Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Gold Gloves, Tonk Out and RIP Doc

Both Byron Buxton and Brian Dozier were named winners of the Gold Glove Award on Tuesday.

Buxton, no question. Dozier, not so much. At risk of spoiling what I might comment on when my Handbook series gets to the Fielding Bible Awards section, Dozier wasn't in the top 10 of second basemen in that more-metric oriented approach. As the BIS-arranged voting has it, Ian Kinsler was by far the best fielding second baseman in the American League.

The Gold Gloves have a well-earned reputation for being swayed by a player's hitting, and Dozier has hit more than 100 homers over the past three seasons. Above-average defense and 30-plus homers a season makes him a very good player. But he's not really the best gloveman at his position, as Buxton is.


The Twins sold Michael Tonkin to the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japanese baseball.

This clears another slot off the 40-man roster -- down now to 33 -- and gives Tonkin a better payday than he was going to get if he remained in the States. He'll get more than $2 million from the Fighters, who are expected to use him as their closer. (The team is owned by Nippon Ham; the name is not intended to imply that they are fighting hams.)


Roy Halladay never pitched for the Twins, but he was for a decade one of the best pitchers in the game, and his death in a self-piloted plane crash Tuesday was the biggest news in baseball.

"Doc" Halladay was widely seen during his playing days as a likely Hall of Famer, but he didn't have the usual career path. His decline was brief and sudden, and his career totals (205 wins, 2,749 innings) are resultingly small for Cooperstown.

But his peak was longer than that of Johan Santana, his main rival for the title of Best Pitcher of the 2000s, and there are consensus enshrinees who essentially match Halladay's career totals -- Ed Walsh, Sandy Koufax, Rube Waddell, Dazzy Vance. And a few more dubious honorees.

He becomes eligible for the voting next winter -- I doubt the Hall will waive the five-year rule for him as it did for Roberto Clemente -- and his surprising death may perversely increase his chances of first ballot selection.

I think Halladay will eventually get in, and that's fine. I'm not sure he's a more deserving enshrinee than Mike Mussina or even Curt Schilling, but he should get in, sooner or later. Unfortunately, he won't get to be there to enjoy the honor.

1 comment:

  1. It is a travesty ... that Gold Glove voting is influenced (heavily) by hitting! How Mauer is missed is a surprise.

    Hrbek was also cheated. Mattingly's BA, and later the PED era with all the HR's was the tinsel needed to sway voters.

    If hitting enters in to the selection process, then change the name of the award,