Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre has been voted the top fielder in baseball at his position by a 10-member panel, including sabermetric guru Bill James and John Dewan of The Fielding Bible book on defensive statistical analysis.
Beltre won by the second widest margin at his position, outdistancing Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays by 26 points. The largest margin was Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins beating out J.J. Hardy of the Brewers by 29 points. Here is the full list of winners:
1B Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2B Brandon Phillips (Reds)
SS Jimmy Rollins (Phillies)
3B Adrian Beltre (Mariners)
LF Carl Crawford (Rays)
CF Carlos Beltran (Mets)
RF Franklin Guttierez (Indians)
C Yadier Molina (Cards)
P Kenny Rogers (Tigers)
Speaking of Longoria, Rollins, the Rays and the Phillies, Philadelphia did indeed wrap up the Fall Classic in an extended five games, holding on for a 4-3 win last night. We told you after Game 1 that the Phillies would hold a significant homefield advantage compared to the more sedate confines of Tropicana Field. And it held up that way, with the Phils taking all three games at Citizens Bank Park. A Phillies fan named Chris Grazer, at the game last night, posted the video seen below on youtube, showing what it was like after the final out.
So, congratulations to 71-year-old Pat Gillick on winning his third World Series and proving that there is no specific age requirement or route to capturing the only crown that matters in baseball. And to Jamie Moyer and Gregg Dobbs, two former M’s no doubt glad about the routes their careers have taken.
A big future could lie ahead for the Rays. They were let down in the finals by the bats of Longoria, B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena. Not to mention their bullpen, which came crashing to Earth and allowed far too many baserunners. They will have to regroup and do it all again in 2009. Despite what some are saying, that the Rays represent a dynasty in the making, nothing is ever certain. Some were saying the same thing about the Cleveland Indians a year ago. It’s why they play the games.
Anyhow, the better team won the championship. Not the team with the better record, playing in the better league. But the better team that played like a team when it mattered and delivered the pressure performances when it mattered. With a little experience under their belts, the Rays might have better luck next time.