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What they’re saying about Jeter’s Gold Glove

Nov 10, 2010, 8:53 AM EDT

Jeter error

I haven’t seen an award decision that had such uniformity of negative opinion about it since Jethro Tull beat Metallica for Best Heavy Metal Performance Grammy in 1988. Or maybe it was Taste of Honey beating Elvis Costello for Best New Artist in 1978.  To be honest, we should probably rename the Gold Glove the Fielding Grammy Award:

  • Moshe Mandel, TYU: “Jeter’s selection, on the other hand, is a travesty. He was likely one of the 2 or 3 worst shortstops in the AL this season. The metrics, scouts, and most fans agree that he is mediocre at best, and atrocious at worst. He won because of his reputation as a hitter, which is incredibly silly but quite unsurprising. As a Yankee fan, I wish we could just forget it ever happened.”
  • David Brown, Big League Stew: “The worst shortstop in the league won a Gold Glove at the most important defensive position on the field. How does this happen?”
  • Rob Neyer: “Nobody who really follows baseball believes that Jeter is an outstanding defensive player. The Yankees, who see him every day, don’t believe that. The writers who cover the Yankees every day don’t believe that. Frankly, I’m not sure the managers and the coaches who actually voted for Jeter believe that.”
  • Matthew Leach, “Gold Gloves are like Supreme Court appointments: They’re hard to get, but once you have them, they’re for life.”
  • John Harper, New York Daily News: “If you watched the ALCS even casually it wasn’t hard to see that Derek Jeter looked closer to 46 than 36 compared to Elvis Andrus as a shortstop . . . it’s obvious he didn’t deserve the Gold Glove he was awarded Tuesday.” [note: if even the tabloids aren’t drinking the Jeter Kool Aid anymore, no one is].
  • Grant at McCovey Chronicles: “The Gold Gloves are ridiculous. They’re the subjective opinions of people who would rather use astrology charts than defensive stats to judge players they watched for seven to 18 games this year.” [note: that doesn’t stop Grant from wishing hard for Andres Torres to win the GG today. Such is the nature of this maddening but never-to-be-gone award. I think it’s because the name is so great].

Me? I’m still reeling. Say what you want about the BBWAA, but at least the guys who vote on those awards usually defend their choices and have some arguably rational basis for them. The players and coaches who gave Jeter his fifth — fifth! — Gold Glove won’t and can’t do the same. They don’t watch Jeter play every day because they’re busy with their own games. The people who do watch him play every day — Yankees beat writers and fans — almost all agree that he didn’t deserve the award.

Just remember that the next time an ex-ballplayer or manager gets a job as a cable network talking head based on his alleged expertise.

  1. mcsnide - Nov 10, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    My personal favorite is Cameron’s take over at fangraphs:

  2. Jonny 5 - Nov 10, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    This is as bad as giving out the nobel peace prize to the president of a country that’s actively engaged in war, and has no plan of ending said war anytime soon. As the bombs are dropping the prize is accepted……

    I think what this does. This pretty much pisses on all the deserving gold glove winners of the past as well as the guy/s who probably should have recieved it for 2010. There are probably 6 others blatantly better at what they do than Jeter is in the AL. He is the closest thing to a cigar shop indian chief at the SS position in the entire game though if you look at how many balls he passes on.

    • mcsnide - Nov 10, 2010 at 9:46 AM

      Ooh, let’s play an analogy game.

      This is like naming…

      Kanye West “Politest Entertainer of 2009”

      Bill Romanowski “Most Surprising Admitted Steroid User Ever”

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 10, 2010 at 10:25 AM

        Giving Mike Vic a humanitarian award. From PETA.

        Or…… Dennis leary the The Greenebaum Compassion Award….

  3. BC - Nov 10, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    I wouldn’t say he’s the WORST defensive shortstop in baseball, but he’s no better than average. Probably the least-deserved Gold Glove award since Raffy Palmiero’s 1B Gold Glove in a year he played about 30 games in the field.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 10, 2010 at 10:33 AM

      He’s close. A poster “cktai” posted this already.

      “of all shortstops in the AL to play more then 1200 innings, Jeter has the fewest put outs and the fewest assists. Next worst in both categories is Cesar Izturis (212 PO vs 182 and 382 A vs 365) who was involved in 57 more outs dispite playing 50 innings less.

      Hey, if you don’t try for the ball it’s not an error. But what’s a Shortstop’s job again?? Ohhh yeah..

  4. easports82 - Nov 10, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    The conspiracy theorist in me looks at the last two and thinks maybe the coaches, players and GMs colluded to vote Jeter the GG to drive up his contract in the hopes that the Yankees finally are hamstrung by an awful contract they can’t buy their way out of….

    But it’s more likely that everyone was just lazy.

  5. apbaguy - Nov 10, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    I think it shows that players and managers don’t take these awards as seriously as the fans do. The Andrus comparison to Jeter is apt. How could anybody watch that display and conclude that Jeter is the superior defensive player?

  6. Gobias Industries - Nov 10, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    And also, what’s with Shakespeare in Love winning the Oscar for Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan in ’98? Who’s with me?!

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM

      Can I get a


  7. fuddly - Nov 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Give me a break. Jeter is the backbone of the Yankee infield. He & Cano were awesome this year & Texeria was a monster at first. Remember they are voted on by coaches & managers, but not those on your team! Obviously, the pros think Jeter is golden!!

    • tomemos - Nov 10, 2010 at 12:36 PM

      So your argument for why Jeter deserves a Gold Glove is that he was awarded one? Compelling!

      • fuddly - Nov 10, 2010 at 2:16 PM

        Yo tomemos…okay how about only 6 errors (.989), the best of his career. Check the stats & compare achievements. Who’s your choice?

      • Bochy's Head/Timmy's Bong - Nov 10, 2010 at 5:25 PM

        Yo fuddly, when your argument is based on errors and fielding percentage, you’ve already lost the argument.

  8. Panda Claus - Nov 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Jeter winning this year is more like a Lifetime Achievement award. The travesty here is that he could potentially win another 3-4 lifetime achievements before he retires.

    Mauer winning at catcher is also an award given on previous merits and name recognition. Mauer’s great and all, but he only played 112 games at catcher. I understand catchers don’t typically play 162 behind the plate, but 50 games is a big difference.

    • Mauer's Sideburns - Nov 10, 2010 at 1:37 PM

      I will take this comment more seriously when you can tell me which catcher in the AL deserved the award more than Baby Jesus did. Suzuki? Kendall? Laird? Posada? Buck?
      Really, you should try, because no one in the AL was a better defensive catcher than Mauer was. Maybe Molina, but he only played in the AL for half of the year, which is less than Mauer’s 112 games that you bemoaned.

  9. Charles Gates - Nov 10, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Jeter winning the Gold Glove within 24 hours of Joe Morgan getting fired from ESPN is just the cosmos balancing itself out.

  10. bdgfn - Nov 10, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    I love what I heard today on ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Show: they gave an award to a statue for getting hit by a baseball. Too true!

  11. fuddly - Nov 10, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Yo Bochy’s Head/Timmy’s Bong:
    Your comment…”when your argument is based on errors and fielding percentage, you’ve already lost the argument…” makes no sense.

    Gold glove…best fielders at their position…what quantitative measure could you use?

    Hello…think you should lay off the smoke bong head

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