For the first time ever, we get a preview of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the award has let us in on who the nominees are. Twitter buddy (and terrific writer), Ian Bethune from over at Sox & Dogs has the list of nominees up on his site. With just a few exceptions, the list of nominees is a joke. It's an embarrassment to baseball and to Rawlings. And it will be an embarrassment to ESPN when they host the award announcement show. The only good news from the list is at least we won't get Derek Jeter to kick around this year as he is not on the ballot. Thank goodness for small miracles.
There is an alternative to the Gold Gloves called the Fielding Bible Awards. And while this is a much better award process, the drawbacks are that it's hosted by just one of the fielding metric systems (Baseball Info Solutions) and it only names one overall major league winner at each position instead of naming one in each league at each position.
What the Fan proposes to do for the rest of this post is to list the Gold Glove Award nominees by position, give you their prospective rank from Fangraphs and Baseball-reference.com and then who should have been the Gold Glove Award winner for 2011. Feel free to argue. One other note. Since the catcher rarely starts as many as the other positions, that position won't go by qualifying for the batting title. The other positions go by at least 400 plate appearances as you should be near a full time player to qualify for a fielding award (IMHO). Here we go:
Pitcher - Aw, forget the pitcher. Who really cares.
- Nominees: AL - Matt Wieters (F -1, B-R - 2), A.J. Pierzynski (F - 38, B-R - 45) and Alex Avilla (F-37, B-R - 19)
- Nominees: NL - Yadier Molina (F - 39, B-R - 3), Brian McCann (F - 57, B-R - 63), Carlos Ruiz (F - 52, B-R - 13)
- Who should be the Gold Glove: AL - Matt Wieters. The other two nominees are a joke. There are whispers that the Oriole pitchers don't like throwing to Wieters because he is so tall. NL - Miguel Montero
- Nominees: NL - Joey Votto (F - 2, B-R - 6), Gaby Sanchez (F - 4, B-R - 2) and James Loney (F - 5, B-R - 78)
- Nominees: AL - Adrian Gonzalez (F - 1, B-R - 1), Mark Teixeira (F - 2, B-R - 70) and Casey Kotchman (F - 4, B-R - 58)
- Who should be the Gold Glove: NL - Gaby Sanchez. AL - Adrian Gonzalez
- Nominees: AL - Dustin Pedroia (F - 1, B-R - 3), Robinson Cano (F - 12, B-R - 50) and Ian Kinsler (F - 3, B-R - 2)
- Nominees: NL - Brandon Phillips (F - 1, B-R - tied 28), Neil Walker (F - 9, B-R - tied 79) and Omar Infante (F - 3, B-R - 1)
- Who should be the Gold Glove: AL - Pedroia or Howie Kendrick. NL - Omar Infante
- Nominees: NL - Troy Tulowitzki (F - 2, B-R - 4), Ronny Cedeno (F - 3, B-R - 4) and Alex Gonzalez (F - 5, B-R - 5)
- Nominees: AL - Erick Aybar (F - 9, B-R - 9), J.J. Hardy (F - 2, B-R - 6) and Asdrubal Cabrera (F - Last, B-R - 48)
- Who should be the Gold Glove: NL - Clint Barmes AL - Tough one. Either Elvis Andrus or J.J. Hardy
- Nominees: NL: Placido Polanco (F - 1, B-R - 2), Daniel Descalso (F - DNQ, B-R - 90) and Pablo Sandoval (F - 2, B-R - 1)
- Nominees: AL: Adrian Beltre (F - 1, B-R - 2), Kevin Youkilis (F - 7, B-R - 10) and Evan Longoria (F - 3, B-R - 3)
- Who should be the Gold Glove: NL - Tie between Polanco and Sandoval AL - Adrian Beltre
- Nominees: AL: Alex Gordon (F - 2, B-R - 2), Brett Gardner (F - 1, B-R - 1) and Sam Fuld (F - DNQ, B-R - 7)
- Nominees: NL: Gerardo Parra (F - 2, B-R - 2), Ryan Braun (F - 8, B-R - 4) and Matt Holliday (F - 5, B-R - Tied 41)
- Who should be the Gold Glove: AL - Brett Gardner (but Gordon's 20 assists sure are impressive) NL - Gerardo Parra (Carlos Lee led both systems, but come on)
- Nominees: NL: Matt Kemp (F - 10, B-R - 6), Shane Victorino (F - 5, B-R - 10) and Chris Young (F - 1, B-R - 1)
- Nominees: AL: Jacoby Ellsbury (F - 1, B-R - 5), Austin Jackson (F - 3, B-R - 4) and Peter Bourjos (F - 4, B-R - 2)
- Who should be the Gold Glove: NL - Chris Young AL - Peter Bourjos
- Nominees: AL: Nick Markakis (F - 9, B-R - 80), Torii Hunter (F - 7, B-R - 72) and Jeff Francoeur (F - 5, B-R - 77)
- Nominees: NL: Andre Ethier (F - 3, B-R - 103), Carlos Beltran (F - 15, B-R - 98) and Jay Bruce (F - 10, B-R - 106)
- Who should be the Gold Glove: AL - Nick Swisher NL - Jason Heyward
Once again, it's very depressing that there is such a disparity between the fielding metric systems. That doesn't make this job very easy. But it's easy to see already that four of the Gold Gloves are going to be dead wrong. That's already in the 25 percent error range. And that's too bad. Because once again, with that kind of error rate, the Gold Gloves will once again be without merit and laughable.