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Buehrle Wins Fielding Bible Award

by Mike DePilla
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
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Some quick hits on what is, thanks to the brilliance of Tim Lincecum and the age-defying production of Edgar Renteria, the last day of the 2010 season.

Hot off the presses, here are the results of the 2010 Fielding Bible Awards. Based on the rankings of ten panelists, the Fielding Bible award is similar to the Gold Glove in that its name references defense, but different in that it is actually awarded based on defense. (It's shocking but true- Derek Jeter didn't receive a single vote.)

White Sox with significant spots on the list: Mark Buehrle finished first among pitchers, Alexei Ramirez was third among shortstops and Juan Pierre was ninth among leftfielders. (Mark Kotsay was presumed to finish first among DHs.)

Others Sox receiving votes: Omar Vizquel finished 14th among thirdbasemen, Alex Rios was 15th among centerfielders, AJ Pierzynski was 17th among catchers and Andruw Jones was 19th among rightfielders. No votes at all for Paul Konerko or Gordon Beckham (and of course Carlos Quentin and Mark Teahen, but you knew that).

A chart:

NAME POS FINISH SCORE
Mark Buehrle P 1st 86
Alexei Ramirez SS 3rd 69
Juan Pierre LF 9th 19
Omar Vizquel 3B 14th 4
Alex Rios CF 15th 10
AJ Pierzynski C 17th 3
Andruw Jones RF 19th 2


Overall I think it is a solid list, with deserving winners. Defensive metrics are still imperfect, and subjective analysis still has more of a place than it does on offense. (For example, I am more inclined to give credibility to an observer saying "Player X's defense is better than the numbers" than I am to Hawk or Farmio saying "Mark Kotsay's numbers don't show it, but he is hitting the ball great this season.")

In any case, UZR is my go-to defensive stat, and these Fielding Bible rankings are very similar to UZR rankings for the season. All of the Fielding Bible winners were ranked in the top two of UZR at their positions as well, with the exception on Evan Longoria, who ranked first in FB but only fifth in UZR.

One thing I did find interesting was how low Rios was ranked. For the record, Rios finished 9th in UZR for the 2010 season with a 3.3. (One season is considered a small sample size for UZR anyway; it's best to judge over three years.) His range and athleticism is impressive, but maybe the panelists were less impressed with his inaccurate arm?

In any case, congrats to Buehrle (who should pick up his second Gold Glove in a matter of days), and here's hoping we see Beckham, and maybe even Brent Morel, on this list a year from now.

******

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning their first World Series in San Francisco and their first as a franchise in 56 years. Lincecum, Cain and Bumgarner. Wow. The retreads that made up the starting line up for that team would indeed be laughed at in the American League, but with a those three, all homegrown, at the top of the pitching staff they should always be a contender.

In their last turn each this series, they allowed a total of one run over 23.2 innings, all against the best and hottest-hitting team in the AL. Outside of the Sox four consecutive complete games in the 2005 ALCS, that was the most impressive pitching performance I've ever seen in a single series.

******

At the risk of getting a severe noogie, I have to disagree with Nolan Ryan, who last week said he is not a fan of the DH and would be in favor of eliminating it completely. I'm sorry, but I don't see an advantage, at all, to getting rid of the DH. I believe the system is fine the way it is, with the DH in the AL and not in the NL; I have no problem with the divergence of the system. Making the pitchers hit in the AL would only worsen the game. Pass.

******

In case you haven't heard, Ozzie Guillen, last seen showing off his World Series ring while name-dropping Mark Kotsay and joking about Juan Uribe's weight on the FOX pre/post-game World Series show, is now blogging for MLB.com.

The blog is clearly ghost-written by someone with cleaner English and better-typing skills (Ozzie admits on Twitter that his son Oney is helping a lot), and will probably offer none of the Aqua Teen or Simpsons references found here at White Sox Mix. But it does create another soapbox for him to preach from, this one longer than 140 characters. Don't expect anything too crazy (this is an official MLB blog, after all), but it will still be interesting to keep an eye on.


******

The offseason starts tomorrow; who's ready for Trader Kenny to start wheeling and dealing?

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