The American League results of the winter's biggest punchline are out, and the good news is that both Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez managed to pick up Gold Gloves. The awesome news is that Torii Hunter did not. Hunter and Ichiro each came into the year riding a streak of nine consecutive awards, but only Ichiro has made it into double digits. As much as these things don't matter, at least they're actively not mattering in our favor.
Voting on these honors is done by AL managers and coaches, and, as has long been apparent, this is an imperfect system. We don't even need to bring UZR or +/- into this - you just can't expect much accuracy from a pool of voters who are basing their decisions on a handful of plays they observed over the course of the year. Sometimes people joke that a player only won because he made a highlight-reel play back in June, but then those are, after all, the plays that stand out in one's memory. So, who knows?
There's no sense in pointing out all that's wrong with the Gold Glove process. Not again, not anymore. Everybody knows it's screwed up. We're all the preachers, and we're all the choir. The only reason these awards matter at all is that the players like receiving them, so rather than complain about how unfair and subjective it all is, I'm just going to be happy that, in a season so terrible, twowere recognized, and one for the first time. The first Gold Glove is the hardest to win, so kudos to Gutierrez for locking it up despite a mediocre year at the plate. He earned this, whether he earned it in 2010 or in 2009.
And, of course, Ichiro's totally amazing. There should probably be an annual Ichiro Award, that's always given to Ichiro, until he retires, at which point the award is no longer handed out.
Derek Jeter. Hilarious. But Ichiro and Gutierrez? Whatever. We can bitch, or we can be happy. I choose to be happy. In 2010, we've all bitched enough.