Friday, November 04, 2005

NL Gold Glove Winners.

The NL Gold Glove winners were announced yesterday. They are:

P Greg Maddux, 15th Chicago Cubs. He'll probably continue to win this award as long as he is breathing. Derek Lowe of the Dodgers had the same number of putouts and assists, but made just one error to Maddux's three. Shows what the value of a reputation will do. He is now one shy of the all-time record for Gold Gloves in a career. Brooks Robinson and Jim Kaat both won 16 in their careers.

C Mike Matheny, 4th San Francisco Giants. Just one error in 132 games. 77 assists and 12 double plays (both NL leading figures) makes him a deserving choice.

1B Derrek Lee, 2nd Chicago Cubs. Lee made just six errors and was second in putouts, first in assists and fourth in double plays. Another good choice.

2B Luis Castillo, 3rd Florida Marlins. Decent numbers, but Castillo wasn't close to having led the NL in assists, putouts or double plays, partly because he missed 42 games. For my money I’d have gone with Craig Counsell of the Diamondbacks who led the NL in putouts and was second in assists and double plays, or Mark Grudzelanik of the Cardinals who led the NL in double plays with 108 while only making seven errors (the same number as Castillo but in 17 more games). Brian Giles also has a case being fourth in putouts, first in assists and third in double plays.

SS Omar Vizquel, 10th San Francisco Giants. Speaking of the value of a reputation. Omar did have the fewest errors (8) of any regular NL shortstop, but his age is showing as his range has declined some over the past few years. Like Castillo, his putout, assist and DP totals aren’t close to the NL lead. Three shortstops had eerily similar years with the glove. They are Rafael Furcal of the Braves, David Eckstein of the Cardinals and Jack Wilson of the Pirates. Furcal led the NL in putouts, and was third in assists and double plays. Eckstein was third in putouts, and was second in assists and double plays. Wilson was second in assists, and was first in double plays. Furcal and Eckstein each made 15 errors. Wilson 14. Furcal has a cannon for an arm. Eckstein seems to take four steps before throwing the ball to first. Wilson is just steady as hell. In a close call, I’d give it to Wilson.

3B Mike Lowell, 1st Florida Marlins. Lowell made just six errors to go along with a league leading 34 DPs. Good choice. Just to show how good he was, he turned nearly six DPs for every error he made. That is a ridiculous number that no other NL 3B can come close to touching. The only other regular 3Bs with even a 2-1 DP to error ratio are Morgan Ensberg of the Astros (31-15) and Vinny Castilla of the Nationals (23-11). Chipper Jones of the Braves had an 18-5 ratio, but in just 100 games.

OF Andruw Jones, 8th Atlanta Braves. Andruw had about 50 fewer putouts this year than he has had for the past few years (365 placing him third among NL CFs along with 11 assists and just two errors), but that can largely be attributed to the fact that the Braves had younger corner outfielders (Ryan Langerhans in LF, Jeff Francouer in RF) than in previous seasons that saw veterans like Gary Sheffield, Brian Jordan, B.J. Surhoff, the Chipper Jones experiment, and less than artistic fielders like Ryan Klesko, so he didn’t have to cover the gaps as extensively as he has in the past. Still a great outfielder and a solid choice.

OF Jim Edmonds, 8th St. Louis Cardinals. Again with the reputation. Again I ask, why can’t baseball get this right and award gold gloves to each OF position? I'd have given Edmonds's award to Cliff Floyd of the Mets who was second in NL LFs in putouts, and led all NL OFs in assists with 15 while making just two errors.

OF Bobby Abreu, 1st Philadelphia Phillies. This pick makes no sense. Not that Abreu isn't a good fielder, it's that he has had better seasons and been completely ignored. He isn't close to the lead in putouts for RFs, and he had just seven assists. A better choice would have been Geoff Jenkins of the Brewers who led NL RFs in putouts and led all major league OFs in DPs with 7. Side note: Randy Winn led all major league OFs with 410 putouts. He had only four assists, but made just one error while playing both LF and CF for the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants (He also led AL outfielders in putouts with 416 in 2004, 342 in CF and 74 in LF). Shouldn’t there be some kind of award for him? Just asking...

Well, that's that. Only about 110 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training 2006!

My good friend Miss Templeton has given me a homework assignment for which I'll be studying, then posting the answers sometime this weekend.

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