The 2009 NL Gold Glove winners were announced on Wednesday morning. Among the 2009 NL Gold Glove winners were several repeat winners, showing that once again voters would rather go with the safe choice for the award rather than the best choice. Each year Major League Baseball gives out Gold Glove Awards to whom they deem to be the best fielders at each position during the year. The voters in the Gold Glove Awards are the coaches and managers of the baseball teams, and it is supposed to put the votes in the hands of those people who see firsthand who the best defensive players in baseball are for any given year.
The problem has become that no the Gold Glove Award winners tend to be the most recognizable names at each position rather than who is the best defensive player, and it seems that many of the votes just get phoned in each year. That’s not to say that the 2009 NL Gold Glove winners are not talented fielders, but many of them would not be called the best at their position. If a player can’t be called the best defensive player at a given position, then there is no reason for them to be rewarded with a Gold Glove Award. The other problem has become that people vote for the same person each year because it is easier than putting thought into the selections.
The 2009 NL Gold Glove Award Winners
P Adam Wainwright — Cardinals
C Yadier Molina — Cardinals
1ST Adrian Gonzalez — Padres
2ND Orlando Hudson — Dodgers
3RD Ryan Zimmerman — Nationals
SS Jimmy Rollins — Phillies
OF Shane Victorino — Phillies
OF Michael Bourn — Astros
OF Matt Kemp — Dodgers
So, among the winners of the 2009 NL Gold Glove Awards there are two Cardinals players, two Phillies, and two Dodgers, making them stand out as some really good defensive teams in baseball. Orlando Hudson won his fourth Gold Glove and Jimmy Rollins won his third Gold Glove at their respective positions. The first time winners this season were Adam Wainwright, Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Bourn, and Matt Kemp. Are they the most deserving defensive specialists around the league? If you had to name that best defensive player at a given position, would these be the names that you would choose?
Who should have won the 2009 NL Gold Glove Awards you ask? How about Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies at first base, who had only three errors on 1,448 chances and a range factor that was at 10.20 (2nd best in NL behind Pujols). Gonzalez had seven errors on 1,367 chances and a range factor of only 9.00. Even Albert Pujols posted more chances (1,671)and a better range factor (10.84) than Gonzalez. Speed also apparently gets you a Gold Glove in the outfield. Why not Mike Cameron, who posted the most chances and put-outs, and had the best range factor for all center fielders in the National League? And Ryan Zimmerman? Really? His 17 errors and .960 fielding percentage are an embarrassment to the award. How about the less flashy Kevin Kouzmanoff?
The voting process for the Gold Glove Awards needs to be revamped, or maybe it just needs to be taken out of the hands of the coaches and managers. Is there anyone who actually feels that the winners of the 2009 NL Gold Gloves were all the best defensive players at their positions? Speak now or forever hold your peace.
Rawlings 2009 NL Gold Glove Winners
EPSN.com Player Stats