The 2012 Gold Glove awards were announced Tuesday, and the Mariners' Brendan Ryan was edged out by Baltimore's J.J. Hardy in the voting. The consensus is that Ryan, who had an outstanding season at shortstop, was snubbed. He has superior marks in the advanced metrics, and Hardy was not exactly entrenched as the default vote -- a recurring issue when it comes to the Gold Glove. Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing takes the award snub in stride, but not before concisely laying out the case for Ryan:
Ryan, as you know, led the way in Defensive Runs Saved. Ryan, as you know, led the way in UZR. Ryan, as you know, led the way in unparalleled defensive awesomeness. And Ryan also did everything he could to make his defensive contributions more significant by reducing the overall run environment whenever he was at the plate. Nevertheless, J.J. Hardy was named the winner, and more, J.J. Hardy was named the winner for the first time in his career. Hardy isn't even a repeat winner, which would be a little more understandable. Not rationally, I mean, but understandable in the context of Gold Glove voter history.
Hardy had a fine season in the field for the O's, and Sullivan tries to argue that voters may have been swayed by the Baltimore shortstop's greater impact at the plate. But even that argument doesn't exactly hold water for Sullivan, who thinks voters should be further swayed by Ryan's less-than-steller numbers at the dish as further indicative of his value in the field. This year also may have been Sullivan's best shot at a Gold Glove, with Sullivan noting that the veteran is likely to start declining in the field as he moves to the other side of 30 years old. But Sullivan, understanding the way things work during voting, takes the awards season and the snub with a grain of salt:
I'd rather have Ryan deserve to win and lose than deserve to lose and win. One of those ends up with an award. One of those ends up with a more valuable shortstop.