Why the Gold Gloves Are Pointless

The 2011 Gold Glove Awards will be announced in a matter of hours, and Troy Tulowitzki will win the National League’s honor at shortstop. But I don’t care.

The Gold Gloves have never been as important as the awards the BBWA votes on, and that’s as it should be. Those awards (MVP, Cy Young, etc.) aren’t always given to just the right people, but they’re usually close enough. Gold Gloves, on the other hand, purport to award good defense and have increasingly become a reflection of good offense instead. Which is just insane, because we have the Silver Sluggers to tell us who’s best offensively at each position.

This year, we were given a list of nominees in advance of the award announcements, to further conflate the process and anger the fans. The biggest outrage, in my opinion, was the inclusion of Matt Holliday as an outfield nominee and the exclusion of Carlos Gonzalez. Cargo is such a good fielder he sacrificed the use of his wrist on multiple occasions this year to make a great catch. Whether or not that was wise is another issue entirely, but the only thing I’ve ever seen Holliday sacrifice was a couple layers of chin skin during the 2007 play-in game. Ryan Braun was an equally stupid choice for left field. Holliday and Braun’s bats, and their teams’ play-off success, are the only explanations for them being honored in this way.

Or maybe people are just confused because Cargo played every outfield position. Is he a left fielder? Or a center fielder? Or a right fielder? Who the hell cares? This is another stupid thing about this year’s Gloves, that they’ve been divided by position when so many guys play all over the outfield. If those multi-talented players are going to get shafted because they played everywhere instead of in only one spot, then I give up.

The winner of the left field award will be, and should be, Gerardo Parra, whom I’ll concede was excellent for the Diamondbacks this season. In fact, I’d be okay with a D-backs sweep of the outfield awards, since they had the best outfield in the league this season. What’s that? Justin Upton wasn’t nominated? And Carlos Beltran was? Oy vey.

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