I’m happy Yadier Molina won his fifth straight Gold Glove. He’s very deserving.
That said, the Gold Gloves are joke.
Need proof? Derek Jeter has five.
The Fielding Bible is a much better indicator of which players are great defenders. There are only nine Fielding Bible awards given out each year — one for each position.
The Fielding Bibles awards are voted on by a panel of experts. The Gold Gloves are voted on by coaches and managers. Sure, coaches and managers know baseball, but they’re the first to admit they don’t watch a ton of film of other teams.
The Fielding Bible also uses advanced metrics to determine the quality of a fielder. These relatively new stats aren’t the cup of tea for many purists, but they are more accurate than fielding percentage or assists.
The advanced metrics take range into account. Before, a player could have a high fielding percentage, but it could be a product of a lack of range — you don’t get to many balls, thus you don’t make many errors.
For instance, in 2010 Jeter won the American League Gold Glove. In the Fielding Bible voting, he earned no points.
Who should have won?
Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez earned 69 points that season, which was good for third in the Fielding Bible and tops among AL shortstops.
Jeter garners respect for his track record as a great offensive player. Problem is, he’s never been a great defender. Since the Fielding Bible awards began in 2006, he’s never finished higher than tied for 14th.
Take this season and the ridiculous center field recipients of the Gold Glove.
In the NL, it was Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen. In the AL, it was Baltimore’s Adam Jones. Both had terrific offensive seasons, but neither will win any other awards.
McCutchen earned 13 points in the Fielding Bible voting — good for 10th. Jones garnered only 4 — good for 16th.
Meanwhile Atlanta’s Michael Bourn had 90 points, which was second overall. Bourn’s offensive numbers were decent, but nowhere near that of McCutchen.
Los Angeles rookie sensation Mike Trout notched 98 points and won the Fielding Bible. He had a better season than Jones at the plate. So why did Jones get the nod?
Trout will dominate Rookie of the Year voting and make a push for AL MVP. Giving Jones a Gold Glove is a way for coaches and managers to acknowledge his stellar season.
On the plus side, Molina earned 100 points in this year’s Fielding Bible voting.
JEFF WILSON is news editor at The Southern Illinoisan. He can be reached at 618-351-5080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.