Nationals Baseball: Gold Glove Throughts

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gold Glove Throughts

Adam won it.  Ian didn't. Danny really should have been a finalist... Anyone care about these things? For years the awards were our way of looking at disparate stats (for example on offense : average, RBI, HR, etc.) and deciding which player had the best combination that year given his various circumstances. It was a stamp that signified "Yes you were the best at X this year" because we knew no better way of doing it.

Now of course we do know a better way.  Not a perfect way of course, just a better one, relying on statistical analysis to at least narrow the award fields to a couple of legitimate choices from which whatever personal bias you prefer to throw in there can make the final decision. It's the way things are slowly moving and frankly it's a pretty boring end point. At some point the analysis will be good enough to make all the choices a 1 in 3, 1 in 4 affair at best and more often than we'd like, a obvious no-brainer. Yawn.

What advanced statistical analysis should let us do now is liberate the awards from any sort of statistical backing. Not just Adjusted OPS, (fWAR+bWAR)/2, and UZR but also RBI, AVG, and W.  We know who is the best X this year. That's settled. Why argue about it? What's the point in having an award that says "Yes, 2+2 does equal 4."?

Future votes shouldn't be framed like that.  It should just be "who do you think is the best".  Have fun with it.  Stress that "valuable" in MVP like some people do and explicitly say that means what ever you want it to mean. Best player down the stretch? Sure. Inspirational story? Sure. Most fun player to watch? Sure. Let it be everything. Awards are silly emotional things so just run with that and encourage people to vote anyway they want.

Except Adam LaRoche for MVP.  That's just stupid.


Donald said...

Desmond didn't get the Golden Glove but he really should win the Silver Slugger.

Is either more prestigious?

Positively Half St. said...

I think the Gold Glove has always been more prestigious, because it is really the only defensive award given. The Silver Slugger always seems to be overshadowed by other offensive awards. Anyway, is the act of hitting any different because you play a certain position in the field? The competition between players of the same position only makes sense to me because everyone has settled on the minimum amount of offense one must achieve to be successful at each position. First basemen are supposed to have power, but hitting can be secondary for a good shortstop.


WiredHK said...

Can we come up with an award that goes to the guy who was the most balanced at his position? Meaning, the guy who had the best combined fielding ranking and overall batting stats for each spot on the field? That's an award I can get behind. We'll call it the Platinum Player award. You can't just be good at one or the other, it measures your overall combined ability.

Harper, you're a metrics guy, so you choose the stats we'll use. Action! Oh and Ian wins this award for SS in the NL, I'll tell you that right now. So tailor the metrics to make him win. :)

Harper said...

D & 1/2ST>0 - I agree with postitively. They are both conditional awards ("best for a BLANK") GG is conditional by necessity, SS conditional by choice.
You can't judge GG out of context of the position, you can for SS.

Wired HK - so not most productive (which would be WAR) but most balanced. What about running? Want that in there too? We can call it the Jack of All Trades and it'll be topped by Joe Morgan and Craig Biggio in a lightsaber-esque duel with bats.

WiredHK said...

Exactly. Running, how did I forget running? Yes, it must be in there but not overly weighted to just steals. We need to factor in not making dumb outs (like the first or third out at third, etc) and advancing to home from 2nd on singles a good majority of the time.

Jack of All Trades is a quality name. And the duel sounds festive...I'll take Biggio plus the points (he will be a dog in that one)...

seamus said...

Haha the "JOAT" award, i love it. So there's one Jack of All Trades per position per league, right? Is there any way on earth Zimmerman doesn't win the NL 3rd base JOAT? No way

David said...

Zim would probably lose the NL JOAT at third this year to Headley. Who was better with the bat and on the basepaths and plays very solid D.

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