Urban: Bay Ball Defense Golden But Not Gold

Urban: Bay Ball Defense Golden But Not Gold
November 9, 2010, 9:22 pm
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Nov. 9, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO -- Unless Andres Torres pulls off an upset, the Giants will go without winning a Gold Glove for 2010. Theyve got that gold trophy and will soon have plenty of gold (and diamonds) on their ring fingers to ease the sting.The As dont have any such consolation prizes, and they were shut out in the American League voting that was announced Tuesday.Both teams played excellent defense this season, though. They should feel good about that. The Giants were expected to be a bunch of butchers and were anything but. The As were expected to be as good as they were.They just werent quite good enough individually to win whats devolved into something of a popularity contest.Torres is a no-name nationally. He played Gold Glove-caliber D, for sure, but thats not enough to win the vote.Ask As second baseman Mark Ellis, who should probably have a closetful of Gold Gloves by now. Hes a no-name, too, and despite posting the best fielding percentage for a second baseman of all time a couple years ago, he was beaten out by Mark Grudzielanek, who had better offensive numbers.Silly, but that means something to the managers and coaches who do the voting.As shortstop Cliff Pennington made a ton of ridiculously spectacular plays this year, but he also made 25 errors. He might win a Gold Glove down the road, but not with 25 errors.As catcher Kurt Suzuki had a down year in just about every way, but hes got a shot in the future, too. Especially after the Twins Joe Mauer makes his inevitable switch to first base or DH.As outfielder Ryan Sweeney also has Gold Glove skills, but he has to stay on the field to win one.Of all the players currently plying their trade in the Bay Area, Giants catcher Buster Posey seems the most likely to be honored for his defensive prowess in the future. Hes a name, he can swing it, and yes, he can D up with the best of them.For now, though, nada. Just a job well done.