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October 30, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Mariners Brendan Ryan and Dustin Ackley beaten out for Gold Glove Awards

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Another year of Gold Glove Awards, another controversy in the making after Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan tonight was beaten out at the shortstop position by J.J. Hardy of the Baltimore Orioles. Elvis Andrus of the Rangers was the other finalist.
Dustin Ackley had been a finalist at second base, but was beaten, as expected, by Robinson Cano of the Yankees. Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox was the other finalist.
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But it’s the shortstop position and Ryan’s non-win that should garner plenty of attention tomorrow. The Gold Gloves have come under increased fire of late for a methodology that at times favors players with better offensive statistics, as opposed to merely grading them on glovework.
Hardy fared well in many of the traditional defensive measurements, like fielding percentage and a lack of errors. But Ryan cleaned up in some of the newer, advanced statistical categories, leading to his winning a Fielding Bible Award last week.
Ryan hit only .194 this season and his lack of offense was deemed as something to watch once this year’s Gold Glove voting — conducted by managers and coaches — was completed.
Because when it came to the newer defensive stats, Ryan had no peer.
In the Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) metric, Ryan posted a 27 compared to18 for Hardy and 8 for Andrus.
When it came to Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), Ryan scored a 14.7,compared to 11.4 for Hardy and 8.8 for Andrus.
So, not much of a contest there.
Photo Credit: AP


And yet, it’s Hardy who takes home the prize. What will fuel this controversy even more was that Ryan’s Fielding Bible Award last week was for the best shortstop in all of baseball, where the Gold Gloves have decided he is not even the best in the AL.
The Fielding Bible prizes are chosen by a 10-member panel, including members of the media and experts from the field of modern baseball statistical analysis.
One of the bigger criticisms of the Gold Gloves is that the voting coaches only see some of the candidates a few times per season up close. That has led, in the past, to players winning more on reputation and because of hitting prowess than any tangible lead over others with their defense.
It’s often said that it takes a player at least a year or two of top defensive play to get himself “on the radar” of voting coaches. That leads to players often receiving their first awards a year or so after they should have — as well as incumbent recipients then continuing to receive prizes well after their defensive expiry dates.
Franklin Gutierrez of the Mariners is one example of that, receiving his first Gold Glove in an illness-plagued 2010 season — one year after his signature 2009 campaign in which he was denied the prize.
AL Winners: Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson and Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox were co-winners for the pitcher’s Gold Glove award. Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre, Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy, Kansas City leftfielder Alex Gordon, Baltimore centerfielder Adam Jones and Oakland rightfielder Josh Reddick were the other winners.
Former Mariners Beltre and Jones are the obvious standouts here.
In ther NL, you had Miami pitcher Mark Buehrle, Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche, Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney, San Diego third baseman Chase Headley, Colorado leftfielder Carlos Gonzalez, Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, Pittsburgh centerfielder Andrew McCutchen and Atlanta rightfielder Jason Heyward taking home awards.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Dustin Ackley

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