Posted at 8:49 AM on November 2, 2005
by Ben Tesch
The winners of the Gold Gloves were announced for the American League yesterday, with Ichiro, Eric Chavez, and Torii Hunter each winning their fifth consecutive gloves. The other winners were Kenny Rogers (P), Jason Varitek (C), Mark Teixeira (1B), Orlando Hudson (2B), Derek Jeter (SS), and Vernon Wells (OF) who amazingly had no errors for the entire season. Notably absent are any players from the White Sox (although Torii gives props to Aaron Rowand in his little press release), which makes you wonder about that whole "defense wins championships" thing. The NL selections happen later today.
I take your point about defense and championships, but I doubt that very many voters choose their Gold Glove winners based on defensive stats. It seems to be based solely on opinion, sort of like choosing the Cy Young award winner not based on ERA or opponents batting average or even wins, but based on how the guy looked in the one or two games you saw him pitch. It is interesting that the White Sox have no Gold Glove winners, but it may or may not say anything about their defense.
I can't recall who votes on Gold Gloves (is it the players? the managers?), but I'd guess that most of it is anecdotal. No question Hunter's a heck of an outfielder. But I've seen guys win Gold Gloves who made spectacular plays because their range was so limited.
It seems odd to have these subjective things when baseball is a game of numbers. Pretty soon, we'll just give the batting title the one who SEEMS like the best hitter.
The folks at Baseball Prospectus did a nice piece a few days ago handicapping the Gold Glove
BP's defensive efficiency and PADE (park adjusted defensive efficiency) rate the Chisox as the best defensive team in the majors.