Friday, November 03, 2006

National League Gold Glove Award Winners.

As promised, here is the follow-up to yesterday's AL Gold Glove Awards. Today, the NL revealed it's recipients, as detailed in the following Yaho News AP wire excerpt:

NEW YORK - Greg Maddux has become a constant in an era of change. The slick-fielding pitcher won his 16th Gold Glove on Friday, tying the record shared by pitcher Jim Kaat and third baseman Brooks Robinson.

"I'm honored," Maddux said in a statement. "I take great pride in my fielding. This award means a lot to me."
Maddux has won the NL pitching award each year since 1990 except for 2003, when Atlanta's Mike Hampton interrupted the streak.

Maddux was 15-14 with a 4.20 ERA this year, including 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA for the Dodgers. The eight-time All-Star and four-time NL Cy Young Award winner has 333 career wins.

Kaat won AL Gold Gloves for pitchers from 1962-75, then won the NL award the following two years. Robinson was honored as the AL's best fielder at third base from 1960-75.

Rawlings has presented Gold Gloves annually since 1957 based on voting by managers and coaches before the end of the regular season. They may not select players on their own teams, and they vote only for players in their own league.

San Francisco shortstop Omar Vizquel won his 11th Gold Glove, his second in a row in the NL after the nine straight he earned with the Cleveland Indians from 1993-01. He is two shy of the record for shortstops, held by Ozzie Smith, and at 39 he extended his own mark as the oldest shortstop to win the honor.

Atlanta center fielder Andruw Jones won his ninth consecutive Gold Glove. Among outfielders, he trails only Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays (12 each) and Al Kaline and Ken Griffey Jr. (10 apiece).

That's some tight company Andruw. Well done!

St. Louis third baseman Scott Rolen won his seventh Gold Glove, his first since 2004. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols won for the first time, as did New York Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran.

Houston catcher Brad Ausmus won his third award, his first since 2002. San Diego center fielder Mike Cameron won for the third time he earned Gold Gloves in the AL with Seattle in 2001 and 2003.

Second baseman Orlando Hudson won with Arizona after gaining the honor for the first time with Toronto last year. "I have always taken a lot of pride in my work defensively and this is the ultimate compliment," Hudson said.

Beltran and Vizquel each earned $100,000 bonuses, while Cameron, Pujols and Rolen got $50,000 apiece. Ausmus gets a $25,000 bonus.

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Once again, let's see what the stats had to say about these guys. Position-by-position rundown:

First Base - Albert Pujols was third in the NL in putouts, and second in assists and double plays, despite having missed 20 games. He made just six errors. Todd Helton of the Rockies made just four errors in virtually the same number of chances, and he led the NL in double plays, so he may have been a slightly better choice, but I don't have much to quibble with about Pujols having won it this season.

Second Base - Orlando Hudson was fifth in the NL in putouts, but he was far and away the NL leader in assists. Hudson also led the NL in double plays while making just 13 errors. He's a Frank White clone who deserved the award.

Third Base - Scott Rolen was just eighth in the NL in putouts, but he ranked second in assists and double plays, despite having missed 20 games, while making just 15 errors. He also has the rep, but at least he lives up to the hype.

Shortstop - Speaking of rep, Omar Vizquel ranked fourth in the NL in putouts, but just seventh in both assists and double plays. Sure he made just four errors, but you can't botch balls you can no longer reach. A better choice would have been Adam Everett of the Astros who had 90 more assists and 17 more double plays (he ranked second in the NL in both categories) while having made just seven errors.

Outfield - Three center fielders again in the NL. This is a tough one because all three guys are legitimate glove heroes. Jones was second in the NL in putouts, but had only four assists, mainly because nobody runs on him anymore. Beltran was fourth in the NL in putouts, but led CFs in assists, and double plays. Cameron was third in the NL in putouts. Juan Pierre of the Cubs led the NL in putouts, and he didn't make a single error, but he recorded only two more putouts than Jones in over a hundred more innings played. In a tough call, I'd have to give the award to Jones. He never makes a mistake out there, and Tom Glavine missed him his first two years as a Met. Beltran and Cameron's awards should have gone to Pirates left fielder Jason Bay (second among NL LFs in putouts and assists). Alfonso Soriano led the NL in assists and double plays, but had the second most errors of any NL OF, so he gets nothing. My right field pick would be Brad Hawpe of the Rockies. Hawpe was fourth among NL RFs in putouts, but led them in assists (second overall in the league to Soriano).

Catcher - Brad Ausmus led the NL in putouts by a wide margin. He was tied for third in assists and double plays, having made just two errors, and having committed only one passed ball. Good choice.

Pitcher - Greg Maddux was nowhere near the NL lead in pitchers putouts, but he tied for first in assists, and was the leader in double plays without having made a single error. Again, good choice.

Well, that's that. See you when the next batch of awards is given out, or whenever another topiccompelss me to blog at youse...

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