The Second Annual Walkoff Walk Gilded Leather Awards

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golden-toilet.jpgIt was just over one year ago that frustration out of the annual Gold Glove shitshow prompted the Walkoff Walk Gilded Leather Awards. We handed out awards to the fielders we felt were best at each of their positions and leagues.

Bill James and his cadre of rosin-stained wretches awarded their Fielding Bible Awards Silk Gloves already this offseason. The traditional Gold Glove winners are set to drop at noon today and, to be frank, I don't have high hopes. Defensive stats are gaining more and more acceptance in the mainstream media, but that won't stop our favorite coaches and managers from pretty much ignoring their existence and voting based on who made the most recent diving catch. Not that Derek Sanderson Jeter isn't due a good feting after his long climb up the long mountain named "mediocrity", but I'd like to think the Gilded Leather awards are about more than lifetime achievement.

I've looked at stats and I've looked at "tape." As stated before, I don't want this to be a purely mechanical pursuit. If the numbers check out and my gut agrees; congrats. You're the proud owner of Gilded Leather. To the listicle!

National League
  • Yadier Molina - C
  • Albert Pujols - 1B
  • Chase Utley - 2B
  • Rafael Furcal - SS
  • Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
  • Colby Rasmus - OF
  • Matt Kemp - OF
  • Nyjer Morgan - OF
American League
  • Kurt Suzuki - C
  • Kevin Youkilis - 1B
  • Aaron Hill - 2B
  • Elvis Andrus - SS
  • Evan Longoria - 3B
  • Carl Crawford - OF
  • Franklin Gutierrez - OF
  • Franklin Gutierrez - OF

Quite a few hold-overs from last year. Yadier Molina at the top is tough to argue, he throws out a high percentage though so few souls are brave enough to run on him. I was tempted to replace Albert Pujols with one of Adrian Gonzalez or Derrek Lee, but Pujols showed so much range and ability to reach balls that most first baseman don't I couldn't bring myself to do it. Chutley wins again because Chutley should always be winning something. There is a tremendous amount of joy to be gained watching Rafael Furcal fire rockets across the infield. Ryan Zimmerman is a lonely, lonely man who needs our love and affection. The outfield choices were tough, but Colby Rasmus is an exciting player to watch, as is the studly Matt Kemp. Nyjer Morgan gets the nod for his overwhelming numbers and I feel that if he isn't showered with praise for his glovework, the ghost of Jim Bowden might hire a power hitting fire hydrant to play centerfield for the Nats.

Believe you-me, nothing pains me more than giving Kevin Youkilis credit for anything. That said, he's a damn fine first baseman, a decent third baseman, and a trooper for playing left field in a pinch. Aaron Hill gets the nod at second base because I'm allowed at least one homer pick, might as well use it on a guy that deserves it. Honorably mentions to all the guys with higher UZR's that can go pound salt. Elvis Andrus gets the Nyjer Morgan Award for Defensive Guy that Needs Recognition for his Defense Lest his Entire Existence be Invalidated. Also, his name is Elvis! Evan Longoria wins the award for third because soon every baseball award, event, and statistic will be named after him. The Evan Longoria Honorary Arbitration Selloff Contract. The Evan Longoria Reliever of the Week. The Evan Longoria Drug Test. The Evan Longoria Scorers Decision Error, brought to you by Evan Longoria.

You may notice a typo in the outfield. "Drew, you unoriginal boob, you listed Franklin Gutierrez twice." That is right, I did. Franklin Gutierrez is a smell test for the Gold Gloves and life in general. If he is not recognized for his insane play in the field, his ability to run down balls with ease that ALL others would be plucking out of the grass; then the whole system is invalid. I want to make sure we all appreciate Death to Flying Things and how much fun it is to watch him chase balls around vast green expanses.

No awards for pitchers this year because honestly, what's the point? Actually, scratch that. Because he played in both leagues and because he did this, Cliff Lee wins the Gilded Pitching Leather. It isn't really broken in and you can't expose your forefinger as God intended, but he still puts it to good use.

So there you have it. I expect all our beloved commenters and readers to chime in with their write-in votes which I will summarily dismiss. If you think giving one player two awards isn't fair, who would you tip for the final AL outfield slot? Is the Gold Gloves list going to look anything like this?

Carefully calculated amounts of Coca Cola to the glorious Hardball Times, the essential Fangraphs, and Bill James Online for the free sortable stats.


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25 Comments

When Ichiro finds out that he got robbed of yet another Gilded Leather award, he's going to first ask what a Gilded Leather award is, then be really pissed.

This is a just reckoning for Death to Flying Things. He's beyond awesome (and, Beyond Baseball).

I'd give the third AL outfield award to Nick Swisher. This is for "Most Likely To Smile After Completely Mis-judging a Fly Ball", right?

"He said Franklin Gutierrez twice"

"he likes Franklin Gutierrez"

When Ichiro finds out that he got robbed of yet another Gilded Leather award, he's going to first ask what a Gilded Leather award is, then be really pissed.

He's totally going to be pissed. A blogger's listicle without Ichiro is like a day without tentacle rape porn. Ugly scene.

He's just havin' fun out there, Rob.

Gilded Leather:

Steakhouse, or Gay Bar?

With a nickname like "Death to Flying Things", Gutierrez deserves two Gilded Leather awards.

Gorge: Steakhouse... that closes two months after it opens because the name turns off too many potential patrons.

You're with me, Gilded Leather

Gay steakhouse, with an award-winning S&M sommelier.

NOT ENOUGH CARDINALS. Brendan Ryan had some mad range this year, more than I suspect 72 year old Furcal had.

Colonel has a point, despite Ryan getting in 25% fewer innings than Furcal. Yet Fangraphs has Furcal with a better range.

Perhaps its is Paul Janish and the Reds fan(s) that should feel slighted.

Furcal and his cannon arm are too stylish and fun to pass over.

Adam Dunn, passed over again!

But ... Kevin Kouzmanoff's glove is in the Hall of Fame!

Welp, there ya have it. Joe Mauer won the gold glove for AL catchers. Hands up, who's surprised?

No, put your hand down. You're lying.

Death to Flying Things: FISTED by the establishment. Stupid sexy coaches and managers...

Jeter wins AL GG. In related news, Obama wins Nobel Peace prize.

GROSS INCOMPETENCE.

I'd be pissed if the Gold Gloves weren't such an abject joke.

Okay, I'm still actually pissed.

Smilin' Torii Hunter named Golden Retainer winner. I hereby revoke every other Gilded Leather award and give it to Franklin Gutierrez. HE WINS 18!!!

Jeter won a Golden Glove? Derek Jeter? Of the Yankees?

The only thing Lord Derek fields worse than baseballs are media questions.

Jeter now has equal ammount GG's and VD's

Your 2009 Gold Glove awards, sponsored by Valtrex.

Hey Chief, you found a way to blame the Yankees for trading away Gutierrez for a bag of balls?

/the tribe are their own worst enemies.

That one is squarely on the Tribe, Drew. Joe Smith aside, the really sad thing is that we brought in Luis Valbuena to compete with Jamie Carrol and Josh Barfield at 2B. Hear any of those names lately?

Speaking of the Yankees (hey, you brought them up), did you happen to catch this post by Posnanski:

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/11/05/the-yankees-payroll/

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