Mets fans were outraged after Tuesday night, when Major League Baseball announced the winners of the Gold Glove Award. The list left out David Wright, who was considered the favorite to win the award at third base after making huge improvements at the hot corner this season. Possibly the biggest snub of all was Mike Trout. His speed, range, and athleticism were incredible this season. According to the Fielding Bible, who gave their center field award to Trout this year, he led the league in home runs robbed with four. The 2012 selections are just another example of how the Gold Glove Award is the worst award in sports.
The Gold Glove is, by far, the most subjective of every award in sports. Often times, the winners are chosen based on everything but fielding. Jimmy Rollins, who is nothing special at shortstop anymore, won the award, largely because of his reputation and the fact that he had a bounce-back year at the plate. Or, how about 1999, when Rafael Palmeiro won the award at first base, despite playing only 28 games in the field? There’s a big problem here.
I can’t blame this problem sorely on the voters, however. They have shown, time after time, that the award winners are based on reputation and production at the plate, but are not completely at fault. While baseball analysts have made tremendous progress over the past few years in improving defensive statistics, they are far less accurate than hitting and pitching stats. Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) and Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) are useful, but they have a long way to go. These stats can’t be relied on year-by-year. They fluctuate so much that you have to look at three or more years to really get a good idea of who can field and who can’t…
What are some of the other awards that rival the Gold Glove for worst in sports? The only ones that come to mind are the All-Star selections, where the fans can pick whoever they want. But for the awards voted on by professional sports journalists, the Gold Glove is by far the worst.
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