Feeling Silver And Gold

Pardon me for a minute as I wipe away the cobwebs that I’ve unintentionally allowed to pile up around my little section of this site lately. Real life and such, you know.

Gold Gloves came out two days ago and Silver Sluggers yesterday, and I was borderline giddy to see so many Cardinal boys rolling through the lists. I mean, do you realize that it’s already been over a month since we last saw the boys of Busch? I’m sad just thinking about it! Suddenly though some of the favorites are in the news, and people have more to talk about besides the non-news of Pujols’ contract negotiations or which players might or might not get traded in all the Hot Stove chatter (Erika can’t take any more talk like this!!!).

First up, the Gold Gloves (Derrick Goold has all the numbers-y stuff here):

For Albert, he takes home his second GG, after picking up his first four years ago in that distant memory known as the 2006 championship year. Watching Albert play first is like watching a coiled spring that is about to *boing* and fly across the room (I teach middle school – this is a daily¬†occurrence). He literally snaps at the ball sometimes, diving to get a ball that he had no business getting to, making crazy picks out of the dirt when the defense is just hurling junk at him (No offense boys, but did you look at what happened at third after Freese went down? I saw a lot of ‘YIKES’ throws this year). My absolute favorite play though is when he and Yadi have that crazy ESP thing going that allows them to pick guys off of first with no real signal that I’ve been able to discern.

Speaking of our GG catcher, Yadi never fails to impress. His cannon of an arm gunned down half the runners that even attempted to go off of him, but most teams are too smart to even try. His numbers don’t even look that gaudy when compared to the league leaders in terms of number of runners gunned down, but that’s also because those catchers had probably twice the chances and allowed three times as many runners to advance safely. Not quite fair to match up the counting numbers then. The fact is that you could rotate most of the lineup (minus Albert and Holliday) in and out and not notice just too terribly much when you combine defense and offense. No Yadi? Yikes. People noticed that. To be fair, Jason LaRue, Matt Pagnozzi and Bryan Anderson didn’t get a chance to log a lot of innings, but when they were out there, people took note.

The question that was posed to me (beyond the one I thought myself that had something to do with Brendan of course) was this: “What did your boy (Adam Wainwright) do to not be deserving of the award this year that he picked up for the first time last year?”

*shrug* I dunno. Guess I hadn’t really thought about it. The Gold Glove awards are kind of a ‘win one and keep winning until you retire or spend the year on the DL’ type thing. Non-New York loving AL fans are probably still seeing smoke come out of their ears trying to comprehend how Derek Jeter picked up the GG this year. He’s not the top defensive shortstop in the league anymore. He is the star power, and he is the incumbent. Case closed. But in Adam’s defense (get it? defense? never mind), if there was one award he was going to pick up this offseason, that would not be the one I would have chosen. Still waiting on the Cy to be announced of course, but I’m not going to be surprised at all if/when he loses to Roy Halladay. Dude’s a beast.

Nope. Not talking about Brendan. This isn’t the same day and age where you can hit for peanuts and glove like Ozzie and win stuff, especially when you don’t play on a coast. If he was going to lose, I’ve made peace with losing to Tulo. It’s a defense award, but you just can’t win it when you hit that badly.

On to the Silver Slugger. You know, I’ve never been one to get riled up about Silver Sluggers. I don’t even get how these awards are chosen. Some are voted on by peers, some by writers, some by managers and coaches. What a mess. The BCS doesn’t make any sense, but at least it uses a common algorithm every week.

*ahem* I digress.

King Albert picked up his sixth (third in a row) Silver Slugger, and people almost sound surprised about it. I mean, yes, obviously Joey Votto had a really really great year this year. People are still talking about him winning the MVP award. I’m not entirely sure myself if I could have written down Albert’s name over Votto’s for MVP this year, and that’s saying something. The word ‘impartial’ is not in my vocabulary when it comes to having to not pick sides and one side is my favorite team. I want my boy to win. I’m glad Albert won. It means he has the offense and defensive awards, now wouldn’t it be a trip if he loses the MVP?

Holliday picked up his fourth Silver Slugger. In all honesty, talks of his ‘clutch’ performance are beyond old. The Cardinals opened up their wallets and brought in a great player. The great player played like he was supposed to. Some people howled every time he couldn’t bring Albert home after an IBB, but there were a lot of them! You can’t expect anyone to be able to get a hit every time the guy on front of you gets on base. It just does not work that way. Matt Holliday earned this one.

These three guys aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Just writing about them again I’m ready to see them all out there every day playing.

Winter is going to be cruel. Even all this silver and gold, while making me smile more than a little, cannot help the days tick off fast enough! Maybe I’ll post again soon… or at least make sure a month doesn’t zip on by again!

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