Tigers Gloves Not Golden! Man Lands On Moon!

The Gold Glove award winners were handed out on Tuesday night, and for the first time, the awards were handed out on ESPN 2 in what I am sure was very riveting television. I unfortunately had better things to do like picking lint out of my bellybutton, or sniffing glue. I think the glue sniffing came first (kids, don’t you try that).

There were two Tigers up for the awards on Tuesday night, and though they are good defenders, it is no surprise to me that Austin Jackson and Alex Avila came up empty in taking home some hardware. While I don’t really understand the criteria that people look for in selecting these candidates, I can say that neither of those guys deserved to win.

Jackson just plays a position where there is quite a bit of  defensive prowess, where a multitude of dudes could win that award. I can’t say that I am surprised it was Jacoby Ellsbury who won the Gold Glove. He is statistically speaking, according to UZR/150, the best center fielder in the American League according to Fangraphs. Shocker! They (award givers) got it right for a change. The fact that Jackson was there even at all is quite a feat actually, considering a league that boasts fantastic defenders at the position like Franklin Gutierrez, Peter Bourjos, Ben Revere, and…….Denard Span?

Avila, on the other hand, a better case could possibly be made for him. But I believe the right guy won that award as well, the Baltimore Orioles Matt Wieters.  The guy did throw out 37% of attempted base confiscators, as well as only having one ball that passed him by. Or in baseball terms, a passed ball. Avila, in contrast, only threw out 32% of those mangy thiefs, and allowed 7 balls to reflect off his leather like it was stone. A big difference? Wieters had 25 wild pitches on his watch to Avila’s 56. I guess on second thought, Avila doesn’t have that good of a case at all.

Avila and Jackson probably represent the Tigers two best defenders at this point, on a team full of guys that either have poor hands, weak arms, no range, or just flat out shouldn’t be trying to catch a baseball. Okay, well in fairness to Jhonny Peralta, he does catch what he gets to, and makes accurate throws. Booooorrrrriiiiing……….but solid nonetheless. In fact, Jim Leyland was publicly talking about Peralta for the Gold Glove Award during the League Championship Series. Anyone else think that was weird timing? Must have been prompted by one of Detroit’s brow beating tough reporters.

Anyway, Jhonny, despite his outstanding defensive season that caught most of us by surprise, didn’t get invited to the party. At SS they had J.J. Hardy, Erick Aybar and Asdrubal Cabrera there? Cabrera? What? He is a horrible defender. Sure, he makes some wow plays, but in general he stinks. It’s like the people who selected him as a finalist were sniffing my glue before that selection. No wonder why the bottle was half gone! Regardless, Peralta didn’t necessarily deserve to be there. The guy that got screwed was Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez, and maybe Alcides Escobar of the Royals. Aybar won though, and that didn’t make sense either, because Hardy was a better defender.

But then again, this whole Gold Glove thing doesn’t make sense. In the effort of full disclosure though, here are the winners for the American League.

C Matt Wieters
1B Alex Gonzalez
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Erick Aybar
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nick Markakis
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
LF Alex Gordon

You know what? I really don’t have a beef with those selections other than Aybar over Hardy.

As for the Tigers and their defense, yeah, it would be nice if they could get a guy to win a Gold Glove Award. But this has been a problem for them for years.Like a lot of years. Why change now? Its not as if they didn’t win their division going away with a guy in LF that runs like he has wooden legs, and a guy in RF that runs like he has a piano strapped to his back. See, defense doesn’t win championships. Luck with injuries, a mashing first baseman, Don Kelly and career years wins divisions.

Oh, and scoring more runs than your opponent. That is what really wins games.

If you’re keeping tally, they scored 787 and allowed 711. I’m too lazy to look up how good that is, but I know they scored 76 more than they allowed, and they did it with that crappy defense.

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Tags: Adrian Beltre Adrian Gonzalez Alcides Escobar Alex Avila Alex Gordon Alexei Ramirez Austin Jackson Ben Revere Denard Span Detroit Tigers Dustin Pedroia Erick Aybar Franklin Gutierrez Gold Glove J.J. Hardy Jacoby Ellsbury Jhonny Peralta Jim Leyland Matt Wieters Nick Markakis Peter Bourjos

  • mickey_baseball

    I’m confused on the Asdrubal Cabrera is bad at defense thing. This is the second time I’ve read this in the last three days. Not to sound ludicrous or anything, but I’m pretty sure I watched roughly 35 Indians games this year, and the guy looked pretty good to me. I saw him make an error at the end of the season and I had to do a double take. I’m sure UZR says he sucks or something.

    Alcides Escobar is the most talented defensive shortstop IMO. He’ll win a couple of these soon.

    This award is one of the few lame things about baseball these days. There are few humans who have the ability to watch enough baseball to really get a sense of who should be winning this award and often times I think it shows.

    • mickey_baseball

      …though to be fair most of these selections this year make sense to me.

    • wilsonm24

      @mickey_baseball what’s not to like? He has horrible range, sucks at turning the double play (well he is below average…), and is only slightly above average when it comes to making errors. I can see why you think he should be classified as a good defender…

      I blame the Golden glove voters for people thinking bad defensive guys are actually good defensive guys. If Jeter hadn’t won all those awards because he can jump and throw at the same time this wouldn’t be an issue (btw, Jeter’s jump throw actually slows him down to 1st base).

  • MCBjohnverburg

    Yes, UZR/150 the past 4 years is -47.8. He has been negative 4 straight years which in UZR language is “he sucks”

  • wilsonm24

    Pretty harsh on old Johnny there, especially considering the love for Escobar considering how close they were defensively this year.

    Jhonny had a better UZR/150 than Escobar and a higher RZR. Escobar obviously has more range than Jhonny though. But to say that Jhonny didn’t deserve to be there? Horribly un-educated statement, he had just as much right to be there as Escobar this year.

    • MCBjohnverburg

      @wilsonm24 Gun to your head. You take Peralta over Escobar defensively? Just defensively? Wipe out the offense. It’s not uneducated at all. Peralta’s UZR is high in large part because of a low error total, and that of course is a good thing. I acknowledged his good defensive season, but he beats Escobar in that regard, and a guy like Andrus. I don’t think it would be uneducated to say that if Peralta could actually get to the same number of balls that Escobar and Andrus could get to, his error rating wouldn’t look as nice.

      Could he have been there? Yeah sure. Is it a toss up between him and a guy like Escobar? I believe so. Bottom line, he wouldn’t have won it anyway, so I’m not sure it’s so horribly uneducated. Given the issues with a metric like UZR, the difference between Peralta and Escobar even using that metric is pretty negligible.

      • wilsonm24

        @MCBjohnverburg Well over their career’s I take Escobar, and if the golden glove award was a career achievement award then I agree with what you are saying. Fortunately (for my argument) it isn’t a career achievement award, but a season achievement award. This season, which is what the golden gloves are supposed to be about, Peralta was a better defensive player at SS than Escobar or at least equal.

        Escobar gets to more balls out of zone than Peralta…that I freely admitted. However, you are wrong in that you say that Escobar gets to more balls than Peralta…in zone. RZR takes the amount of balls in zone, and the amount of plays that are made on those balls and comes up with an average. Peralta’s average on balls in zone is higher than Escobar’s. So the balls he is getting too, he is better able to get outs.

        To state: “Regardless, Peralta didn’t necessarily deserve to be there.”, is uneducated. You clearly stated that it is a toss up between him and Escobar, and make the case that Escobar deserved to be there. If Escobar deserved to be there, and (admittedly) the difference between Peralta and Escobar is negligible ,than saying one deserved it and the other didn’t is uneducated.

        Take all that in to account and then compare Peralta to the actual winner of the award and he sure as hell deserved to be there since he blew him out of the water in every category. That being the case, a statement like “Bottom line, he wouldn’t have won it anyway” doesn’t make sense, since he was clearly better than the actual winner.

        • MCBjohnverburg

          @wilsonm24 Well if you want to get into semantics in language, my use of the word necessarily should have implied that it is open for debate that he should have been there. I didn’t say definitively that he didn’t belong. I then followed that up with two names, Ramirez, who by UZR was screwed, and Escobar, who is debatable.I was well aware that Peralta’s UZR numbers were 3rd in the league at SS.

          And Peralta “wouldn’t have won it anyway” makes complete sense. In effect if he was there and Aybar was still in the room, the winner was already chosen before it was announced, therefore Peralta being one of the 3 that was invited wouldn’t have made a difference and changed the outcome. The assumption being that they weren’t using UZR as their criteria, otherwise Hardy would’ve won, and Peralta and Ramirez would’ve been invited. So anyway you slice it, logically, Peralta wouldn’t have won.

        • wilsonm24

          @MCBjohnverburg Who knows, maybe Peralta would have taken Aybar’s spot since we are in magical fairy make believe land.

          If you know of a way that I should take “Peralta didn’t necessarily deserve to be there” other than literally to mean that he didn’t deserve to be there please let me know. Semantically and comprehensively it is pretty cut and dry what you are saying, that he didn’t deserve to be there.

          You finish the paragraph stating how a guy that had an equal year as Peralta got screwed! How can you “imply” that one guy is open for debate and the other guy is getting screwed over? Or was the screwed over statement supposed to “imply” that he really didn’t necessarily deserve to be there either?

        • mickey_baseball

          @wilsonm24 Go to mlb.com. Search Alcides Escobar defense videos. Watch maybe five minutes worth. At this point, you will see him and Peralta are not in the same galaxy from a defensive standpoint. I could care less what UZR says – it’s not even close. Peralta was way more solid then many of us would imagined this year at short. But Escobar makes impossible plays constantly.

        • wilsonm24

          @mickey_baseball Jeter used to make those plays as well…doesn’t mean he was that good a defensive SS.

          Anyways, continue with your belief that Stats are a bunch of lies because this one time at band camp Escobar made a great play…it doesn’t matter that he had three errors previously in the game he made that ONE play that clearly shows he is a godly defensive shortstop.

          It isn’t just UZR that said Peralta was better this year, it was EVERY defensive stat except range (which I already said Escobar beat Peralta at). In the long run, no doubt Escobar is a better defensive players, this year…arguably Peralta was better.

          Of course, you also think Asdrubal Cabrera is a good defensive SS so I may be arguing with a brick wall.