Center fielder Shane Victorino won his third-straight Gold Glove this afternoon, joining the ranks of Mike Schmidt, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Rollins, Garry Maddox and Manny Trillo as Phillies who've won the award at least three times.
Beerleaguer: The selection of Derek Jeter yesterday reminds us that the award is what it is. It doesn't exist to validate readers of the Fielding Bible and Fangraphs or the other models that Beerleaguers hold most dear. But there's a wholesome nativite to the Gold Glove that I can appreciate as an escape form this digital space. The award, voted on by mangers and coaches in the American and National League, rarely deviates once a player has gained a reputation at his position, or popularity at his position, in the case of Jeter, who actually had a better than average season by his own standards but still far short of an unknown like Alexei Ramirez, who rated highest among the advanced shortstop metrics.
That said, Victorino, an above average defender by those same measures, hardly qualifies as an undeserving recipient. He lead the league in assists and finished fifth in fielding percentage (.995). Besides that, I know that I watched an excellent defender prowl the outfield and save his pitchers from loads of trouble time and time again this season. He's absolutely expert at ranging Citizens Bank Park and plays fluidly when he's on the road. That's what I saw. I didn't see enough of Drew Stubbs, Marlon Byrd or the other guys who might have been slighted.
The Gold Glove seems to reward "good guys," too. Vics strikes me as something of a pest for opposing teams, so to gain the approval of his peers for three-straight years says a lot to me.