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Buck Showalter: “If the Gold Glove doesn’t go Matt Wieters’ way, then somebody ain’t watching”

Aug 31, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

matt wieters si cover

Matt Wieters hasn’t lived up to the considerable hype offensively yet, hitting just .266 with 35 homers and a .734 OPS through 342 career games, but the former No. 5 overall pick has actually been even better than advertised defensively.

Wieters leads baseball by throwing out 40 percent of stolen base attempts, gunning down 26 runners while allowing a total of just 44 steals in 950 innings behind the plate. And in three seasons his throw-out percentage has risen from 24 to 31 to 40.

After yesterday’s game, in which Wieters homered and also threw out a base-stealer in extra innings, manager Buck Showalter told Matt Vensel of the Baltimore Sun that “if the Gold Glove doesn’t go Wieters’ way, then somebody ain’t watching.”

And there’s a pretty good chance it will. Joe Mauer has won each of the AL’s past three Gold Gloves at catcher, but he’s been injured and ineffective while seeing significant time at first base this season. And not only does Wieters lead the league with a 40 percent throw-out rate, Alex Avila of the Tigers is the only other catcher above 30 percent.

  1. APBA Guy - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    The Gold Glove voting is a popularity contest like most other votes, as evidenced by Mark Ellis never having won a gold glove. Offense also influences the vote, as does playing in a large market and reputation/longevity. My brother and two of his sons are catchers, and their opinion is that Kurt Suzuki is the best catcher in the AL because of his athleticism and quickness. Weiters has a great arm, absolutely. But I think the winner will be Avila: he’s the all-star, is in a pennant race, and is hitting over .900 OPS.

    • randall351 - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      I agree the Gold Glove as become a joke, as with almost all the other baseball awards.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:44 PM

        The gold glove was *always* a joke.

    • cur68 - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      So far this season I’ve seen Wieters & Suzuki quite a bit and Avila a moderate amount. All are good. Very, very good. The guy that really stood out for me though? Salvador Perez of the Royals. It’s a bit too early to say he can out hit those guys yet, but he’s the quickest I’ve ever seen catching and throwing out runners. Like lightening. He’s also about the same size as Wieters and as quick behind the plate as Suzuki. If the damn GG wasn’t a popularity contest then this year it should be Suzuki, with Wieters being an acceptable alternate, but next season? Perez. Especially if he can hit.

      • clydeserra - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:16 PM

        Weiters is better. Suzuki is kinda bad at everything. I did like watching Perez, though, he is going to be great.

      • cur68 - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:48 PM

        Nah, I think Suzuki is pretty good. He’s quick, can block & scramble, he’s got an accurate arm, calls a good game given the dearth of talent he has to call a good game with and he hits well, so I disagree. This is neither here nor there though. Perez is the future. That kid is like a cat and, man, is he calm beyond his years and experience. I wonder how long before the Yankees attempt to trade Cervelli, Jeter, Chamberlain and Montero for him and Frenchy?

      • flavadave10 - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM

        Wieters is leagues above everybody else this year. But yeah, Perez has been ridiculous too.

  2. ballou0254 - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Not to stray off topic, but I think the biggest injustice this year would be Peter Bourjos not taking home a gold glove.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:36 PM

      Biggest. Injustice. Ever.

  3. mrjavascript - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    He also dropped an easy pop up last night too…

    • flavadave10 - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      Verlander also has a bad game once in a blue moon. Doesn’t mean he’s not great.

  4. bobulated - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    “if the Gold Glove doesn’t go Wieters’ way, then somebody ain’t watching.”

    Buck pretty much just described the GG voters in general.

    • clydeserra - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      TO be fair, its managers and coaches, right? The are watching, but I doubt they care beyond, “hey that’s a really good guy, i am going to vote for him.”

      • bobulated - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:37 PM

        It is the managers and coaches and they’re only watching two teams; theirs and the one they’re playing at the moment so when voting time comes they vote reputation as often as not. It’s not objective. The baseball writers aren’t always perfect but they would do a better job.

  5. jimbo1949 - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Just more bombast from Buck. Trying to rally the troops after the MacPhail bail. Guess Mens Journal wasn’t available.

  6. goawaydog - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    He will probably lose out to Jeter

  7. Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    “if the Gold Glove doesn’t go Wieters’ way, then somebody ain’t watching.”

    Well people “ain’t” watching. It’s the Orioles.

    • Panda Claus - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      Jonny5 I’m watching and Buck’s right. Wieters is a ball-in-the-dirt blocking machine too.

      And though it suddenly went out of vogue this year because of Buster Posey’s injury, Wieters was doing a knock-out job blocking and tagging out runners at the plate. Last year when he did that he’d drop about half of the throws.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        There is little more valuable than a catcher who can be a backstop too. This is why some catchers can survive in the bigs with not much offense. The GG award is a popularity contest so I wouldn’t take it to heart.

  8. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I bet Posey wins it.

  9. gogigantos - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    oh they are watching, those baseball fans, they are watching more than just what happens in land of Amaro,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  10. stinkfist5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Jesus in Cleats!

  11. 18thstreet - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    “You have to have a catcher because if you don’t you’re likely to have a lot of passed balls.” – Casey

  12. sloozeronymous - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Lou Marson has caught 41% of base stealers (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/marsolo01.shtml), so how is Wieters leading all of baseball? I’m not familiar with GG voting, so maybe Marson doesn’t have enough innings logged as a part-time player? Not saying LouMar should get the Gold Glove, just asking about the statistic.

    • flavadave10 - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:12 PM

      Yeah, it’s among regulars I think. And he still hasn’t allowed a passed ball this year in a meaningful game.

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