Baseballistic
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Gold Glove Voting is Rigged

Major League Baseball announced in the past few days, the winners of the Gold Glove awards for the 2006 season. There were many shoo-ins and obvious choices, such as Greg Maddux and Kenny Rogers for pitcher; there were however, many more debateable choices made by the voters, including a couple that I felt were downright wrong. I believe they were wrong because the coaches who voted for the awards took more than just defense into account when casting their ballots. Gold Gloves are given to players will Gold Gloves, not players that did something extraordinary in another aspect of baseball. It’s obvious isn’t it? Apparently not.

Alex Gonzalez was simply robbed of a GG

There’s one glaring example of rigged voting by the Managers and Coaches who cast their ballots. Derek Jeter was given the award for best AL Shortstop, and while he might be the best overall shortstop in the AL, he’s not even the best defensive SS in New York; that’s Jose Reyes of the Mets. Jeter did have an excellent season at shorstop however, making just 15 errors and recording a fielding percentage of .975. Watch this…! Alex Gonzalez made less than half the number of errors Jeter made (7) and had a fielding percentage of .985, also significantly higher than Jeter’s. There’s no way you can make a case for Jeter being the better defensive shortstop. That means something else was considered when the voting took place.

I agree, Jeter is far better as an overall player than Alex Gonzalez, but the Gold Glove awards are for defensive excellency, not overall play. I know Jeter hit .343, I know he’s one of the classiest players in baseball, and I know that Jeter is an excellent clubhouse guy for the Yankees. How much of that is supposed to factor into Gold Glove voting? ZERO! If any of it did, Gold Glove voting is clearly rigged.


Let me get this out of the way right now: I’m a Red Sox fan. That however, has no effect on my opinion that the voting was rigged. If the BoSox had played terrible defense, I would have been perfectly satisfied with them going home empty-handed Gold Glove-wise. The BoSox however had one of the best defensive infields in recent history, and to have NONE of the infielders receive an award is simply wrong. I agree, Mark Teixeira was terrific at 1st and bested Kevin Youkilis — that’s one. I agree, Mark Grudzielanek was amazing at 2nd and turned 111 double plays for KC, which is probably good enough to take the award away from Mark Loretta, who made just 4 errors in 639 chances. I don’t agree with Derek Jeter being given the award over Alex Gonzalez. I’m a little skeptical about Eric Chavez winning his 6th straight GG over Mike Lowell, but I’m willing to accept it. As I mentioned however, I am disappointed and somewhat angered by Alex Gonzalez not receiving an award. And once again, this has nothing to do with my being a Red Sox fan.

I know Alex Gonzalez will simply shrug it off and move on, but I believe something must be done to make sure Gold Gloves are given to the players that really deserve them, because of defensive excellence and not because of anything else. Perhaps we should simply give the award to the player with the best fielding percentage at each position. Perhaps we should give it to the player who made the fewest errors with at least a certain number of chances. I don’t know what the best resolution to this issue is, all I know is that something ought to and must be done.

________________________________________________________________

Trivia!

Yesterday’s question (see — Free Agent Profile: Carlos Lee) was…

Carlos Lee was the first player to get a hit at which MLB stadium?

The correct answer…

The New Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Today’s question is…

Which former MLB shortstop won 12 Gold Gloves for his terrific defense?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

There’s a slight change in the schedule for my Free Agent Profiles…here’s an update…

Sunday: Daisuke Matsuzaka

Monday: Juan Pierre

Tuesday: Eric Gagne

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11 Responses to “Gold Glove Voting is Rigged”

  1. I’m a Yankees fan and I still agree with you. I love that Jeter won the award, but I don’t think he deserved it. Much as I hate to admit it, Alex Gonzalez of the BoSox was the best SS in the American League this season.

  2. Totally agree. Jeter getting the award is just ridiculous. Yes, he’s good, but he’s far from great on defense. Gonzalez isn’t a good hitter, but he makes miracles happen at short. He had the gold glove and I’m not certain Steinbrenner or another Yankee mafia goon didn’t pay off the coaches to vote for Jeter.

    I want to see all the coaches who voted for Jeter look directly at Gonzalez and tell him he was worse at shortstop than Jeter. If they do it with a straight-face, they’re liars or understand less about baseball than my wife, who turns off the TV and tells me to go wash my jeans while I’m watching my beloved Brewers. If they do it without a straight-face, well, they’re liars, and the voting is rigged.

    There’s no win-win explanation; there’s no win-lose situation, it’s bad news all the way around, except for Jeter, who is celebrating his undeserved award.

  3. Jeter? Gonzalez??

    What about Michael Young???

    Voting is rigged, but it’s Young, not Gonzalez that deserved the award…!

  4. IF the gold glove is based solely on fielding percentage, then there should not be a vote. Pure and simple it should go to the player who has the best fielding percentage at that position, assuming that they meet the minimum requirements of playing X amount of games of course. Any arguments on the subject will then be put to rest. Any award not based solely on stats will turn into a popularity contest.

  5. Justin,

    The problem is, the Gold Glove isn’t based (at least not directly) on any statistic, so it is, in your words, a “popularity contest”. While I’d like to think this decision could still be made through a voting system, it is definitely simpler to do it without one.

    There are categories which, in my opinion, should be considered for each position…

    1B — fielding percentage
    2B — fielding percentage, double plays turned
    SS — same as 2B
    3B — same as 2B
    OF — fielding percentage, assists
    C — fielding percentage, passed balls, CS%
    P — fielding percentage

    If the award is based solely on those categories, the choice(s) should be easy to make and controversies should be easily averted. But that, in effect, takes the voting out of it. And, in my opinion, that’s a good thing, because Gold Gloves should be based on defense and defense only; not offense, not clubhouse presence, and certainly not popularity.

  6. you kind of left out the key fact that alex gonzalez played in only 111 out of 162 games.. coming from a neutral party, i personally think Michal Young should’ve been the AL gold glover.

  7. also, there is no way you can vote for the gold glove on pure fielding percentage, that is a deceiving stat. mobile short stops such as jose reyes and jimmy rollins are going to get to more balls and have more chances to make an error than a short stop not as mobile such as david eckstein or adam everett

  8. a little late but i was doing some research on gold gloves and thought i’d share my two cents…

    nobody mentioned range factor which jeter was below league average last year. and i think the list of shortstops who were better defensively than jeter last year should also include miguel tejeda and orlando cabrera.

  9. Forget Alex Gonzalez, if anyone was robbed, it was Chris Young.

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