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October 2013

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The 2013 Fielding Bible Awards

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THE 2013 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS have been officially announced. Six new players and three returning players have been deemed worthy of the honor of being named the best fielder at their position for the 2013 season.

Andrelton Simmons set a single-season record (since we started tracking Defensive Runs Saved in 2003) by saving 41 runs at shortstop for the Atlanta Braves. And Simmons had company breaking the record. Gerardo Parra saved 36 runs in right field for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013. But with four more runs saved in center field and one run saved in left, Parra also had 41 total Defensive Runs Saved and joined Simmons with the highest runs saved performances on record. They were, without a doubt, the best fielders last year at their position, regardless of league. On top of those two, Carlos Gomez saved 38 runs for the Milwaukee Brewers playing center field. And Manny Machado had 35 runs saved for the Baltimore Orioles at third base. They, too, deserved singular recognition.

All four of those players were rewarded with their first Fielding Bible Awards. In addition, we chose Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks at first base and R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays at pitcher—both for the first time as well.

Repeat winners this year include Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox at second base (his second in three years), Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals in left field (his second in a row), and Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals at catcher (for an amazing sixth time).

A panel of 12 analysts, listed below—including Peter Gammons, Bill James, Joe Posnanski, and Doug Glanville—examined the 2013 seasons of every defensive player in Major League Baseball and then used the same voting technique as the Major League Baseball MVP voting. First place votes received 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. A perfect score was 120.

One important distinction that differentiates THE FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS from most other baseball awards, such as the Gold Gloves, is that there is only one winner at each position instead of separate winners for each league. The goal of THE FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS is to stand up and say: “Here is the best fielder at this position in Major League Baseball last season.” Another key feature of the system is that it also recognizes the runners-up for each position. A complete record of the voting can be found in The Bill James Handbook 2014.

Here are the results of THE 2013 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS:

Position Winner

Points

First Base Paul Goldschmidt

110

Second Base Dustin Pedroia

118

Third Base Manny Machado

120

Shortstop Andrelton Simmons

120

Left Field Alex Gordon

112

Center Field Carlos Gomez

119

Right Field Gerardo Parra

117

Catcher Yadier Molina

114

Pitcher R.A. Dickey

105

The Panel

  • Bill James is a baseball writer and analyst and the Senior Baseball Operations Advisor for the Boston Red Sox.
  • The BIS Video Scouts at Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) study every game of the season, multiple times, charting a huge list of valuable game details.
  • As the MLB Network on-air host of Clubhouse Confidential and MLB Now, Brian Kenny brings an analytical perspective on the game of baseball to a national television audience. He also won a 2003 Sports Emmy Award as host of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.
  • Dave Cameron is the Managing Editor of Fangraphs.
  • Doug Glanville played nine seasons in Major League Baseball and was well known for his excellent outfield defense. Currently, he is a baseball analyst at ESPN, primarily on Baseball Tonight, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
  • The man who created Strat-O-Matic Baseball, Hal Richman.
  • Named the best sports columnist in America in 2012 by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, Joe Posnanski is the National Columnist at NBC Sports.
  • For over twenty-five years, BIS owner John Dewan has collected, analyzed, and published in-depth baseball statistics and analysis. He authored The Fielding Bible and The Fielding Bible—Volume II, and co-authored The Fielding Bible—Volume III.
  • Mark Simon has been a researcher for ESPN Stats & Information since 2002 and currently helps oversee the Stats & Information blog and Twitter (@espnstatsinfo). He is a regular contributer on baseball (often writing on defense) for ESPNNY.com and ESPN.com.
  • Peter Gammons serves as on-air and online analyst for MLB Network, MLB.com and NESN (New England Sports Network). He is the 56th recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing given by the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America).
  • After nearly fifteen years with ESPN.com, Rob Neyer joined SB Nation as National Baseball Editor in 2011. He has written six books about baseball.
  • The Tom Tango Fan Poll represents the results of a poll taken at the website, Tango on Baseball (www.tangotiger.net). Besides hosting the website, Tom writes research articles devoted to sabermetrics.
  • Our three tie-breakers are Ben Jedlovec, vice president of Baseball Info Solutions and co-author of The Fielding Bible—Volume III, Dan Casey, veteran Video Scout at BIS, and Sean Forman, the founder of Baseball-Reference.com.

Complete results and voting on THE 2013 FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS are presented in The Bill James Handbook 2014, published on or before November 1 every year. For more information on THE FIELDING BIBLE AWARDS, visit www.fieldingbible.com.

  • Noah_I

    Tom Tango (which, yes, is a pseudonym) is also a consultant for the Cubs on sabermetrics.

  • Doc Raker

    The Fielding Bible Award isn’t a good name, it just doesn’t flow, difficult to say. A drunk in the bleachers will have a tough time spitting that out, “Pedroa won the Flooding Biblical war” just not good. I think the best fielder award should be called something like, “Best glove” award, “Gold defensmen” or “Best defensemen” or “Silver Glove” award or “Platinum Glove” award or something like that. And then after the payer wins they can put a silver or platinum label on their glove, how cool would that be.

  • Doc Raker

    The Fielding Bible Award isn’t a good name, it just doesn’t flow, difficult to say. A drunk in the bleachers will have a tough time spitting that out, “Pedroa won the Flooding Biblical war” just not good. I think the best fielder award should be called something like, “Best glove” award, “Gold defensmen” or “Best defensemen” or “Silver Glove” award or “Platinum Glove” award or something like that. And then after the payer wins they can put a silver or platinum label on their glove, how cool would that be.

  • Eddie Von White

    Carlos Gomez also received The Stupid Mouth Bible Award for being the stupidest player ever to round the bases after hitting a home run.

    My hat’s off to Hal Richman, the man who invented Strat-O-Matic- baseball. He gave me a lifetime of memories with that game.

    • Seymour Butts

      Apparently Golden Tate thought he was up for the same award.

      • Eddie Von White

        He earned the Golden Duct Tate award.

      • AC0000000

        He earned me a monster game in fantasy, but the NFL should adopt college football’s taunting rules. Wipe out the score with 15 yards from the spot of the foul.

      • Jedi

        You want to start turning HRs into 2Bs when a guy looks at it too long from the box? How about re-doing a third strike if the pitcher “celebrates” too much? Or maybe issuing an automatic strike to the batter if he gripes too much to an umpire about a particular call?

      • AC0000000

        How does that have anything to do with football? If you don’t like that football has a taunting rule to begin with, then take it up with Roger Goodell. Taunting penalties are in all levels of major football, including high school. 8 years ago, my high school beat our rival high school in the playoffs thanks to a taunting penalty. They were beating them with 4 minutes left in the game, they were at their 40 yard line, they stopped them on 3rd down and then got flagged 15 yards for taunting. 1st down, and they scored the game-winning touchdown.

      • Jedi

        It relates to your advocacy of taunting rules, directly. If you like taunting rules in football, why wouldn’t you want them in baseball?

        Yes, I’m no fan taunting rules. I’m just curious where you draw the line.

      • AC0000000

        I have no care for baseball rules on celebrations. if a player wants to watch his home run a little, let him admire his masterpiece.

      • And wear the next pitch in the ribs, because baseball players don’t require babysitting.

      • Jedi

        Why are taunting rules good for football then?

      • Doc Raker

        Because football players and their posse’s carry weapons, baseball players don’t.

  • Kirby Puckett is a former MLB baseball player and junior sports reporter for News 2 in Minneapolis.
    Matthew Murton is a slugging ginger for the Hanshin Ham Fighting Tigers and a fervent sabermetrician.
    A League of Their Own actress Geena Davis is a baseball writer and analyst and the Senior Baseball Operations Advisor for the Boston Red Sox.

    • Jedi

      That must be some crazy news in Minneapolis – Puckett has been dead for more than 10 years.

      • AC0000000

        2013-2006 = 7.

      • Seymour Butts

        I was relatively certain that you had no use for math.

      • AC0000000

        I think Jedi is the one without a use for it.

      • Jedi

        Puckett’s been dead to me (and TV talent scouts) since he started beating on women in 2002.

      • Is Gary Gaetti dead? Let’s go with him.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Today is holloween, of course you go with the dead guy!

      • Geena gets two votes.

  • Eddie Von White

    CED

    • Doc Raker

      Time to celebrate! CED. Better late than never.

      • PLCB3

        Happy Cardinals Elimination Day!

      • AC0000000

        Happy Cardinals Elimination Day!

      • Eddie Von White

        Eeee-Haaaa

  • Doug S.

    Glad this sh** is over. It’s time to look past this year and on to next season. Not sure which baseball road trip I’m going to plan, but there will be one involving planes, trains and automobiles. How does Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, KC and Des Moines sound?

    • PLCB3

      I like it. If I can make it back to Chicago, I’m looking at Kansas City, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Cincinnati.

    • Eddie Von White

      That sounds like a great trip. Miller Park has awesome chicken strips and waffle fries.

      • PLCB3

        When did they open a Chick-Fil-A inside Miller Park?

    • Doc Raker

      That sounds great. Speaking of baseball trips, the Arizona Fall League is going on right now. This is a great time to visit the desert and watch prospects in uncrowded beautiful spring training ball parks. If you want to know what spring training was like before it became a tourist destination visit the Arizona Fall League. Just a few hundred fans a game, mostly scouts and the family members of the players. You can sit right in the middle of all the scouts and talk to them about the prospects, maybe even run into some other front office personnel. For some night life head over to Don and Charlies and have dinner amongst other baseball people, you can wave to Seymour who will be dining at the Quizno’s next to Don and Charlie’s and passing out flyer’s on the dangers of GMO’s. It is all great fun.

      • Seymour Butts

        Subway… Quizno’s has too much oil.

      • They’ve got a pepper bar.

    • Mark_from_Toronto

      Just don’t wind up in Wichita at the Braidwood Inn with Del Griffith.

  • Doug S.

    Glad this sh** is over. It’s time to look past this year and on to next season. Not sure which baseball road trip I’m going to plan, but there will be one involving planes, trains and automobiles. How does Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, KC and Des Moines sound?

    • AC0000000

      I like it. If I can make it back to Chicago, I’m looking at Kansas City, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Cincinnati.

    • Eddie Von White

      That sounds like a great trip. Miller Park has awesome chicken strips and waffle fries.

      • AC0000000

        When did they open a Chick-Fil-A inside Miller Park?

    • Doc Raker

      That sounds great. Speaking of baseball trips, the Arizona Fall League is going on right now. This is a great time to visit the desert and watch prospects in uncrowded beautiful spring training ball parks. If you want to know what spring training was like before it became a tourist destination visit the Arizona Fall League. Just a few hundred fans a game, mostly scouts and the family members of the players. You can sit right in the middle of all the scouts and talk to them about the prospects, maybe even run into some other front office personnel. For some night life head over to Don and Charlies and have dinner amongst other baseball people, you can wave to Seymour who will be dining at the Quizno’s next to Don and Charlie’s and passing out flyer’s on the dangers of GMO’s. It is all great fun.

      • Seymour Butts

        Subway… Quizno’s has too much oil.

      • They’ve got a pepper bar.

    • Mark_from_Toronto

      Just don’t wind up in Wichita at the Braidwood Inn with Del Griffith.

  • Jedi

    Since Boston won it all, does anyone feel differently about 1) Theo’s almighty prowess or 2) the need for a good manager, not just a guy with a pencil & lineup card?