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!
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.
If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.
Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”
Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”
Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.