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Zimmerman loses Gold Glove to Rolen

By Dave Sheinin

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's quest for a second consecutive Gold Glove award was denied by veteran Scott Rolen of the Cincinnati Reds, in voting by NL managers and coaches. For Rolen, it was his eighth Gold Glove, his first since 2006 and his first with the Reds.

Although Zimmerman's fielding percentage was down 12 points this year (from .963 to .951), that drop is at least partly explained by the presence this season of Adan Dunn, a below-average defender, as the everyday first baseman -- which, presumably, meant fewer of Zimmerman's errant throws were saved.

Zimmerman scored well in advanced defensive metrics, such as Fangraphs.com's UZR -- his rating of 13.9 ranked third in the majors, with Rolen sixth at 10.6. Zimmerman also narrowly lost out to Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria in the Fielding Bible Awards, voted upon by a panel of sabemetrically inclined journalists and bloggers.

However, as Derek Jeter's victory among AL shortstops on Tuesday underscored, Gold Glove voting tends to favor reputation over all else, which helps explain how Rolen -- who is now the third-most-decorated defensive third baseman of all-time (behind Brooks Robinson, who won 16 Gold Gloves, and Mike Schmidt, who won 10) -- could have outpaced Zimmerman in the balloting.

The other NL winners, announced Wednesday: C Yadier Molina (Cardinals), 1B Albert Pujols (Cardinals), 2B Brandon Phillips (Reds), SS Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies), OF Michael Bourn (Astros), Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies), Shane Victorino (Phillies), and P Bronson Arroyo (Reds).

By Dave Sheinin  | November 10, 2010; 2:06 PM ET
 
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Next: Did Dunn really cost Zimmerman the Gold Glove?

Comments

What a crock!!

Posted by: dph60 | November 10, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Scott Rolen is nowhere near Broooks Robinson or Mike Schmidt as a baseball player.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | November 10, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Although Zimmerman's fielding percentage was down 12 points this year (from .963 to .951), that drop is at least partly explained by the presence this season of Adan Dunn, a below-average defender, as the everyday first baseman -- which, presumably, meant fewer of Zimmerman's errant throws were saved."

So, making an assertion like this and then saying that it is "presumably" the case is considered responsible writing? Dave, "presumably" you were only at the Nats games that Strasburg started this season, seeing how your entire purpose this past season was presumably to cash in on the Strasburg money train by writing a book that now, presumably, is going nowhere.

But Zimmerman's grand total of errors this past season was 17. While that is a lot of errors relatively speaking, presumably it would not be very hard for you to get video clips of them and watch them, if you were inclined to actually do some work. Then, presumably, you could write something that is responsible, and not tell us what is presumably the case.

Were you to actually watch the clips of Zimmerman's errors, you could first tell us how many of them were on throws anyway. Then, with respect to the throwing errors, I think you would see that most of them were badly air-mailed. Most of these were not throws that Dunn failed to scoop out of the dirt; they were so badly off-target that they had nothing to do with Dunn's presumable inability to save bad throws.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 10, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Suddenly, these awards simply don't really mean anything. First Jeter, now Rolen? Wowzers.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | November 10, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Suddenly? The Gold Glove has been like this forever. Jeter's award this year really makes the case that the process for GG awards needs to change.

It's unfortunate that Zim did not win, but it's not a crock. Rolen won on reputation (as is the norm). Polanco or Headley and Zimmerman were all deserving as well. Ah well.

Silver Slugger anyone?

Posted by: Sunderland | November 10, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, look at the bright side - at least we won't have to look at Dunn try to go to his right next year. That'll keep em streaming through the turnstiles. Maybe they can pick up someone who's hitting .196 to make us forget about it.

Posted by: Brue | November 10, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Intimating that Rolen's win can only be epxlained by forces that defy logic and favor the big name and blaming Dunn for Zim not winnign the award is pandering to both the 'need for a great glove 1B is reason enough to move on from Dunn' crowd and being a complete homer. I expect better from Sheinin.

Rolen had more chances than Zim, made more outs and less errors and his advanced metrics are not exactly lousy. He outplayed Zim this year.

Maybe you think he didn't, because of this or that stat -- fine; but it is pretty ridiculous to whine that Zim got screwed by the voters (as if they are idiots for selecting the still brilliant Rolen) or that Dunn is to blame for the extra 9 errors he had over Rolen or for Zim's fielding percentage to be 26 points lower than Rolen's.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 10, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And, why not cover what really matters -- like whhat the club might loo klike in the Spring? A player on our last place club not winning a Gold Glove is boring. Rizzo talking Nats hot stove on XM, commenting on Dunn, and the club's potential direction is much more interesting.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/ 1:15 CST post

Posted by: dfh21 | November 10, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"And, why not cover what really matters -- like whhat the club might loo klike in the Spring?"

But dfh, that would involve actual work.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 10, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Would Zim winning the Gold Glove make the club any better in 2011? No.

And he did not lose the award to Rolen. Rolen just won it.

I am not sure whether the issue is DS not working here so much is it him spending time coming up with rationales for Zim's not winning an individual performance trophy when he could he telling us about Rizzo saying Cliff Lee is not likely to want to come to the Nats or that Rizzo says the club is looking to get more athletic and better defensively, while still saying they love Dunn and he's their first choice.

As for Zim, I can only hope that he goes back to throwing overhand like the rest of the world's 3B's so that he can make the plays that he should make, which will get him the GG from the NL managers and coaches bext year.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 10, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I second those who pointed out that Dunn shouldn't be blamed; love Zim but he air mails too many balls to be a Gold Glover.

Posted by: swanni | November 10, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Presumably Kevin would realize that Sheinin surely saw more of Zimmerman's games (and fewer of Rolen's) than most all of the NL managers and coaches who make up the electoral college for the Gold Gloves saw. Presumably Sheinin likely saw more of Zimmerman's errors than they did as well.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 10, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm telling you, ifZim thorws the ball overhand he cuts the errors in half and he wins the Gold Glove every year and the club wins a couple more games. But he loves that lariat for some reason.

Thsi just in:

"The A’s acquired David DeJesus from the Royals for right-hander Vin Mazzaro and left-hander Justin Marks, the teams announced today. Royals GM Dayton Moore says Mazzaro will join the team’s rotation and Marks will start the season at high Class A Wilmington." MLBTraderomurs.com

Might this be evidence of a Grienke move being more likely? (Nice trade by the A's by the way, they have arms and need guys who can both hit and catch in the OF.)

Posted by: dfh21 | November 10, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Dave: I don't want this to come off too snarky, but Zimmerman had more throwing errors in 2009 than 2010 - 14 v. 11 - per Baseball Reference. I'll try pasting the www address here:
www.baseball-reference.com/players/z/zimmery01-field.shtml#advanced_fielding_3b::none

This kind of is consistent with my impression of Johnson/Dunn 2009 being inferior to Dunn 2010 defensively. Maybe a lot of that bad 2009 was Dunn's last 2 months (racked up -14.3 UZR, even though UZR does not factor in scoops), but Nick lost mobility and fielding, too.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 10, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"But Zimmerman's grand total of errors this past season was 17. While that is a lot of errors relatively speaking, presumably it would not be very hard for you to get video clips of them and watch them . . ."

Or maybe he could just stare out the window and watch the grass grow. Or watch the leaves turn pretty colors.

What's your favorite hobby, viewing security tapes from the local convenience store? :-)

I'm surprised by this choice, I figured it was bound to go to either RZ or David Wright, but I cannot argue with it. Rolen's an outstanding fielder, and he had fewer errors the past two years combined (13) than RZ had just this year (17). He's now 35, maybe the writers just felt like honoring him one last time. You can't say he doesn't deserve it.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 11, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

"Scott Rolen is nowhere near Broooks Robinson or Mike Schmidt as a baseball player."

Actually, he compares favorably to both. Nobody ever fielded the position like Brooksie, but Rolen's significatly better as a hitter, and he's better than Schmidt was with the glove. His career BA is much higher than either BR's or MS's. Rolen will probably end up with at least 350 HRs and over 1400 RBIs. Combine that with his outstanding glove work, and you're talking about someone who is very likely going to join Brooks and Schmidt in the Hall of Fame.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 11, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I gotta think that Mike Schmidt is the best 3B of all time, without a whole lot of argument that anyone esle is really very close. Power, durability, killer glove, multiple MVP's, won the WS and his numbers in his era were ridiculous. But, I think that if Rolen retired tomorrow he'd go to Cooperstown -- him being arguably the best player at his position over the era.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 11, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

dfh21:

I agree about Schmidt, but George Brett should be rated up there too. He'd definitely have won a few more GGs had he not played so many years in the same league with Buddy Bell and Graig Nettles.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 11, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

dfh21:

I agree about Schmidt, but George Brett should be rated up there too. He'd definitely have won a few more GGs had he not played so many years in the same league with Buddy Bell and Graig Nettles.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 11, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ripken went sidearm quite a bit and did fine. Confidence and comfort level are the deal. Zimmerman was and is a Gold Glover. He just lost to a better player this year. I agree with fairfax6. Rolen deserved it.

Posted by: fpcsteve | November 11, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Ripken went sidearm quite a bit and did fine. Confidence and comfort level are the deal. Zimmerman was and is a Gold Glover. He just lost to a better player this year. I agree with fairfax6. Rolen deserved it.

Posted by: fpcsteve | November 11, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. I see I'm not the only person experiencing a glitch with the system, though.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 11, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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