Baseball showed that it can evolve last season by stepping into the late 1990s by instituting replay. Now it's time to to really recognize the best fielders with Gold Gloves. Here's how:
- Take the vote away from coaches and managers - This is easy. These guys know a lot about the game but they don't have time to actually watch the game and pay attention to who the good fielders are. The baseball writers vote for the rest of the awards (minus the silver sluggers) and do a decent enough job at it. Let's give them a shot. I would say they are less likely to go just by a player's reputation. Defensive statistics have increased in popularity in recent years and there are several good metrics to help a voter choose the best candidate. I highly doubt a manager is going to peruse a statistics site to check on a fielder for his Gold Glove ballot... but maybe a writer will.
- Make the voting public - Right now there are no counts to show that Derek Jeter beat Elvis Andrus by one vote or 14 votes. Let's start to hold the voters accountable by publishing some vote totals.
- Award a Gold Glove to a LF, a CF, and a RF - Presently, there are three generic "outfield" Gold Gloves. Absolute garbage. You can't compare a center fielder to any other position because they cover more ground than either of the corner positions. At the same time, a guy like Carl Crawford will never be recognized for his outstanding defense because he's not a center fielder. If infielders are split up by position, there is no reason why outfielders can't be.