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Baseball begins another useless popularity contest
2007-02-19 12:37
by Bob Timmermann

Coming after the egregiously bad All Century team (note the "special selections" made to make up for Joe Sixpack's woeful knowledge of history), and the DHL Hometown Heroes (I know people in DC really, really miss Gary Carter), there will now be fan voting to choose an all-time Gold Glove team.

This section scares me:

From more than 250 players who have won a Gold Glove, the panel identified 18 outfielders, six players at each infield position, five catchers and three pitchers.

Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, who won 13 Gold Gloves, is on the ballot, along with Yankees star Derek Jeter, who has won three so far. ...

The full ballot will be revealed tomorrow.

Since no one can agree on who the best fielders are now with a variety of metrics available, now there will be a popularity contest to choose who was the best fielder at a position despite the fact that most of the candidates will not have been seen by the voters. And Derek Jeter's fielding will be matched up against Ozzie Smith's.

I'm guessing that there are a few people who should win easily:
Ozzie Smith at SS
Willie Mays at CF
Brooks Robinson at 3B

I'm waiting for the big battle for the award for pitchers among Greg Maddux, Jim Kaat, and Bobby Shantz. Maddux will probably win because he's still active.

Catcher will likely be a battle between Johnny Bench and Ivan Rodriguez.

Keith Hernandez will probably win at 1B because he still has a high profile in the game.

Bill Mazeroski would be the favorite at 2B.

The other two outfield spots are up for grabs. Roberto Clemente may get one of them. The third spot could be a free for all.

Rawlings is sponsoring the contest.

2007-02-19 13:01:13
1.   Greg Brock
I would imagine Bench is a lock. If I were a betting man, I would predict Mays, Griffey Jr. and Clemente in the outfield.
2007-02-19 13:01:31
2.   yankz
I'm the biggest Derek Jeter fan you'll ever meet, and I'm sad to say that he's going to receive a few votes.
2007-02-19 13:05:20
3.   Bob Timmermann
Michael Kay and John Sterling will vote for Jeter.
2007-02-19 13:16:12
4.   Bob Timmermann
The All Century Team taught me that there are no locks. Voters didn't think Honus Wagner or Stan Musial were among the top 100 players of the 20th Century.
2007-02-19 13:24:23
5.   Greg Brock
4 Well, I think it's fair to say that Stan Musial is the most consistently underrated player in baseball, and Wagner is ancient history to most fans. Bench is still the standard behind the plate.

And if 2 is right, those voting for Jeter will most likely be Yankees fans, thus confirming everything I've ever felt about Yankees fans.

2007-02-19 13:29:22
6.   dianagramr
No one will pick Belanger ... sadly.
2007-02-19 13:55:20
7.   Sandus
I'd put good odds on Ryne Sandberg at 2B (it's a fan vote after all).
2007-02-19 13:57:51
8.   Bob Timmermann
Don't underestimate Joe Morgan's campaign for himself at second base!
2007-02-19 14:04:04
9.   dianagramr
... he's probably pissed that ordinary fans, who don't know anything about what it takes to play the game, are doing this voting

(yes ... I'm beating this metaphorical horse again) :-)

2007-02-19 14:06:05
10.   Cliff Corcoran
Screw Jeter, Ozzie's to0 recent and obvious a pick at short for even the most crazed Yankee fan to vote for the cap'n (or so I hope). But if you want Yankee bias, gimme Graig Nettles at third base! The Brooks Robinson hegemony has gone on long enough!

Keith, Maz, Ozzie, pass, Bench, Mays, Clemente, and Kitty Kaat . . . hmm, how about Ichiro as the last OF? I'm not sure I've ever seen better, and I can't stand Ichiro.

2007-02-19 14:07:23
11.   Cliff Corcoran
BTW, Kaat's got the Yankee fan vote because the YES team used to talk about his fielding constantly.
2007-02-19 14:11:15
12.   Greg Brock
9 That metaphorical horse deserves to be beaten until the metaphorical cows come home.
2007-02-19 14:14:14
13.   Greg Brock
The Brooks Robinson hegemony has gone on long enough!

I, too, am sick and tired of the Oriole hegemony. Balmer has dominated the baseball landscape for far too long! It's time to give the Yankees their proper due!

2007-02-19 15:32:40
14.   das411
Pudge behind the plate, Rolen at 3B.

What, this isn't the All-1990s Popularity Contest?

2007-02-20 00:28:54
15.   Cliff Corcoran
13 I'm going to pretend that I can't read the sarcasm in that and say: amen!

Seriously though, Brooks was/is overrated.

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