Asdrubal Cabrera? What happened to Jhonny Peralta!?
Both the Indian and the former Indian lost out to Erick Aybar on Tuesday night in the naming of the 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove winners. Many believe that Asdrubal Cabrera was snubbed. But the real man with a gripe is Jhonny Peralta.
I mean come on now, Jhonny Peralta had a 9.9 UZR! Why did this get overlooked? It was better than both Aybar and Cabrera. The other three that had higher UZRs were not even nominated! COME ON!
Jhonny Peratla, as we all know is a stellar defender at making the routine play. In fact, Eric Wedge said he was the best shortstop at making the routine play. The routine play is so crucial. If that doesn't count for anything, I don't know what does.
I'm baffled as to why someone with a track record like Peralta's has been overlooked after turning in year after year of solid glove work at short, except for that one year he was at third, we all knew the Indians were crazy to move him. Jim Leyland rectified this wrong doing by putting Peralta at his rightful position this past season.
And this year, he shined.
Okay, I give up, I can't do this anymore. I was going to carry on this charade of saying Peralta was the best defensive shortstop as a satirical joke, but I cannot continue to do so. Let's be honest, what do these managers evaluate now a days? It certainly is not statistics, which I'm actually okay with. But it also seems to be preferential treatment to players who play for known teams. I'm impressed they even had a few Orioles win the awards, but there were a few grave injustices for this so called "Gold Glove" finalists thing. Let's just look at the shortstop category.
Being Indians fans, we all saw Kansas City, or at least that is my assumption that most of you watched those games. Did anyone notice how fantastic Alcides Escobar was at shortstop? Right and is anyone going to sit here and argue with me that after watching Jhonny Peralta make the "routine play" but screw up every other one for years that he is in fact a better defender than Escobar?
Make the argument. Use whatever statistic you want, you are crazy. UZR? How about no? Any statistic that says Escobar is slightly better than Peralta is not all that valid in my mind.
Which brings me to another point. Any statistic (which in many places is defined as something that can be "unreliable" from year to year) that says Asdrubal Cabrera is one of the worst shortstops in the American League (UZR actually says he's the worst) is quite simply a joke.
I know what I've seen and while Cabrera isn't perfect and he may not be the best, he certainly isn't the worst. He certainly deserved to be nominated as a finalist for the Gold Glove and while I'm upset he did not win, I won't completely go overboard and say he was robbed. I will however for once say that I'm completely homer in this instance in defending him, but it's for the right reasons. Cabrera is a solid shortstop. Is it the spectacular plays? Partially, but if no one else can make those plays, then why discredit him for that? It should be a positive, not a negative.
Point being, we all view defense in different ways, especially the people voting on the award. I choose to not primarily use statistics, but rather my eyes. I've seen all the American League shortstops play, because shocker, I watch a lot of baseball. Is Aybar the best? Debatable. Is Peralta? Not by a long shot.
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