Ryan and Ackley fall short in Gold Glove voting

Oct 30, 2012, 8:00 PM | Updated: Oct 31, 2012, 5:30 pm

By Shannon Drayer

For Dustin Ackley, I would imagine it was an honor to be announced as a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Just three years into playing second base it is great recognition. Brendan Ryan missing out on the award is a different matter. Apparently, managers and coaches from opposing teams were not paying attention.

Robinson Cano of the Yankees topped Ackley while J.J. Hardy of Baltimore took the honors at shortstop. Ryan blew away the competition at shortstop in the Fielding Bible Awards with 27 defensive runs saved. Hardy had 18. In UZR Ryan finished with a 14.7 rating while Hardy was well behind with a 11.4. Not even close.

You want sparkly plays? Ryan had those with a good number of web gems and plays that if you were watching would have left you shaking your head. I think it is safe to say that a few of those plays could only have been pulled off by Ryan.

What he didn’t have was the lead in traditional stats.

Ryan trailed Hardy in fielding percentage and errors. Ironically, his great range may be what contributed to this as there were times he his got glove on a ball he had no business getting to only to see it get by. His great play in a sense was raising the bar on his numbers. Numbers that should mean far less than the more advanced metrics. Numbers that it would appear went unnoticed by the managers and coaches who voted.

While the award is intended to be given to the best defensive player at each position in each league, in reality it is given to the player that the managers and coaches believe is the best player. I have seen them filling out ballots from time to time throughout the years and talking about who they would vote for and I cannot remember a time UZR or defensive runs saved came up. I don’t know how much homework they do. I suspect it is minimal seeing that they vote during the season when they don’t have a ton of time to focus on other players. They most likely are voting on what they have seen with their own eyes and as they cannot vote for their own players, they are only looking at a handful of games that they saw firsthand.

The system is far from perfect if it is intended to name the best defensive players. It is certainly interesting to see who the managers view as the best, but if it is to truly identify the best then perhaps finalists should be chosen by a panel that will do the homework and then passed on to the managers and coaches along with notes on all of the statistics.

It is tough to see Ryan denied the award but to tell you the truth I was surprised to hear that he was even voted a finalist. Despite his terrible hitting numbers and playing for a last-place team, his play received a high level of recognition and that feels like a step in the right direction.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Kolten Wong...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: What Mariners are getting in Kolten Wong, what’s next in offseason

Just what are the Mariners getting in new 2B Kolten Wong? Shannon Drayer has the details with quotes from GM Justin Hollander.
22 hours ago
Mariners Kolten Wong...
Brandon Gustafson

Wyman & Bob react to Mariners trading Winker and Toro for Wong

The Mariners have a new 2B in Kolten Wong. Wyman and Bob react to the trade, which sends Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro to Milwaukee.
22 hours ago
Mariners Kolten Wong...
Brandon Gustafson

Mariners acquire 2B Wong from Brewers for Winker and Toro

The Mariners have added two-time Gold Glove 2B Kolten Wong from the Milwaukee Brewers for Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro.
22 hours ago
Mariners Trea Turner Cody Bellinger...
Brandon Gustafson

Mariners Hot Stove Hype: All-Star Trea Turner, former MVP Cody Bellinger

The Dodgers had two potential Mariners free-agent targets in Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger, so announcer Jim Neverett broke down the players.
22 hours ago
Mariners Luis Castillo...
Mike Salk

Salk: Take a breath — how to understand Mariners’ approach to improving

What was Jerry Dipoto getting at about the Mariners' approach to payroll during his Seattle Sports show Thursday? Mike Salk puts it all into perspective.
22 hours ago
Mariners Cal Raleigh George Kirby...
Shannon Drayer

Talking Mariners Podcast: Breaking down Dipoto’s comments on payroll

M's pregame/postgame hosts Shannon Drayer and Curtis Rogers are back for a new Talking Mariners, with the latest Jerry Dipoto Show taking focus.
2 days ago
Ryan and Ackley fall short in Gold Glove voting