E-Rawlings

Great.  A storied glove manufacturer, not content with the hacktastic job done in the form of an annually awarded oversized, unusable, metallic baseball mitt, decides to memorialize the incompetence of the voters in the form of an all-time Gold Glove team.  It’s easy to guess a certain shortstop who made the final 50.  Let’s just say that everyone loves a meritocracy popularity-driven marketing campaign.  It’s one thing to try to intelligently and critically determine an all-time squad of fielding greats over the past 50+ years – that actually might be a fun debate. It’s another thing to cynically include players who have no right being considered at the top of the all-time heap just to drive traffic.  That’s just a joke. 

Boo hiss.

8 comments… add one

  • Cynically? Isn’t that just pushing it? It’s not Rawlings’s fault the voters don’t choose sabermetrically/sf approved candidates. Promoting baseball history/literacy, while in the interest of Rawlings—especially with their name attached to the prize—is certainly a good thing for baseball; manufacturers have been doing this since the 19th century, with Albert Spalding being only the most aggressive marketer. Nothing wrong here. If you don’t like Jeter, don’t vote for him. But please keep in mind he’s made some pretty important defensive plays over his career, and that these, I think justifiably, in part account for his appearance here.

    YF February 20, 2007, 10:31 pm
  • if you ever get tired of eating those sour grapes sf, you can take the leftovers and make w[h]ine…

    dc February 20, 2007, 11:22 pm
  • The fans are only picking from a pre-culled list of 50 winners at all positions, not picking the finalists. So trying to make me into some kind of fan-basher isn’t going to cut it, YF. It’s interesting that YF, the historian, loses all sorts of historical intellectual honesty when Jeter is involved. “he’s made some pretty important defensive plays over his career” is a total copout, considering the competition that Jeter has in the category, historically speaking. Isolating a few hallmark plays isn’t the ticket to a deep understanding of overall greatness; Kirk Gibson hit an important and iconic home run – does that make him one of the best sluggers of all time? Furthering the game’s history honestly, and developing knowledge of the great players from the past for younger fans is being subsituted by name recognition; that IS cynical, as far as I am concerned.
    The counterargument I might buy is that Jeter’s name being on the ballot gets kids to the Rawlings site, and therefore they learn about all the other candidates, players they haven’t heard of. All of a sudden, Mark Belanger (is he even a finalist?) is known for his defensive wizardry. But the cynic in me tells me that isn’t going to happen. Kids are going to click through, punch the name they know (and love), and history be damned.

    SF February 21, 2007, 1:03 am
  • The thing is, it’s not like Rawlings is going to come out and say, “Our award’s kind of crappy…it usually turns into a popularity contest. Our bad. Since some of these guys didn’t really deserve the GG’s they won, they won’t be on our ballot.”
    The guys on that list have all won multiple GG’s. If that’s the only criteria…they couldn’t very well go ahead and exclude Jeter or anybody else, right? Clearly somebody like Ozzie Smith or Aparicio deserve it…but simply giving the award to whoever had the most Gloves at each position would kind of defeat the purpose of the voting. If the GG system itself weren’t flawed, and I’m not just talking about Jeter here, then the ballot would be sound. Really, the gripe should just be that the wrong guys keep winning…I’ve no problem with Jeter appearing on the ballot, given the criteria. I’m still mildly irritated that he keeps winning the award, but like I said, that’s a different issue…

    desturbd1 February 21, 2007, 1:20 am
  • The ballot of 50 players was set in December by a congress of nearly 70 baseball historians and experts, including those who played the game, managed the game, and reported on the game. The ballot was created from the more than 250 players who have ever won a Rawlings Gold Glove. The panel identified 18 outfielders, six fielders at each infield position (first, second and third base and shortstop), five catchers and three pitchers.
    Panelists include skippers who won multiple Manager of the Year awards, Ford C. Frick award winners, J.G. Taylor Spink award winners, and other baseball experts, including broadcasters, historians, and current and former presidents of the Baseball Writers Association of America: from Bob Costas to Vin Scully, from Tommy Lasorda to Tony LaRussa, from Ernie Harwell to Harry Kalas to Hank Bauer to Tim Kurkjian.

    There you go. A “congress”. Likely a “congress” involving emails and a couple of mass mailings. Who held the gavel, the corpse of Ring Lardner?
    And it appears that winning multiple GGs was not the only criterion, if one at all. Flawed award, flawed all-time award, I suppose, like D1 says.
    All I can ask is that if you choose, choose wisely.

    SF February 21, 2007, 6:52 am
  • …if it’s so flawed, why care at all, in fact why have this discussion at all?…surely we’re not going to fix what we perceive is wrong with the process…
    …whether we older guys like it or not, the sport needs to continue to market to the younger kids to get them and keep them interested in the game…if that means passing off a good ss like jeter as a great ss, so who does it hurt, except the guys that don’t like jeter, and the guy that deserves the honor?…if i had earned such an award, but it went to someone else, and the whole world knew that the process was bogus, it wouldn’t trouble me much…

    dc February 21, 2007, 8:23 am
  • I didn’t suggest you were a fan basher; just that you were a Rawlings basher, and that there’s nothing cynical about putting out an all-time GG team, or even Jeter’s appearance thereupon. I think you could call Jeter’s inclusion controversial, but hardly cynical. Obviously, there’s a large contingent of knowledgable baseball people who feel he’s a great fielder (even if they’re wrong), and those special plays do, in fact, make him stand apart from many others. Does he deserve to be on the ballot? I doubt it. But is his inclusion cynical? Not in my opinion.
    Anyway, Ozzie Smith is gonna take the SS crown. But maybe you were hoping for Rick Burleson?

    YF February 21, 2007, 9:35 am
  • So much envy, so few rings.

    john February 21, 2007, 1:13 pm

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