Gold Glove Debate, AL
Let's start with Derek Jeter, since he's always the first person to jump to anyone's mind when shortstop defense is discussed. Jeter posted a 4.14 Range Factor, a .975 Fielding Percentage, and 30 Fielding Runs Above Replacement. Not bad overall, but he takes a backseat to two other shortstops in the league: Jhonny Peralta and Michael Young. Peralta posted a 4.90/.977/46 line, while Young put up 4.86/.981/44. Fairly equivalent stats, and both clearly above Jeter, but to be fair, Jeter has put up MUCH better fielding numbers the last few years than he has in the past (since 2000: 2, 2, 2, -3, 18, 36, 30).
Winner: Kenny Rogers (2.29/.912/1)
Should have won: Jake Westbrook (3.11/.986/4)
Winner: Mark Teixeira (10.09/.997/20)
Teixeira was the clear choice here, with his closest competition coming from Lyle Overbay, who had 13 FRAR.
Winner: Mark Grudzielanek (5.13/.994/30)
Wow. Gruddy was actually the clear winner at second (I know, I couldn't believe it either). His closest competitor, Mark Ellis, had 24 FRAR.
Winner: Eric Chavez (2.98/.987/30)
Should have won: Mike Lowell (3.17/.987/33)
Each a consistent third baseman, but Lowell deserved it this year over Chavez by a hair.
Winners: Ichiro (2.40/.992/23), Torii Hunter (2.56/.989/20), Vernon Wells (2.34/.988/13)
Should have won: Curtis Granderson (2.66/.997/38), Brian Anderson (2.87/.994/26) and Ichiro.
How did Granderson's 38 FRAR get overlooked? Don't like that fancy statistic? What about the fact that he made one error while having the second-most total fielding chances in the league? Wells had four errors with 49 fewer chances.
Winner: Ivan Rodriguez (6.82/.998/37)
Rodriguez posted the best numbers; his closest competitor was Jorge Posada (7.33/.990/34)
Overall, just four spots had undeserved gold gloves (pitcher, shortstop, and two outfield spots). Not bad, considering how badly these awards have been handed out in the past. The pitcher spot I really don't care about all that much; it's just a 3-FRAR difference. Not that big of a deal. The fact that neither Young nor Peralta took home the shortstop Gold Glove and the fact that Granderson managed to get overlooked in favor of Wells were really the only qualms I had with this year's selections for the AL.