The Gold Glove is a joke of an award these days. The process determining the winners is hopelessly flawed in conception (are other players and managers the best judge of this stuff?) and almost but not quite always results in the wrong people winning (No Peter Bourjos? Really?). But hey, an award is an award and it’s fun to be surprised who wins it when the announcement comes, right?
Well, not in this case.
For the first time ever ESPN televised the Gold Glove announcement last night. Before the announcement, however, its p.r. site promoted the show, listing the finalists for the award at each position in its press release. Tell me if you notice anything funny about the list of finalists, as taken from a screen capture of the page:
Notice anything? Like, how the guy who was later announced as the winner has his name written in a smaller font? As if it were pasted in from a list of the winners or something, messing with the formatting? Happens to bloggers all the time, I hear, but I’ve never seen a press release like this tip news-to-come.
Now, to be fair: this wasn’t brought to my attention until after the awards were announced last night and it’s possible that these names were altered on the web site after the fact to reflect the winners. Possible, but not probable, however, because the rest of the release is still in the future tense and nothing else denoting the winners as winners has been done. Press releases are a lot of things, but subtle is not one of them. If they were actually wanting to make a second announcement — who won, not who was nominated — a second release or a radically-updated initial release almost certainly would have issued.
This is pretty unimportant — like I said, the Gold Glove award stinks on ice, and p.r. as a concept is the very definition of frivolous — but it’s funny that the only thing interesting the award had going for it the year (i.e. the awards show) was subject to a spoiler.
UPDATE: I was not aware of this before because I missed the comments, but reader brucewaynewins caught this and noted it in the thread below the Fielding Bible post that went up late Monday night. Great catch, Bruce!
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.
Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.
He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.
Jed Lowrie, who was traded from the Astros to the A’s in 2013 and then re-signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, has now been traded back to the A’s.
Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal from the Astros with the idea that he’d play shortstop in the first season and then move to another position whenever stud prospect Carlos Correa arrived. Instead he got hurt right away, Correa became an immediate star, and the Astros weren’t so keen on paying him $15 million over the next two seasons.
He could resume playing shortstop for the A’s, who watched rookie Marcus Semien make an absurd number of errors there this year. Lowrie hit .271 with a .738 OPS in two seasons in Oakland, which is similar to his career totals and makes him a solidly above-average offensive shortstop. There’s a decent chance the A’s will have a Lowrie-Lawrie double-play duo in 2016.
In return the Astros get minor leaguer Brendan McCurry, a 24-year-old right-hander who split 2015 between high Single-A and Double-A with a 1.86 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 63 relief innings. He was a 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 and doesn’t have exceptional raw stuff, but McCurry’s numbers are incredible so far.
There have been a lot of articles published in the past few days about how to navigate awkward Thanksgiving conversations with your relatives. Heck, we even wrote one.
But there’s always room for more! Such as “How to talk to your father at Thanksgiving dinner about the fact that he let you walk away from the only team you’ve ever known to sign with a division rival.” Which is what Alex Avila will likely be talking about with his father, Tigers GM Al Avila:
The older Avila can’t even say he did it because he’s opposed to nepotism. After all, he just hired his other son — who has had his law degree for just over a year — as the Tigers assistant legal counsel for baseball operations. Though I’m sure that wasn’t nepotism. He probably just aced the interview and impressed everyone more than the other candidates did.
OK, those are jokes. In all seriousness, this is a good move for Alex and Al and, probably, the White Sox. With the emergence of James McCann, there really is not space for Alex Avila in Detroit in anything other than a backup capacity. In Chicago, he’ll get more playing time. At least if he can (a) stay healthy; and (b) not hit .191/.339/.287 again like he did in 2015.
The best thing about minor Thanksgiving week transactions is that they are almost certainly done by GMs frantically looking for some work to do rather than go pick up their in-laws at the airport. I mean, sure, the player in question could very easily be an important player who fills a key role in the organization, but it’s not like it couldn’t have waited until Monday, right? This is the GM equivalent of you pretending you have to run into the office on Wednesday afternoon and, in reality, driving around in your car, listening to Neil Young and promising that NEXT YEAR you’re just doing a small Thanksgiving dinner with no family and, maybe, might even go on a little trip, just you and the wife.
Or is that just me? OK, maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, that’s how I’m choosing to view the Pirates activity today. First they traded for Allen Webster and now they’re signing minor league free agent first baseman/outfielder Jake Goebbert, according to Adam Berry of MLB.com.
Goebbert, 28, hit .294 with an .844 OPS and 10 homers for Triple-A El Paso last season. He has 115 plate appearances in the bigs, all for San Diego in 2014. Overall he has a line of .282/.386/.465 with 30 homers in 997 Triple-A plate appearances in the Astros, Athletics and Padres organizations.
Not a bad depth move, especially given that the Pirates are looking to trade Pedro Alvarez and otherwise re-jigger their first base situation.