RE: Rawlings™ Gold Gloves, Offense, 1B A.P.
Am pleased to see voting continue apace—remember to place all ballots in the accompanying SASE by Friday. I've had my secretary attach a list of first basemen sorted by games played at first base. I can not stress this enough: please make sure your first place vote goes to someone who played at first base.
In any case, there's been some confusion and someone recommended, as a result, that we reiterate the criteria for selecting a Rawlings™ Gold Glover based on his offensive contributions. You will find this list attached.
- Candidate must be an excellent offensive player. I think this goes without saying.
- Candidate must not be too excellent an offensive player. There is a point at which one's offense simply becomes a distraction, one that may in fact be detrimental to team defense. If one's first baseman hits .357 what's to keep a shortstop from playing down on his heels, content that a run or two can be made up on offense? It's a useful corollary to remember that players whose offensive skills seem ill-suited for their position—not enough power at first, too much speed in an outfield corner—are outstanding defensive players, because if they weren't why would they be playing the position at all?
- When all else fails, just guess. Who's to say? There are lots of great defensive players in the league. Just vote for somebody you think is one!
- Say Rawlings™ before you say Gold Glove. In the phrase "Adrian Gonzalez is going to win the Rawlings™ Gold Glove!", for instance.
- Chris Duncan ready for Spring Training(!?)
- The Cardinals have expressed early interest in Jeremy Affeldt and Arthur Rhodes. Neither is a top-of-the-line lefty reliever; Rhodes, 39 next year, has had intermittent control issues since his Seattle heyday while Affeldt still has those troubling years with Kansas City weighing down his record. But both seem likely to be a significant upgrade at a spot where the Cardinals got no traction all last year.
- Ryan Ludwick or Rick Ankiel might might might be traded, maybe. Honestly this seems to really mean that Ryan Ludwick might be traded—seeing as, at this point, he's already been involved in purported discussions for Braves 2B Kelly Johnson and, now, omnipresent trade icon Matt Holliday.