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Gold Flub

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

The Gold Glove award has long been a topic of debate, and often a fun one. However, it seems that it has become increasingly common for the award to be given to players in part due to oversimplified statistics, or career defense, or even offensive prowess. I don’t mind that it is voted on by the managers and coaches of their respective leagues, but perhaps their assessments should take a different approach. It feels like the managers and coaches are voting for the players that they personally have the most respect for on the field, as opposed to who actually played the best defense of the regular season.

As you may know, there is now a healthy amount of progressive statistics and methods being created and amassed around the internet with the objective of more accurately gauging the quality of player and team performances. Below are the recepients of the official 2006 MLB Rawlings Gold Glove award compared with the results of the statistically replete Baseball Think Factory (based predominately on Zone Rating). This may beg the question, is MLB or BBTF more correct? BBTF does admit that their methodolgy needs some adjusting. However, I doubt that MLB would concede that their system is in need of modification.

In parentheses next to the Gold Glove winner is their defensive rank according to BBTF. Some of the disparities are alarming.

Catcher
MLB: Ivan Rodriguez, DET (1st of 14)
BBTF: Ivan Rodriguez, DET

First Base
MLB: Mark Teixeira, TEX (6th of 15)
BBTF: Chris Shelton, DET

Second Base
MLB: Mark Grudzielanek, KC (3rd of 14)
BBTF: Aaron Hill, TOR

Third Base
MLB: Eric Chavez, OAK (7th of 13)
BBTF: Brandon Inge, DET

Shortstop
MLB: Derek Jeter, NYY (12th of 14)
BBTF: Juan Uribe, CWS

Outfield
MLB: Torii Hunter, MIN (9th of 13 CF)
MLB: Ichiro Suzuki, SEA (3rd of 16 RF)
MLB: Vernon Wells, TOR (2nd of 13 CF)


Left Field

BBTF: Emil Brown, KC

Center Field
BBTF: Corey Patterson, BAL

Right Field
BBTF: Alex Rios, TOR

Pitcher
MLB: Kenny Rogers, DET
BBTF: N/A


Catcher
MLB: Brad Ausmus, HOU (14th of 20)
BBTF: Yadier Molina, STL

First Base
MLB: Albert Pujols, STL (6th of 13)
BBTF: Scott Hatteburg

Second Base
MLB: Orlando Hudson, ARI (9th of 15)
BBTF: Jose Valentin, NYM

Third Base

MLB: Scott Rolen, STL (3rd of 13)
BBTF: Pedro Feliz, SF

Shortstop
MLB: Omar Vizquel, SF (2nd of 16)
BBTF: Adam Everett, HOU

Outfield

MLB: Carlos Beltran, NYM (2nd among 14 CF)
MLB: Mike Cameron, SD (4th among 14 CF)
MLB: Andruw Jones, ATL (13th among 14 CF)

Left Field

BBTF: Dave Roberts, SD

Center Field
BBTF: Juan Pierre, CHC

Right Field
BBTF: Brian Giles, SD

Pitcher
MLB: Greg Maddux, LAD
BBTF: N/A

Justin Wolfson is a writer for Rays of Light

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