Big congratulations to Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter for winning a 2009 Gold Glove Award.
There was never a question about Teixeira's candidacy. He made 4 errors all year, on over 1,200 chances, for a stunning .997 fielding percentage. Along with his consistency, he saved our hides time and again with spectacular defense, including at least twice in the playoffs.
As for Jeter...well...HE'S DEREK JETER, Y'ALL!
Actually, according to my friend Spike (a devoted follower of sabermetrics), Jeter isn't a terrible choice this year. His fielding % is higher than any other AL shortstop (.986), and his range improved to the extent that he's 5th in UZR at the position. Cesar Izturis had similar fielding numbers, and better range, but what can you do? Managers and coaches vote on these things, and someone like Jeter is going to have more name recognition by default. Unfairly, the Gold Glove often goes to a great hitter who may be second or third at his position to a defensive wiz nobody will recognize. Such is life. But the fact remains that Jeter's UZR of 6.6 is a drastic improvement from 2007, when he was at -15.3. The numbers owe a lot to his offseason workout regimen, which included intense focus on lateral movement to bolster range. That improvement deserves recognition, and if it was the ultimate kind, well, I won't complain.
It's slow going in the world of sports today. Last night, I finished a jog and had a small sports jones. I knew there were no interesting football games on, obviously no baseball, and when I looked up the Knicks and Rangers, none of that either. Even preseason college basketball let me down; it's too early. Instead, I had to do actual work and lament the state of things. And now I push that lamentation on to you, readers, with this more or less empty blog post.
Tomorrow or Friday, expect some kind of Duke basketball preview. Be safe.