Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones Gold Glove Deserved?


Jul 12, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) catches a pop-up by New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (not shown) in the ninth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Yankees defeated the Orioles 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

With the Tuesday evening announcements of Rawlings Gold Glove Award recipients, the Baltimore Orioles added three winners for the third consecutive year: Nick Markakis, J.J. Hardy, and Adam Jones.

For Jones individually, it was his third consecutive and the fourth Gold Glove of his career. Whereas Markakis was a no-brainer winner this year, and while Hardy was honestly as good as anyone, it was Jones that at first glance might have not been the statistically obvious choice.

Here are his simple stats as compared to Jackie Bradley of the Red Sox and Adam Eaton of the White Sox.

NameErrorsAssistsFld. Pct.

As I opined in an article on October 27th when the finalists were announced, these awards can be a little bit like being nominated for the homecoming court in high school. The most popular and beautiful have the best shot at winning, even if their character and lives don’t especially deserve it.

The winner is voted upon by coaches around the league which account for 75% of the total, whereas the remaining 25% factors varied sabermetric calculations.

I further stated that Jones makes some great plays, and we have seen some incredible assists from him. But to be fair, his reputation may be a bit larger than life and help him in the voting, though there is no doubt he is among the best in the business.

Boston Globe sports columnist emeritus Bob Ryan certainly thought that Jones was not deserving of the award, and that it should have rather gone to Jackie Bradley of the Red Sox.

So what do we make of this? Is Jones deserving of this award, or has there been an injustice?

Bradley played in a total of 113 games in center field, with a total of 307 defensive chances. Jones played in 155 games with 387 chances. With fewer errors, more assists, and a better fielding percentage, Bradley certainly had an outstanding year defensively.

But the voting parameters for the award involve coaches who have seen a person play. Bradley has not been seen that much or for as long by those who vote in this system. The young man has played in a grand total of 164 games in his entire career! Jones has played 1,081 games.

So Mr. Ryan, this is simply the nature of things. Don’t act like Adam Jones has done something wrong by being a great defensive player and building his resume over nine seasons.

For example Mr. Ryan, you have been writing sports articles since 1968, and I have only been doing so for a relative handful of years by comparison. For 2014, I have written more than you and I am at this moment a better baseball writer and analyst than are you, sir. But you have a resume that I do not have. You would win a Golden Pen Award over me, even for 2014, though you would not deserve it.

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It is this sort of elitist attitude that comes from Boston that makes you and your teams difficult to like. Just sayin’ … life is not always fair. If Bradley is as good as you believe, he’ll win his share of awards.

Congratulations to Adam Jones for his Gold Glove – a well-deserved award. #Letsgetserious