The 2005 No Glove, No Love Awards
The 2005 No Glove, No Love Awards
Many people don’t care much for the Gold Glove awards. Dan Szymborski has been pointing out that fielders win multiple awards more often than they win the award once for nearly a decade. It’s not the best voting system, but what the heck – it gives us something with which to pass the time during the off-season.
(Runs above average for player’s playing time)
These are nice selections. Texeira had a good season. Hudson has been a good second baseman. Eric Chavez has been a great defender his whole career. The whole AL outfield has great defensive reputations.
In the NL, the OF has the good reps. The infield is some kind of mish-mash of “I don’t have any idea who to vote for” feel to it. Omar Vizquel was a great fielder a decade ago. Derrek Lee is a very good fielder. Castillo and Lowell? Sounds like as good of a guess as anything else. Of course Greg Maddux won. I suspect he’ll win the year after he retires as well.
But were these picks really any good? I mean, Derek Jeter? I can hear Statheads’ brains sizzling over that.
With so much time on people’s hands these days, lots of people have taken to developing their own defensive evaluation systems. I developed one about 8 years ago. David Gassko (Primate: DSG) at The Hardball Times has one. Most of us are familiar with MGL’s UZR system. Even Primate “Chone” Smith (Primate: Rallymonkey) has worked one up.
Does it help to have multiple systems? Most likely. If two systems agree, it could be a coincidence. If three agree, maybe you have something. If four agree, I think there’s a good chance the fielding has been reasonably quantitated.
Of the listed systems, the MGL, Smith and Dial methods get their start from STATS ZR. But MGL’s system changes direction immediately. DSG’s system uses only traditional statistics to generate his data – this is a critical need to do any work pre-1990 or so.
You can read about DSG’s, MGL’s and “Chone’s” and see what you think.
The MLB Gold Glovers:
Position American League National League
1B Texeira (+6) Lee (+0)
2B Hudson (+2) L. Castillo (+4)
3B Chavez (+13) Lowell (-1)
SS Jeter (+1) Vizquel (+11)
OF V. Wells (+6) A. Jones (-0)
OF Hunter (-0) Edmonds (+4)
OF Suzuki (-2) Abreu (-6)
C Varitek (-4) Matheny (+11)
P Rogers Maddux
Here are mine:
Position American League National League
1B Erstad (+9) Helton (+9)
2B Ellis (+11) Utley (+19)
3B Chavez (+13) Atkins (+6)
SS Uribe (+9) Jack Wilson (+16)
LF Crawford (+10) Floyd (+9)
CF Rowand (+13) Clark (+5)
RF Rios (+9) Burnitz (+8)
C I. Rodriguez (+16) Y. Molina (+14)
Pitchers? Um, Jim Kaat? I’d actually agree with both MLB selections. Both Rogers and Maddux are historically good fielders and their stats actually support their selections.
The question is why are the rest of these guys my selections, and why do I think the winners weren’t right?
We’ll go slot by slot:
1B: Texeira is a fine selection. I think Erstad was a bit better, but it is a quibble, and Tex is a good fielder. In the NL, Helton had a much better season than Lee defensively. There’s no doubt Lee is a good fielder, as is Albert Pujols and Doug Mientkiewicz, but this season, Helton was the best.
2B: Plenty of AL fans praise Orlando Hudson’s defense, and I think it may be the turf. I’m not saying he isn’t a good fielder, but Mark Ellis has been very good for several years, and I think he got utterly robbed. But not as bad as Chase Utley. Utley is a big guy, and hits lots of home runs, so he can’t possibly be a good fielder. Well, he is, and he too got the shaft. However, Mark Grudzielanek and Craig Counsell also had good seasons, so either of them would have been a pretty good choice. But Luis Castillo?
3B: Eric Chavez is a good fielder. He looks like a good fielder and his stats say he is a good fielder. He has been one of the tops in the AL for most of his career. No controversy to be had here, even when Chavez is injured, he’s still very good. There was some disappointment in the selection of Torii Hunter because he missed a bunch of games. I would like to award the NL 3B NGNL to Scott Rolen. Bottom line is, Scott was the best fielder going into the season, and even though he only started 55 games, he was the best defensive third baseman in the NL this season. However, he simply didn’t play enough innings. It’s not strong year at the hot corner with Rolen out, so I’ll award the NGNL to a Met – David Wright. Not really. In a coin toss, I vote for Garrett Atkins of the Colorado Rockies. In my heart, I want to vote for Rolen.
SS: Plenty of concern in the AL for the NGNL. Derek Jeter wasn’t the worst player ever, but he wasn’t anywhere near the best. Juan Uribe looked like one of the best in the World Series and his fans were saying he should win the award, and my ratings support that assertion. In the NL, Omar Vizquel was pretty good, but Jack Wilson was significantly better. Adam Everett was very good as well. I am entertained that two of the top shortstops were in the World Series.
LF: The AL had two runaway left fielders for this award. The other guy got the nod in other systems, but here, Carl Crawford gets the nod based on more innings and more chances. Crawford and Coco Crisp were nearly a dead heat. Cliff Floyd has looked terrible in LF in the past, hobbling around on sore legs. Floyd was healthy this year and showed off a much more youthful energy in the field. He also led the NL in assists. Sometimes less than stellar fielders have good years with the gloves, just like they have good years with the bat.
CF: They say you have to be strong up the middle. The Chicago White Sox were just that. Aaron Rowand was the top centerfielder. To be fair, it was very close with Jeremy Reed of the Mariners, but Rowand played 200 more innings. Rowand should have been recognized for this award before. He’s been one of the best since his first day in the league. The NL was a mish-mash of average performers. Jim Edmonds is a fine choice from the coaches, but I am giving the nod to Brady Clark, who just edges Edmonds and Corey Patterson out.
RF: The AL RF award is going to be tough to wrestle away from Ichiro Suzuki, but he’s not, and hasn’t been at any point in his career, the best right fielder in the American League. He’s a fine outfielder, but he’s not the best at all. For this past season, Alexis Rios prevented the most runs defensively and picks up the hardware. In the NL, again there were no clear standouts. Austin Kearns had another great year, and given the chance, could be one of the best defensive right fielders in the game. However, Kearns didn’t play enough innings to outweigh the performance of Jeromy Burnitz. Burnitz doesn’t generally give off the appearance of a good fielder, but he had a good season.
C: Ivan Rodriguez. It’s a stunner. Pudge is truly a great catcher. I suspect he’ll make the Hall of Fame. I am surprised voters would give it to anyone else, much less a mediocrity like Varitek. Yadier Molina slips past Mike Matheny for the NL crown. Matheny is a defensible choice – he is a good catcher and was second in runs prevented.
The St. Louis Cardinals had some outstanding defense: Edmonds, Grudzielanek, Rolen, Molina all could have won the No Glove, No Love Award.
In case some of you were curious, Eckstein was slightly below average (-4).
It’s clear to me that the biggest robbery was Chase Utley not getting any love for his great season. If the Phillies get over the top next year, Utley will be the reason. From what I have seen, he is the total package, offense and defense.
Posted: November 04, 2005 at 07:09 AM | 58 comment(s)
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