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My head just exploded…

Posted by Andy on November 9, 2010

...because Derek Jeter won another Gold Glove award.

EDIT: of the 47 shortstops who get a fielding runs number in the PI in 2010, Jeter has the 46th-best total. Yeah, 45 shortstops generated better fielding run totals than he did. This excludes guys who changed teams mid-season, due to a PI bug that I am alerting Sean to.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 4:03 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

139 Responses to “My head just exploded…”

  1. Obviously we don't get it, Andy.
    It's about a bunch of things we make up, and ascribe to a human being we don't know, playing a sport that obviously makes him a moral superior to us.

    The Yankees win out of sheer Jeter-willpower.

    /sarcasm

  2. How dare you call into question the defensive capabilities of the Almighty Derek!

  3. For the past decade, we have watched in Philadelphia while Jimmy Rollins makes every play with the glove between his legs or at his hip, and never has the "jump throw" to first. This award is junk, and I blame Sportscenter.

  4. I didn't know they gave Gold Gloves to DHes.

    (In my world, Jeter is a DH, A-Rod is a shortstop, Teixeira converted back to third, and Berkman has always been a blissful first baseman. It's so much nicer here.)

  5. But he's so good looking. He deserves it.

  6. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Tom, I worry about the Yankees' defense in your world.

  7. Tom, how do you figure Derek Jeter's a DH? He doesn't hit anymore either.

  8. Should he refuse to accept the award? Your beef is with the people that vote on the award. If they cared enough to take the proper amount of time, then they would. They don't. So, let it go people.

  9. Yeah, this was terrible. It reminded me of when Palmeiro won the gold glove in 1999, when he only played 28 games in the field. In other words, entirely based on reputation. (which in Jeter's case the statistics would tell us is undeserved)

  10. Unfortunately stuff like this is par for the course with gold gloves - the award hasn't had any credibility for a long time.

  11. Okay, I finally figured it out. The baseball coaches are simply voting for Jeter to piss everyone off. No one believes Jeter should win. The Yankees don't. Even Yankee fans (at least the ones I've talked to) don't believe Jeter has good range. So how is that professional baseball people (who also don't believe Jeter is the best) could keep voting for him. They're just F'ing with us, man!

  12. I am a huge Derek Jeter fan. And even I find this ridiculous. His statistics have always said he was not a great fielder, but this year is the first time you could see day in and day out that it was hurting the team. Watching almost every game he has played, my personal opinion was that he was a very good shortstop that has dropped off recently, but this year was different. He had difficulty getting to anything. The only positive (for the Yanks) you can say was that he didn't make a lot of errors when he did get to the ball. Unfortunately (for those of us that appreciate more stats than fielding %), it was the lack of errors that MUST have been the criteria for him getting this award. There really is no other way to explain it.

  13. Gardner should have got a Gold Glove.

  14. Ghost of Horace Clarke Says:

    I always thought Horace Clarke was cheated out of a few GG.

  15. I'm a Jeter and Yankees fan and I agree 100% with you, Tmckelv.

  16. I'm a Yankees fan, and I have felt the past few years that Jeter is a pretty bad shortstop, but his bat had been making up for it. This year his fielding was so bad (not to mention his hitting) that I wished we could have a designated fielder.

    The most commonly heard phrase at Yankees games is, "Past a diving Jeter!"

    The voters should be ashamed and banned from voting ever again.

  17. But he made that neat-o play against the A's in 2001?

    I don't know. I guess what makes me feel better is that almost nobody, including GG voters, actually cares about GGs. It's a quarter-step more meaningful than being voted to the all-star game. Whatever.

    You know who else didn't make any errors at SS this year? Me.

    Tim - #7 - that's funny, man.

  18. Ghost of Horace Clarke Says:

    I was hoping the guys at MLB Network would be more honest about the GG awards in general.....but they avoided any reference to his range or any negativity at all.

  19. I agree with you in principle on the GG and ASG issue, Zack, but unfortunately whenever HOF arguments come up, plenty of yahoos start to judge players by stuff like ASGs and GGs. Not that it really matters in Jeter's case because he'd be an easy HOFer if he'd never sniffed a gold glove.

  20. Canice Murphy Says:

    Why is baseball determined to undermine its own credibility every chance it gets?

  21. OldYanksFan Says:

    This only proves that Jeter's next contract should be 5/$120m!

  22. Sometimes MLB is just pathetic.

  23. #18: There is hope. The great Brian Kenny just noted on Sportscenter that despite making few errors this year, Jeter was only sixth in range factor.

  24. A joke of a decision for sure. GG has been a joke for 30+ years though.

  25. @18, Ghost of Horace Clarke, I was wondering the same, but I'm not surprised. It's the MLB Network, and they're not going to knock MLB players when awards are given out. I'm pretty sure I've heard these same group of announcers/players note Jeter's diminishing range during certain broadcasts, so they are aware. Tonight is not the night they're going to talk about it.

  26. David Pinto has an actual rational explanation for why Jeter won. Jeter reminds me of Raffy Palmeiro the DH who won it at first base and Professional Hitter & Walker Bobby Abreu who won it in the OF in '06 or so...

    http://baseballmusings.com/?p=62398#comments

  27. You people are crazy. He totally deserved it!

    Love,
    The Nobel Committee that awarded the Peace Prize to President Obama

  28. @Brett #26

    Even just ranking #1 and #2 best per position would probably eliminate Jeter from winning the award again.

  29. At least they noticed the Torii Hunter doesn't play CF anymore.

    Who deserved it the GG at SS this year? Cliff Pennington? Alexei Ramirez?

  30. I don't really know which is more annoying: That Derek Jeter was awarded a Gold Glove when he wasn't especially effective at shortstop, or that before you click on the title "My head just exploded..." you can already know that it's going to be another rant against Jeter and the lousy Gold Glove voting, with fifty comments ranting against Jeter and the lousy Gold Glove voting.

    Why did Jeter win? Yes, it's partly because he's famous and has a good reputation and is the name people are most likely to think of first when trying to name AL shortstops. And it's partly because of the voting process, although, as has been rehashed many times, not nearly so much as because of the ignorance of the voters. And finally, it's because Jeter looks pretty good by old-school measures of defense: He had the best fielding percentage of any full-time shortstop, and was also involved in the 3rd-most double plays.

    The comparisons to Palmeiro are overstated. Jeter may not have deserved the award, but Palmeiro should not have even been eligible. If you make the argument that a large part of a shortstop's job is to man the position every day so the team doesn't have to find someone else to fill that slot, then you could claim that Jeter deserved to be as high as 6th in the voting. That's not ideal, but it puts it more in the range of some questionable MVP choices than in Palmeiro territory.

  31. Aww man, you took down the little pot-shot on the front page? Who called from MLB?

  32. Johnny Twisto Says:

    If you make the argument that a large part of a shortstop's job is to man the position every day so the team doesn't have to find someone else to fill that slot, then you could claim that Jeter deserved to be as high as 6th in the voting. That's not ideal, but it puts it more in the range of some questionable MVP choices than in Palmeiro territory.

    Not really. The MVP is being chosen from all the players in the league. The Gold Glove is being chosen from those who spent a preponderance of time at SS, which might limit it to 10 choices at most in any season. Being 6th most-deserving among that small group is not like picking the 10th or 20th best player in the league for MVP.

    Anyway, the main problem is that there is no obviously great SS in the AL right now, so the vote is probably very splintered and Jeter picks up a lot of votes from those who just aren't sure.

  33. Johnny Twisto Says:

    And I see that's sort of what Pinto is conjecturing as well.

  34. Alec Rogers Says:

    If that's the case, the voting system needs to be changed. In fact, that Jeter won the award this year is case closed regardless of how he won.

  35. As per my update in the original post above, Jeter had the 46th-worst fielding runs total among SS this year.

  36. Who was last?

  37. click the link in the main post above

  38. Jeter now has more gold glove awards than Alan Trammell and Tony Fernandez....

    If Jeter was as good a fielder as people make him out to be then he would be one of the top 15 players in baseball history.

  39. @27: This is also almost as bad as Krugman winning a Nobel.

  40. Andy - How come Alex Gonzalez (Toronto/Atlanta) is not on the list? I watched nearly every Jays game Alex played in and he was phenomenal. I can only guess he continued his play in Atlanta. Yunel Escobar is not on the list either.

  41. Derek Jeter has the highest fielding percentage and the fewest errors of any full time SS this season. Get over it. It is the MLB managers who vote, maybe they know a little more than you do.

  42. Players who switched teams don't make the list due to a bug.

  43. Morten Jonsson Says:

    You can't make an error if you can't get to it, Hater. I made fewer errors than Jeter did, as a matter of fact. None. Granted, I'm 49 years old and my range isn't what it used to be. Plus I never actually made it onto the field. But my perfect fielding percentage ought to count for something, don't you think? If only I had Jeter's rep. Count on it--when he's 49 and watching the games on mlb.com like me, he's still going to be getting some Gold Glove votes.

  44. Sometimes the GG's just make me scratch my head. And #3, don't blame Sportcenter and ESPN, this award has always had some strange picks. Its funny, but even with the managers voting (or maybe its sad), it seems reputation counts for a lot. If NO PLAYER can lead the league in Homers, Walks, RBI's or BA for 8 (I use 8 to eliminate Kiner's HR leader run) straight years, what makes voters believe any player is the best at his position each and every year?

  45. I'm having a hard time figuring out why everyone has such a problem with this. His fielding percentage was .989! That is SICK for a SS. 6 errors in 151 games. There is only ONE other person worthy of this award, and that's Cesar Izturis. Sorry, I don't think the SS with the highest fielding percentage winning the gold glove is a big deal.

  46. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Jeter's rep got his the award, plain and simple. Either that or I need to contact my college to get a refund on all of those @#$#@# accounting and statistics courses they made me take.

  47. Poor Jeremy Says:

    What, you're surprised that the post-season awards [deleted by Andy]. if MLB could have gotten away with it, they would have executed the Rangers after game 3. Of course they cheat for Jeter.

  48. I always thought Roy White was twice the player in right field that Horace Clarke could ever be at second base. And if reputation was all it took, Tom Trash would still be getting votes.

  49. Morten Jonsson Says:

    Tom Tresh still has more range than Derek Jeter.

  50. oh, you bums are right cliff pennington or alexei ramirez deserve it. they are both much better defensively than Jeter. you got idiots here who can't wait to complain about the award but they don't realize that jim rollins is in another league. how old are you 10? you don't know NL vs AL yet? and some smacked ass from baseballprojection.com makes up his own stat and that is what you base your argument on. lmao, #47 thinks that MLB cheats for the yankees. if MLB wanted Texas out, they would have made it happen and they would get away with it. it is MLB. the authority is MLB. the players and teams are paid to "work" for MLB. this award, however belongs to Rawlings.

  51. Aww man, you took down the little pot-shot on the front page? Who called from MLB?

    As much as the facts support the head explosion 100%, I'm glad the front page was edited. There is no room for an opinion on the front page of a reference site. I'm usually bothered when opinions are expressed on this blog too, but at least they are in a specific place where editorializing is expected.

    Wikipedia doesn't have a spot on the Hitler page saying "I can't believe the stupid Germans elected him."

  52. There's no way Derek Jeter should have got it, and I'm a big Yankee and Jeter fan. However there is no way you can tell me Cliff Pennington deserved it with 25 errors (most among all AL SS') and 3rd worst fielding percentage. Maybe he has more range, but 25 errors is way too much to get an award for. I think it should have been Alexi Ramirez. 31 more putouts, 3 more assists, 5 less errors, and a much better fielding percentage.

  53. Note, those numbers above for Alexi Ramirez were compared with Pennington, not Jeter.

  54. Why don't you complain to the coaches and managers rather than the internet? The internet didn't award any gold gloves this year.

  55. Jeter GG - that's OK, Hal Richman and his guys will make him a ss-3 e30 at best!!!!

  56. Totally unrelated:

    We should do some sort of a poll about the recent Vet's committee Hall of Fame nominees. I think it would be fun.

  57. Does anyone know how the GG is determined? I always thought it was the guy with the highest fielding %age who qualified at his position. If that's the case then Jeter won it, fair and square. They're not rewarding the best defensive player necessarily but the one who booted the fewest balls that he got to. But maybe I'm wrong and it's not simply a statistical award like BA or ERA. If it's a vote of some kind then there's some splainin' to do.

    Who knows how the GG is given? Fact, not opinion. I'd like to know.

  58. Who knows how the GG is given? Fact, not opinion. I'd like to know.

    Voting by a group of managers and coaches. Probably sometime before the season ends.

  59. @47,

    First of all, you are disgusting.

    Second, if the Yankees and Jeter win every post season award, why didn't Jeter win the MVP after the 2009 season? Also why didn't Jeter win the GG after the 2007 and 2008 seasons? I guess the voters forgot what they were "supposed to do".

    Also check the Cy Young voting since 1978 if the voters are supposed to just hand the Yankees every award, they have really been dropping the ball.

  60. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The subject of Jeter sure summons the simpletons.

  61. #47, sorry I had to edit your comment because of the language you used. I appreciate that you're making a legitimate point but please do so without that kind of imagery.

  62. By the way, the dig at Jeter that appeared on the front page was posted by Sean, not me. But it is interesting that he and I had basically the exact same reaction at the same time...he made his change and I made the blog post.

  63. [...] baseball coaches are simply voting for Jeter to piss everyone off. No one believes Jeter should win. The Yankees dont. Even Yankee fans at least the [...]

  64. I can't wait until Jeter is 40 and he dives for a ball and his hip explodes out of his body.

  65. Andy, pease don't apologize for editing #47. There needs to be some standard of behavior we all adhere to on this site.

    Also, I am admittedly a huge Yankee fan so maybe I am too biased to see it, but saying that #47 was making "a legitmate point" seems a stretch also.

    He said:
    1) The Yanks are handed every award
    2) MLB would actually want to execute (assuming eliminate) the Rangers if they could.
    3) They (MLB?/voters?) cheat for Jeter.

    I am having a hard time understanding how people can legitimately think any of those things are actually true. And please don't anyone bring up Jeffrey Maier from 1996 when Jeter was 21 years old - the umps were not cheating for Jeter it was a bad call (not the first and not the last in baseball history).

  66. Tmckelv, the guy was stating a legitimate opinion, even if it's one that I don't think stands up to scrutiny, as you point out. I was just drawing a distinction between him and a troll who makes a vulgar post just to be annoying. He wasn't trying to be annoying, he just used bad language and had an opinion we don't agree with.

  67. OK Andy. I understand now. I think I was inappropriately lumping #47's use of vulgarity together with his actual opinion as one unnecessary sentiment. I don't want anyone to think that someone should not be allowed an opinion on these posts. Sorry for the confusion.

    Thanks for your response.

  68. Yeah, Yankee players unfavorably getting into the Hall or winning awards is the biggest misperception out there. In fact, you could make an argument that being a Yankee hurts them more...at least in some cases it seems to. The GG have always been weird.

  69. About Gold Glove voting. This is from the Rawlings Web site:

    The managers and coaches from the Major Leagues are responsible for selecting the winners prior to the conclusion of the regular season. They may not vote for players from their own club and can only vote for players in their own league.

    http://www.rawlingsgoldglove.com/history

  70. The award was voted by managers and coaches, who obviously know more about the game and players than you number crunchers.

  71. The one thing you saber-heads can't reduce to a mathematical formula is the human factor that separates great players from the merely good when it really counts. I remember something my father told me when I was a kid. He said Reggie wasn't the best hitter, or the best outfielder, or the best baserunner, or the guy with the most home runs, but when the money was on the line he got the hit, he stole the base, he threw out the runner, and he hit the home run. I'm sure the numbers say there are better relief pitchers than Mariano, but if you had a choice would you really want anyone else on the mound in the 9th inning of game 7?

  72. No, all the numbers say that Mariano is the best ever.

    As for the rest of your comments, I am guessing it isn't even worth arguing. I'll just say WPA and leave it at that.

  73. If the numbers say it it must be true. Is that right? Let me know when you come up with a fomula called "leadership", or "heartandsouloftheteam" or "risestotheoccasionwhenitreallycounts".

  74. Alicia's right stat geeks. Who am I to believe, the coaches and managers lying eyes or some statistical mumbo jumbo created by a stat geek? Stop trying to create a world that doesn't exist using stats-especially defensive equations that are not carved in stone. Unless you see every player day in and day out, which is impossible, your statistical crap is meaningless.

  75. In their prime years, who do the numbers say was the best pitcher, Greg Maddux or El Duque? There's no question it's Maddux. But now tell me which of them, in their prime, you would want pitching in a playoff game.

  76. Alicia, I agree that there are lots of things important beyond the stats. Leadership is one, as are attitude and effort. I think that stats do debunk the general idea that a given player was worth more in big occasions. There is a memory bias where we tend to remember really great or really bad plays more than others, and those affect the way we think of players beyond what the numbers tell us. The numbers can tell us in a pretty objective way how much a given player was worth in big situations.

    To take your example of Reggie Jackson, he ranks 71st in career Wins Above Replacement and 82nd in career OPS+. But in Win Probability Added, a measure of how much he actually contributed to wins (i.e. how well he did "when it mattered") he's 29th all-time. I'd say that based on those numbers, you're right that Jackson rose to the occasion, and in this case Jackson's reputation is backed up by the numbers. In a lot of other cases, the numbers do not back up the conclusion, and this includes the idea that Jeter deserved the Gold Glove this year.

  77. "Alicia's right stat geeks. Who am I to believe, the coaches and managers lying eyes or some statistical mumbo jumbo created by a stat geek? Stop trying to create a world that doesn't exist using stats-especially defensive equations that are not carved in stone. Unless you see every player day in and day out, which is impossible, your statistical crap is meaningless."

    I think Poe's Law applies here.

  78. Good call, John.

    I have to admit--I often don't reply to comments on my posts because I can't tell whether the poster is being facetious or not. (By often, I mean maybe 5% of comments...still a big number.)

  79. "Defensive metrics are far from perfect, however. Teixeira is listed by fangraphs.com as having a -2.9 UZR, while Cano's UZR was -0.6, suggesting that their fielding - considered to be stellar by virtually everybody in baseball - was below average for their positions.

    "That's crazy," said one major-league scout, who rated both players between 75-80 on a 20-80 scale said. "If that's what UZR says, then flush it down the toilet. Those guys are exceptional and their defense is in a class of its own."
    - - - - -
    So much for the "numbers".

  80. Andy, are Teixeira and Cano below average fielders at their positions? The numbers say they are. Therefore you must either agree with the numbers, meaning they are BELOW AVERAGE fielders, or you must acknowledge the numbers are obviously wrong. There's no third choice.

  81. Alicia, I complete agree. I am inclined to think that the people observing these guys are wrong. I am however open to the possibility that UZR is wrong, as there is as of yet no general consensus about UZR.

    There is a third possibility, though. They could both be wrong. Cano and Teixeira could be better than their UZRs indicate but not as good as the scout thinks. This seems to be somewhat likely as well.

  82. Is anyone aware of any studies that examine the efficacy of the leap that Jeter often employs on balls hit to his right in terms of how quickly he gets the ball to first base (as opposed to planting and throwing)?

    This play often ends up on highlights, but I often wonder if this play actually improves his chances of getting an out - especially considering I rarely see other players employing this technique (one notable exception I remember was Chipper Jones used to a similar technique on the play he tore his ACL this year).

  83. If UZR is wrong, other "numbers" may also be wrong. Defense is very subjective and doesn't easily lend itself to statistical analysis. I watched over 700 games this year, including every game by the Yankees. All teams lose games on shortstop errors. However I don't remember a single game the Yankees lost on a ball that Jeter couldn't get to that went for a hit. His reduced range this year did not result in a single additional loss, regardless of what any number says. As subjective as defense is, the only way to meaningfully rank players is for someone to watch every single game and every single play and then come up with a determination. As far as this Golden Gloves award, managers and coaches see more games than most of us do and notice things us mere mortals do not, and so I trust their judgment more than a computer.

  84. How can you say that Alicia? You don't think it was ever the case that a hitter got a base hit because Jeter didn't get to a ball? That must have happened dozens of times this year. Did any of those hits drive in runners with two outs? Or did any of those guys who reached come around to score? Did the Yankees lose any 1-run games? Yeah, perhaps Jeter didn't make an errors that directly cost his team the game (assuming your memory of all 162 games is correct) but there's simply no possible way that his overall defense didn't cost the team any runs, and probably a loss or two at least.

  85. Is much of the baseball world that jealous of Jeter. Did he deserve the gold-glove, no way, is he as bad as the UZR, no way. As Andy states, the truth likely is in the middle --something I'm always advocating for instead of the sabermethod or traditional method as being THE way or best way. They both have merit.

    As for the jump play Jeter does, it's also something worth leaving alone. Who cares, other than people that want to pick Jeter's game apart. It's what he does, and I don't think he does it for glamour. It's effective for him, at least sometimes. Is Jeter a Mantle-Type, no, but is Jeter an Andre Dawson-type, no. He's a sure fire first ballot HoFer that will be a second tier HoFer. His offensive metrics are really, really good for SS --way up there in the upper-echelon. Defensively his range has always been somewhat limited, but he also is one of the most sure-handed, and has been for a very long time-- Another good reason why people should use both the advanced metrics and other traditional methods. They both have merit.

  86. Johnny Twisto Says:

    To take your example of Reggie Jackson, he ranks 71st in career Wins Above Replacement and 82nd in career OPS+. But in Win Probability Added, a measure of how much he actually contributed to wins (i.e. how well he did "when it mattered") he's 29th all-time. I'd say that based on those numbers, you're right that Jackson rose to the occasion, and in this case Jackson's reputation is backed up by the numbers.

    Well, no. WAR is including defense and baserunning, and WPA is only measured since 1950, so comparing his rank in the two doesn't mean much.

    Since 1950, Jackson is 19th in WAR batting and 19th in Batting Wins. 25th in run-expectancy wins and (as you said) 29th in WPA. Controlling for leverage, he is 27th in RE/LI and 23rd in WPA/LI. So his overall numbers describe his performance pretty well. He had some high-profile postseason performances but overall he was not particularly clutch. In fact, the "Clutch" stat (as defined by the difference between WPA and WPA/LI) rates him 27th worst since 1950.

  87. Damn, I always forget that WPA is measured only since 1950. Thanks for cleaning up my mess there, JT.

  88. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I don't remember a single game the Yankees lost on a ball that Jeter couldn't get to that went for a hit. His reduced range this year did not result in a single additional loss, regardless of what any number says.

    What utter BS. So if there were 30 balls Jeter didn't get to that an average SS would have, not one of those hits made any difference? You cannot identify those hits and you have no idea whether this is true (hint: it's not). Let me guess, if Jeter had 30 more hits this season, half of them would have led to victory.

  89. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Is anyone aware of any studies that examine the efficacy of the leap that Jeter often employs on balls hit to his right in terms of how quickly he gets the ball to first base (as opposed to planting and throwing)?

    Not aware of any studies but I'm fairly certain it doesn't help. I always though Rey Ordonez was overrated but his slide and pop-up on these plays was much more effective. I'm surprised it hasn't become more widely-used.

  90. Johnny Twisto Says:

    As subjective as defense is, the only way to meaningfully rank players is for someone to watch every single game and every single play and then come up with a determination.

    Which is what BIS and STATS do, tracking every single play of every single game.

  91. I love the people sticking up for the managers voting on these things like they're making some sort of profound, enlightened statement on Jeter's fielding that bucks statistical trends because they're just so much smarter and more in tune with baseball than anyone else.

    They're managers. Their job is to worry about how to win games, not think about whether Alexei Ramirez or Derek Jeter was better at fielding in 2010. They don't care so they vote for Jeter because he's the first name that pops in their heads. It's the same principle that you see in the Coaches Poll in CFB. They often don't make sense because coaches have better things to do.

    Think about what someone like Ron Washington has to do in this vote. Washington probably thinks Andrus is the best AL SS with the glove; he can't vote for his own player. So he sees Jeter at most 6 or 7 times a year because that's how often they play the Yankees. He sees Alexei Ramirez the same amount of times. You think that's enough experience to make a reasoned judgment? Not hardly. It's not possible at all to judge fielding based on 6 games of data in a year. Do you think Ron Washington is going out of his way to watch film of Jeter and Ramirez to see who was a better fielder? And then do the same thing for 8 other positions? Please. I'd like to think Washington has more important things to figure out, like how to develop a strategy to win playoff games.

    Stat-bashers, it's ok to accept that managers aren't that concerned about the award and just vote for Jeter because he's the first name that pops in their head and because he's a 1st ballot HOFer. That doesn't make them bad people. It doesn't make Jeter a bad person. It doesn't damage the game of baseball. It just means that they should probably have someone else vote on the award.

  92. Johnny Twisto Says:

    For those who believe Jeter, Cano, and Teixeira are all so great and all deserving of Gold Gloves, explain this: The Yankees allowed a .247 BA on groundballs this season, 2nd worst in the AL and 16 points higher than league average. That's not a stat created by estimates of opportunities, like TZ and DRS and UZR. That's a simple, observable fact: batting average on groundballs. How do you explain an infield with three Gold Glovers being so much worse than average? Sure, there could be a pitcher effect there, if you want to argue that Sabathia, Pettitte, Hughes, Rivera, etc are terrible pitchers being bailed out by the Gold Glove infield.

    FWIW, my personal opinion is that Teixeira is good, but has a tendency to make plays look flashier than they are, making people think he is great. Cano is good. Jeter definitely regressed this season and was bad. A-Rod is below-average.

  93. I love it, Jackson was 29th best in WPA since 1950 but 27th worst in WPA-WPA/LA since 1950. That's pretty funny you know what. Stats are great, and should be valued, but they are also just one tool.

  94. Matt Y @85 re: the leap/jump

    I wasn't suggesting @82 that he does it for glamour, nor was I attempting to nitpick his game - it was simply a point of curiosity. The play begs many questions in my mind and I have some possible, but by no means complete, answers to those questions.

    Q: If it is quicker, why don't others use the technique more often?

    Possible Answers: Others don't realize that it is quicker. Others are unable to utilize the technique because they lack arm strength, leg strength, the ability to throw the ball accurately during that type of maneuver or some other trait that Jeter possesses that is unusual.

    Q: If it is slower, why does he do it?

    PA: He believes it is quicker. He started doing it and it has become a habit. He believes it is equivalent to planting and throwing but uses it because it makes him more marketable and images of him making plays in this fashion are on merchandise he endorses (this is the glamour answer).

    Q: If it is faster for Jeter, but slower for the general population, why is this the case?

    PA: I would assume this would go to strengths of certain muscles groups or his ability to throw the ball accurately - which would lead to the question of identifying others who would benefit from the technique since it is unlikely that Jeter has unique physiology among major league shortstops.

  95. As said above "It doesn't damage the game of baseball. It just means that they should probably have someone else vote on the award".

    Yeah, maybe an equal mix of managers, scouts, writers and sabermetricians, but not just sabermetrcians.

  96. Well put and agreed Evan.

  97. It is clear that Alicia has been a Jeter fan for life and will never be swayed from his holier- than- thow status. While a lot of her argument is not wrong I'm pretty sure that leadership and coming up big when it counts don't have anything to do with gold gloves.

  98. Agreed Twisto --the Yankees are good 1B and 2B but bad at SS and 3B. Cano and Tex are good picks, but Jeter should have never won it, and probably should have never won any of the 5 GG's. He's always had pretty limited range, but he is sure-handed. The difference b/w Jeter and Ramirez isn't as great as UZR has it though. So, Jeter doesn't get to 30 balls that Ramirez does, but Ramirez makes 20 more errors than Jeter. How many of those errors were balls that Ramirez could get to relatively easily, but he messes up and still gets charged with the error. Ramirez is clearly better.

  99. I don't really see any reason for managers to vote on awards. Managers just aren't going to be able to make judgments the way scouts, writers, and stat analysts can. They're too busy worrying about their own team.

    I'd be happy just letting John Dewan pick the GG awards himself. Or I'd be happy giving half the votes to BaseballProspectus/Fangraphs and half to mainstream writers. And really, I'm not unhappy that managers vote on GGs. The only aspect about Jeter winning a Gold Glove I don't like is the misplaced legitimacy given to the award as a result. It just doesn't really make logical sense to have managers vote on the award if you think about the constraints of their job, compared to the level of dedication necessary to make educated determinations about fielding skill.

  100. Do we have data that breaks errors down into throwing and fielding?

    Looking at Jeter's error totals they are much lower the past two seasons than in previous seasons. I seem to recall that the error totals, as a whole, for the Yankees' infield went down in 2009. I assume that some portion of this is attributable to Teixeira doing a better job of turning slightly errant throws into outs than the mix they had used previously that was primarily Jason Giambi.

  101. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Yes, it's on the fielding pages. This year Jeter made 4 throwing errors, 1 fielding error, and 1 error on a catch (I think I remember this, a misplay/drop on a feed from Cano).

    Only 1 fielding error is impressive, certainly (though of course questionable, since we all know the awarding of errors is rather subjective). But the simple fact is that he does not get to many balls.

  102. Thanks JT. I forgot that the fielding stats were expandable from the player page.

  103. John DiFool Says:

    Is there a "scatter" chart overlaying the infield somewhere (outfield too) which shows where the "first touch" of a groundout (or lineout) occurred for a given fielder? I'd love to compare Jeter's with say A-Gon's.

  104. @86 JT,

    I am far from a Reggie Jackson backer, but as we all know, his nickname is "Mr.October", not "Mr. Regular Season".

  105. David Wright of the Mets has already won two GG's and everyone can agree that he's an average 3B at best. GG's don't mean much anymore, obviously

  106. Hey now let's hold on just a minute... If someone is the highest paid for the job they perform, don't they get, nay, DESERVE a pass? I mean shoot, being a lifelong Giants fan, I'm fairly shocked Barry Zito didn't win the NL Cy this year...

    Oh wait, I just woke up from a nap, sorry. Yeah, 46th best SS hardly a GG candidate, let alone winner. Jeter is done, has been for a few years running now.
    Out.

  107. I'm always amazed when people say things like this:

    "when the money was on the line he got the hit, he stole the base, he threw out the runner, and he hit the home run"

    and then fail to realize that that's an easily measurable and quantifiable situation. People's misunderstanding of math never fails to frustrate me.

  108. And then things like:

    ----------------------------------------
    Defensive metrics are far from perfect, however. Teixeira is listed by fangraphs.com as having a -2.9 UZR, while Cano's UZR was -0.6, suggesting that their fielding - considered to be stellar by virtually everybody in baseball - was below average for their positions.
    "That's crazy," said one major-league scout, who rated both players between 75-80 on a 20-80 scale said. "If that's what UZR says, then flush it down the toilet. Those guys are exceptional and their defense is in a class of its own."
    - - - - -
    So much for the "numbers".
    ----------------------------------------------

    Yep, because UZR might not accurately measure what it is intended to measure, that means all of math is wrong and can't be relied on for anything. We should certainly use the much more reliable and objective metric of human perception.

  109. Johnny Twisto Says:

    "That's crazy," said one major-league scout

    I wonder if that's the same "scout" who proclaimed Bobby Abreu was finished when he was batting .230 in June 2007.

  110. and Abreu is a HoFer.

  111. You watched over 700 games this season? That's roughly 12 hours a day of baseball, every single day of the season. I love my baseball, but that doesn't sound very realistic to me.

  112. Nobody responded to my earlier query comparing Greg Maddux to Orlando Hernandez. Obviously Maddux has the better "numbers" by far. But which of them, in their prine, do you want starting a playoff game?

  113. Maddux. El Duque's "prime" lasted about six months. Maddux had four Cy Youngs. And Maddux is younger.

  114. Ghost of Horace Clarke Says:

    Alicia, if Maddux is pitching with the Yankees, I take him. Orlando was good ....in the playoffs but he also had a better team to help him in regards to offense...clearly...over anything Maddux usually had.

    I will give you orlando had ice in his veins but Maddux was not Ed Whitson when it came to nevrves.

  115. Except Maddux was mediocre in the playoffs. Hernandez was a better big game pitcher.

  116. All the newly invented stats with the odd acronyms all indicate Maddux was a much better pitcher than Hernandez. This is clearly true. However in big game situations the exact opposite was true. The sabermetric numbers cannot account for this, so someone conveniently invents a new obscure stat to justify it. Some great players, like Manny, are even better in big games, and other great players, like Jimmy Rollins, are not. There are some things that simply can't be reduced to formulas. The tinkering of Boston's bullpen a few years ago by Bill James himself was a complete failure. Losing touch with instincts is never a good idea.

  117. Morten Jonsson Says:

    Greg Maddux had a lifetime 3.27 ERA in 198 postseason innings (nearly a full season's worth). His lifetime regular season ERA was 3.16--not significantly different, and remember that the teams he faced in the postseason were presumably better on average than those in the regular season. The fact that he had a losing record in the postseason is neither here nor there; the Braves may have stopped hitting when the season ended, but Greg Maddux was clearly the same pitcher in October that he was in April through September. That might be mediocre by his standards, but by almost any other standard it's awfully good.

    Orlando Hernandez had a lifetime 2.55 ERA in 106 postseason innings. That's terrific by any standard. (And more than a little flukey.) But given what Maddux did over nearly twice as many innings, I'd still take him in a big game, a small game, any game. In a heartbeat.

  118. CaseyStengel Says:

    The "only 6 errors" argument means nothing. If due to lack of range, 40 balls get by a diving Jeter that a true elite fielder can get to (approximately 1 every 4th game), that’s 40 equivalent errors made (there is a runner on first who shouldn't be there, and runs scored that should not have scored). Lack of range needs to be a huge part of the consideration of whether someone is GG worthy. And Jeter is definitely not at this point in his career.

  119. Charles Saeger Says:

    I'm actually surprised. I thought it was apparent to everyone that Jeter's range was down from even its already low standards. Announcers were openly talking about it this year. "Heart and soul" does not, in of itself, mean "great fielder." Where are Willie Stargell's Gold Gloves?

    Oh, and anyone who would put Orlando Hernández in a big game instead of Greg Maddux has never actually seen a baseball game. Seriously.

  120. And a lot of us saw Maddux get bombed throughout the 1989 NLCS. Will Clark took him deep twice, including a grand slam.

  121. "The sabermetric numbers cannot account for [players being better in big game situations], so someone conveniently invents a new obscure stat to justify it."

    I tell you what. You define for me exactly what you mean by a 'big game situation', I'll give you a sabermetric that tells you how good a player is in one.

    "There are some things that simply can't be reduced to formulas."

    You believe you're making a poignant argument, but really all you're doing is showcasing your failure to understand mathematics. I'll give you the Reduced [hahaha] to a Formula Test:

    Can it be measured in any way?
    It can be reduced to a formula.

    Whether or not we're currently able to measure it properly makes no difference. If it CAN be measured, it can be turned into a formula. I'm sure next you're going to tell me how leadership, heart, toughness, poise, whatever, can't be measured. Right?

  122. Pujols beat Ike Davis for the GG, and nobody is complaining? Someone isn't paying attention to the sacred UZR's.

  123. Stats are much better than perception over the long haul, but stats do boil the context down to nothing sometimes. Stats are a great tool, but they too has holes. As for Hernandez and Maddux in playoffs --well, actually, Hernandez was better in the playoffs than Maddux and wasn't a fluke. You also can't dispute that. Sorry. With that said, Maddux was perhaps one of the top 5-10 pitchers of all time, and Hernandez is only getting into Cooperstown if he buys a ticket. El Duque was money in the playoffs, and Maddux was good, but often lesser than he was in the regular season. El Duque's performance in the playoffs was not flukey, and I suspect coming to the States in raft gave him a little extra moxy needed in the playoffs than the typical type. Just a guess.

  124. Johnny Twisto Says:

    How do you define when something is a fluke?

  125. [...] negotiations: Derek Jeter has won the Gold Glove award. (Needless to say, it’s not a popular choice.) It’s Jeter’s fifth Gold Glove. Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira took home the award at [...]

  126. Please. 99% of you wouldn't know a good defensive shortstop if he fell on your heads. Let me get this straight. Derek Jeter is good enough to play SS for Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman and the NY Yankees but he's not good enough for baseball-reference .com. That's a good one. Point being defensive stats are and will always be subject to so many unmeasurable variables as to be meaningless. I'll take professional observation any day over some nonsense about Chances, Assists and Putouts-which all depend upon how often the ball is hit to someone rather than measuring how good a fielder that player is. Jeter made only 6 errors last year-if that's not meaningful none of the other nonsense is either.

  127. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Thanks for your insightful contribution.

  128. Maddux is going into the hall and Hernandez isn't, unless he buys a ticket. That's absolutely correct.

    But if you were a manager and had to pick either one to start game 7 of the WS, who would you pick?

    The people obsessed with these silly made up stats would pick Maddux, and any manager in his right mind would pick Hernandez.

    I'm sure someone will now post something about postseason stats and find something to rank Hernandez above Maddux, but still neglect to come up for that special factor that makes some people just better in big game situations.

    Yes, Hernandez was better than Maddux with the money on the line. Now reduce that to a mathematical equation and tell us WHY.

  129. Hernandez was better with the money on the line? He was good in the 1998, 1999 and for half the 2000. He also had some bad games where he gave up lots of runs, lots of baserunners or didn't last many innings. In 2001 and 2004 he was a middling to poor starter. In 2002 and 2005 he was a decent to effective reliever. He never pitched a complete game and had a 79 for his best game score.

    Maddux was better from 1995-1997 in the postseason than Hernandez was during his peak. In 1989 he pitched very poorly. In 1993 he had one bad start and one good start. He was very good 1998-1999, though not as good as in his best postseasons. He had one start that was poor in 2000. From 2001-2003 he was generally decent in his postseason starts, with one very bad one. 2006 he had one poor start. 2008 He was a generally effective being used in relief. Maddux had 2 CG and a best game score of 83.

    With the exception of the fact that Hernandez was supported with 5.5 runs/start and Maddux was supported with under 4, please explain why you would want Hernandez in that game over Maddux.

  130. Johnny Twisto Says:

    El Duque had all of 14 postseason starts. Greg Maddux had a stretch of 19 games, 17 starts from 1995-1999 when he put up an ERA of 1.89. If he had been on worse teams before and after that and those games comprised the entirety of his postseason career, you'd be talking about him as the guy with "icewater" in his veins. It's ridiculous. Remember when Josh Beckett was one of the all-time great postseason pitchers, until he wasn't? Remember when Cliff Lee couldn't be beaten in October, until he was? Or when A-Rod was a big choker, until he destroyed all pitchers in his path last year? Now you probably pick out Matt Cain as the guy with that special something which raises him to another level in the playoffs (but wait, look at his regular season W-L records, maybe he doesn't know how to win.....)

    To say that Duque had the special something to raise his game in the postseason, and Jimmy Rollins doesn't, is foolish. All you know is what happened. You have no idea what is inside these players, and unless you do, projecting their postseason play to differ from their overall performance is a rather risky proposition. All we know is that El Duque, in sample of 100 IP, did pitch extremely well. It happened and he deserves to be remembered for that, but I don't assume that he would perform any better than the pretty good pitcher he was in some additional, hypothetical start. The bigger the sample, the more these guys will revert to their career norms.

    The question would also depend on what Maddux and what Duque you're talking about. I'd take the Maddux of 1994-5 over pretty much anyone at any time -- game 7, game 1, opening day, whatever.

  131. ...and all these silly artificial statistics are excellent predictors of performance. Until they aren't.

  132. John DiFool Says:

    "I'll take professional observation any day over some nonsense about Chances, Assists and Putouts."

    Professional observers would undoubtedly _agree_ with the stats.

  133. And lets boil the context out the game some more. Sorry, Maddux was great and going to the Hall, El Duque was a better playoff pitcher though. Leave it at that.

    El Duque: 9-3 2.55 3 WS championships (107IP)

    Greg Maddux: 11-14 3.27 1 WS championships (197 IP)

    Sorry, leave it alone, El Duque was actually better in the playoffs. Enough said.

  134. ....and, save the argument about sample size. It might be a small sample size, but the games actually mean the most....and, to act like playoffs don't matter is just straight-up foolish and will be seen no differently until sabermetricians actually start using some type of pWAR...and, also save the argument about it not mattering for most players. Just do it, it matters today, especially with the expanded playoff format.

    Yes, any season I'd take Maddux, perhaps even in a few playoff games, but El Duque was better in the playoffs.

  135. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I quite clearly said El Duque did what he did and it matters.

    "El Duque was better in the playoffs" is NOT the same as saying you would take him over Maddux for this hypothetical game 7. I know the Maddux/Duque argument was not yours originally, but you are shifting what I was arguing against. I agree, Duque was better in the playoffs. I don't interpret that to mean he had special playoff pixie dust and Maddux didn't.

    "Hasn't" is not the same as "can't."

  136. Point taken JT, but I'd take El Duque over Maddux in a Game 7. Clutch does actually exist, and El Duque had pixie dust (or a huge heart given his life experiences). Conclusion, El Duque was clutch and would find a way to beat Maddux in a Game 7. It be 1-1 in the 7th and Maddux would 9 out of 10 times be the one to give up homer to lose 2-1. It's the way it was for Maddux --he was rather un-clutch in the playoffs. That's Context that's lost with complex stats!...and it's context that matters!!!!!!!

  137. With that said Alicia, you are selling the complex stats waaaay tooooo short. They are indeed more "true" than perception, however, complex stats fall waaay flat when they're weighed on tooooo heavily.....as some like to do to an absofreakinlutely ridiculous level --so, your points are not lost on me. There is indeed more to the game than the complex stats, but you are kidding yourself if you don't think they have tremendous value. Jeter clearly was a joke of a choice for GG, and perception or complex stats support that.

  138. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Maddux --he was rather un-clutch in the playoffs.

    But he had a stretch of postseason starts in which he pitched more IP than Duque did in his whole career, with a lower ERA. Why don't those count, simply because he didn't pitch as well before and after that? You are assuming if Duque had another 100 postseason IP he would have pitched just as well as he did in his first 100. There's no way to prove that, because it will never happen, but I think it's extraordinarily unlikely. Cliff Lee was "unbeatable" in the postseason, until he lost twice in a row.

  139. Jeter can't be compared with your beloved stupid umpires, who should be banned just like Joe Jackson.