Ichiro Should Have No Gold Gloves

If it’s November, it must be time for our annual rant about the Gold Glove awards.

We’ll even pass on the predictable outrage over Derek Jeter winning a fifth Gold Glove. Too easy. We’ll leave that for these guys.

Instead, let’s talk about Ichiro and his 10 Gold Gloves. Now, Ichiro is a great right fielder, but the operative phrase there is “right” fielder.

As long as Gold Gloves are awarded to three outfielders in each league and not separated by position, it is absurd for a right fielder to win a Gold Glove. Any Gold Glove, let alone 10.

The average AL right fielder in 2010 made 2.10 plays per nine innings; the average left fielder made 2.07. Meanwhile, the average AL center fielder made 2.73 plays per nine innings. We’ll spare you the math, but there’s no way that a left fielder or right fielder has as much defensive value as even an average center fielder.

Ichiro made 2.30 plays per nine innings, and that ranked 14th in the league among outfielders playing at least 100 games. Proving once again that Gold Gloves might be the most poorly considered awards this side of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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