Tuesday, November 10, 2009
More Gold Gloves, more head-scratching
Straight from the source, we've got your 2009 American League Gold Glovers.
Shockingly, the voters selected MVP candidates Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, and Derek Jeter, all of whom were probably solid defensively but might not have been the best fielders in the league (my choices at those positions were Gerald Laird, Kevin Youkilis, and Elvis Andrus). At second base, the voters chose Placido Polanco because he made only two errors all season. Polanco is a pretty good second baseman, but nowhere near as good as Dustin Pedroia, who won the award last year (and, coincidentally enough, was also the American League's MVP).
In the outfield, the voters had to choose both Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki, because both had won eight straight Gold Gloves and everybody knows that if you've won eight you automatically deserve to win nine. Fortunately, the voters were wise enough to make room for an exciting young outfielder who burst upon the scene in 2009 with some of the most brilliant defense we've seen in center field since the heyday of Andruw Jones.
I am referring, of course, to the stupendously amazing Franklin Gutierrez, who ... Wait, what? They didn't vote for Franklin Gutierrez, who spent the entire season catching everything in sight and racking up phenomenal numbers?
Nope. They didn't. The voters instead went with Adam Jones, who played well in center field in 2008 but was (at best) average in 2009.
The voters made two excellent choices: Evan Longoria and Mark Buehrle. They made some defensible (pun intended) choices. And with Jeter and Hunter and Polanco and especially Jones, they just flat blew it, overlooking true excellence in favor of gaudy hitting stats or superficially impressive defensive performances. Well played, sirs. Again.