The American League Gold Gloves came out today and, not surprisingly, I'm just going to rip one. You know the one. Derek Jeter won his fifth Gold Glove for whatever it is that he is doing between second and third base. I realize the Gold Gloves are largely awarded because of reputation, some deserving (Ichiro) and some from fairy tales (Jeter). Defensive metrics are far from perfected but I'd be remiss if I didn't throw down a little Jeter hating. And this time it doesn't involve my insane jealousy about him dating Minka Kelly. Here is a quick look at the top short stops in the AL according to FanGraphs Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR).
1. Alexei Ramirez 10.8
2. Cliff Pennington 9.9
4. Elvis Andrus 0.1
7. Derek Jeter -4.7
8. Yuni Betancourt -9.5
9. Jason Bartlett -10.4
My immediate reaction after looking at those stats was blinding bewilderment. I can't believe there was a worse defensive short stop than Yuni but Bartlett apparently had one of those car boots strapped to his leg by the Tampa police.
I can't sit here and tell you if Alexei Ramirez was much better than the rest of the American League short stops based solely on his UZR. But I can tell you, he was definitely far superior to Jeter's drunken hobo wandering around the infield.
Maybe it's time for somebody other than managers and Derek Jeter to vote on the Gold Gloves. But what do I know? I spent half of the day Googling Brad Penny's future wife.