The season of firsts for the Rays is not over. Next up, Carlos Pena, the first winner of a Gold Glove award in franchise history as the best defensive first baseman in the American League.
The American League champions had several players who could have won Gold Glove awards, [Pena] said. That didn’t temper the 30-year-old first baseman’s excitement when he was informed by Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman that he had been named the top defensive player at his position in the AL by managers and coaches…”I called everybody. My wife was extremely excited. We got excited when Andrew was on the phone, and we were celebrating and screaming,” Pena said.
And what does it take to win a gold glove? According to Rob Neyer of ESPN.com, the formula is “Good Fielder + Great Hitter = Gold Glove”. It is hard to argue with the track record of the voters, which in turn tempers our excitement for Pena. It is difficult to get excited about an award that was also given to Michael Young, who many have argued is one of the worst defensive shortstops in baseball and Nate McLouth, ditto for outfielders.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Smith has a super-duper, most bestest, greatest column ever written on the Rays. It should be nominated for a Pulitzer [Ed. note: Mrs. Professor recently met Joe and she says he seems like a nice guy and that we should go easy on him]. Really, it is like the awesomest ever! Smith says the Rays two biggest questions this offseason are right field and who will be the closer. When asked who would close in 2009, Joe Maddon said he wasn’t sure, and that he needs to first “find out where [Percival] is physically and mentally.” Smith also notes that Percival has yet to have surgery on his back or his knee and that both are still possible. [St. Pete Times]
- MLB is going to vote next month to change the way home field is determined for one-game playoffs, from a coin-flip to head-to-head record. [ESPN]
- David Chalk over at Bugs and Cranks is happy for Carlos Pena, but slightly upset that no other Rays won a Gold Glove award. And by “slightly upset” we mean “dropping f-bombs left and right.” [Bugs and Cranks]
- A neat story about a longtime Rays fan at Rice University who finally feels vindication after years of abuse. [The Rice Thresher]