Evan Longoria (Rays). Finally, Jacoby Ellsbury faces Austin Jackson (Tigers) and Peter Bourjos (Angels).
Without troubling myself by taking the time to look up UZR (ultimate zone ratings) and similar defensive stats, I have to say that Pedroia and Ellsbury are most deserving of the honor for Boston. They were excellent all season for the Red Sox and they seemingly played every game. Gonzalez was very good but first basemen are pretty subjective and Youk was solid but he missed a ton of time so it's hard to justify him getting it. At least if Gonzalez and Youkilis don't get Gold Gloves, we can take solace in the fact that two former likable Red Sox (Kotchman and Beltre) have a 50% chance to get them.
UPDATE 11/1: Didn't see I minute of the show, since I watched the Bruins then "Unguarded" the ESPN documentary on Fall River's Chris Herren, but I read on Twitter that Ellsbury, Pedroia and Gonzalez all won Gold Gloves. So there you go. Who said the Gold Gloves were worthless?
This is only the third time (Burleson, Lynn and Evans in 1978; Scott, Yaz, Reggie Smith in 1968) that a trio of Red Sox won Gold Gloves in the same season. It's also the first time since 2008 that a member of the team captured the coveted defensive award. Other Boston winners in the last decade include Jason Varitek (2005) and Youk (2007).
UPDATE 11/02: Gonzalez, David Ortiz and Ellsbury won Silver Slugger awards (best hitter at their positions). Ellsbury and Gonzalez are the first Red Sox teammates to win Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards in the same season.