No Gold for Ike, But Some Orange for Me.
November 12th, 2010 by slangon

The other day, Major League Baseball and Rawlings announced the winners of the 2010 Gold Glove awards. By now most folks know that the the National League award for first base went to Albert Pujols. Although Ike Davis did not win, I was pretty happy that people were at least mentioning his name in connection to the award in his first year od Major League play. I guess all those railing flips got people’s attention.

I’m not a big Sabermetrics guy. It’s not that I don’t buy into it. They do seem to be more to the point when it comes to measuring a players performance in various aspects of the game. I just don’t understand them. I was very curious though when I kept hearing the UZR stat pop up in the Ike Davis Gold Glove discussion, mostly because his UZR rating was the highest in the N.L. by almost twice that of the 2nd place guy and almost 7 times higher that Pujols.

According to Saberlibrary.com, UZR, or Ultimate Zone Rating is defined as:

One of the two best publicly available defensive statistics, if not the best.  UZR is tougher to understand intuitively than the Dewan +/- system, but the basic gist is that UZR puts a run value to defense, attempting to quantify how many runs a player saved or gave up through their fielding prowess (or lack thereof).

I guess the basic gist is that UZR is the number of runs that you saved (if you have a positive number) or how many runs you cost your team (if you have a negative number. I’m looking at you Prince Fielder) due to your defensive ability at a particular position. That seems to be a bit more concrete to me than basing the award on errors and fielding percentage. After all, if you have a shortstop who has little to no range (Jeter) and they consistently do not get to balls that most shortstops would, it doesn’t matter too much how few errors they commit.

Here’s a breakdown of the UZR for all National League first basemen who I assume would be eligible for the award from an innings played standpoint (Do you believe that I couldn’t find the actual innings requirement for the Gold Glove award? In this day and age? Does anyone out there know how many innings a guy has to play at a certain position to be eligible?):

Player UZR
Ike Davis 10.1
Adam La Roche 5.2
Derrek Lee 2.1
Albert Pujols 1.5
James Loney 1.3
Adrian Gonzalez 1.1
Gaby Sanchez -0.1
Todd Helton -1.9
Adam Dunn -3.1
Garrett Jones -6.2
Prince Fielder -7.4
Troy Glaus -8.3
Ryan Howard -12.6

As you can see, Ike clearly topped the league in that particular defensive statistic. I do realize that the Golden Glove Award is not the “Best UZR Award”, so just because he topped the league in that particular stat doesn’t necessarily mean he should win. I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, I had gotten this card a while back and was saving it on the outside chance that Ike actually won the Gold Glove. So I guess I’ll just show it now.

I want to start off by saying that I’m not that a huge fan of refractors. Actually, scratch that. I have nothing personal against refractors. I understand why people like them. They look cool, especially these colored refractors. This particular orange one happens to look extra cool to me being as orange is one of the Mets team colors. I can imagine that it might not look quite as cool if I were a fan of say the Yankees or the Rockies, but Night Owl already covered that point quite succinctly.

I guess my problem with refractors, and I guess this is more a problem with the state of the hobby in general, is that it seems to me that now a days it’s not enough to just get a guys rookie card. When I first started to collect cards back in ’83-’84, I would get as excited by pulling a Strawberry or Boggs rookie card as if I had pulled a relic or autograph today. But now if it’s not a Super-X Rainbow Black Chrome Autographed Relic Refractor with GPS and and Blue Ray player serial numbered to less than 3, nobody seems to card. If I had gotten just the plain vanilla base card variety of Ike’s rookie I would of been super psyched because I like Ike a lot and I think he’s going to be a real good player for a real long time. I also probably wouldn’t have even bothered making a post of it.

Anyway, congrats to Ike on a fine rookie year and I’m looking forward to showing off some more of his cards this time next year when he does bring home some hardware.

2 Responses to “No Gold for Ike, But Some Orange for Me.”

  1. I wonder about the innings requirement as well. Apparently Rafael Palmeiro won in the late 90’s even though he only played 28 defensive games at 1B (the rest were DH). So whatever the limit, I’m guessing it’s pretty lenient, at least in terms of innings in the field.

  2. That’s pretty interesting. I wonder if there is a requirement. I would have to think so. I mean, Mike Hessman played 53 innings at 1st for the Mets and his URZ over the course of 150 games would average out to 17.7, so maybe he should win a Gold Glove.

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