The American League Gold Gloves were announced today for the 2006 season, and Derek Jeter won another award at shortstop, despite the fact he was 4th in the league in fielding percentage, last in Range factor, and third-worst in Zone factor (thanks to my friend Adam for the stats).
The complete list of AL winners:
C- Ivan Rodriguez
1B- Mark Teixeira
2B- Mark Grudzielanek
SS- Derek Jeter
3B- Eric Chavez
OF- Ichiro Suzuki
OF- Torii Hunter
OF- Vernon Wells
P- Kenny Rogers
What do you immediately notice about this list? The Boston Red Sox, who made just 66 errors all year, and just missed tying the record for fewest errors in a season by a team, had exactly zero players win Gold Gloves this year. Mike Lowell, Alex Gonzalez and Mark Loretta all had superb seasons in the field, and all three could have won the award. Only Grudzielanek on that list of the three winners at 2B, SS and 3B really deserved to win.
But I'm not going to lose any sleep at all over who won these awards. They have forever been a popularity contest among the voters, who happen to be managers, coaches and players from that particular league. I remember back in the early 1990s when Benito Santiago was winning the award every year, that he once won one year despite the fact that he led the National League catchers in both passed balls and errors.
But it's interesting to see that the Seattle Mariners, who still hold the record for fewest errors by a team with 65 in 2003, had four Gold Glovers that year. The Red Sox have none this season.
Whatever. To me, the Gold Gloves have always been one step above a joke.
I won't be tossing and turning over it.