Maui boy Shane Victorino was awarded his third straight Gold Glove yesterday, a recognition of the rock-solid outfield defense that helped his Philadelphia Philles get to the National League Championship Series (where, I am contractually obligated to mention, they lost in six games to my San Francisco Giants).
Kudos to Shane; he deserved it. Too bad the Gold Gloves are, by and large, a joke. They’re voted on by managers and coaches, who theoretically should know as well as anyone. But remember, they only see opposing players a handful of times throughout the year; one or two great (or bad) plays may stick in their mind, clouding their judgement about who was really the best defensive player at a given position over the course of a 162-game grind. Add the fact that they often pick guys based on reputation (see Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, who won again despite having the range of a geriatric armadillo) and basically every year there are more head-scratching snubs than worthy picks–which, again, makes Victorino’s honor all the sweeter.