Saturday, October 31, 2009

Crawford voted best left fielder in baseball

I think those of us who watch Rays Carl Crawford play on a regular basis will agree that he is one of, if not the best fielding left fielder in baseball.

Well, this confirms it.

Here is the release on Crawford winning his third Fielding Bible Award as the top left fielder in the game ...

Tampa Bay Rays veteran Carl Crawford won the 2009 Fielding Bible Award for left field in an announcement made November 1, 2009, in The Bill James Handbook 2010. This is Crawford's third Fielding Bible Award.

Crawford, who received an almost-perfect score, was chosen by a panel of ten experts, including Peter Gammons, Bill James, Joe Posnanski, and John Dewan, author of the new Fielding Bible—Volume II.

In granting the award to Crawford, Dewan wrote: “This was no contest. No player has ever won with a perfect record (10 first-place votes from 10 panelists), but Carl came as close as possible with nine first place votes and one second. That's 99 points. (The best previously was 98 points by Adam Everett at shortstop in 2006.) If Crawford doesn't win his first Gold Glove this year, I'm going to throw up.”

Officially announced annually on November 1 (before any other fielding awards), the Fielding Bible Awards try to name the single best fielder at each of the nine positions (including pitcher) in the major leagues. This distinction came into play this year as Jack Wilson, who split his time between Pittsburgh and Seattle, won the Fielding Bible Award at shortstop.

"It is almost impossible for a player who is traded between leagues during the season to win a Gold Glove," Dewan pointed out. "I predict that Wilson will not win a Gold Glove this year, even though our 10 judges voted him the best-fielding shortstop in Major League Baseball."

This year, National League players were chosen at three positions, American League players at five, and Wilson at shortstop. 2009 marks the fourth year of the award. First-baseman Albert Pujols of the Cardinals is the only player to have won a Fielding Bible Award four years in a row. Aaron Hill won over Dustin Pedroia and Chase Utley at second base only after a tie-breaker was invoked. The complete voting results and further information are available in The Bill James Handbook 2010, published by ACTA Sports (www.ACTAsports.com).

The 2009 Fielding Bible Award winners are:

First Base—Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals (fourth-time winner)

Second Base—Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays (second-time winner)

Third Base—Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals (first-time winner)

Shortstop—Jack Wilson, Pittsburgh Pirates/Seattle Mariners (first-time winner)

Left Field—Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays (third-time winner)

Center Field—Franklin Gutierrez, Seattle Mariners (second-time winner)

Right Field—Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners (second-time winner)

Catcher—Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals (third-time winner)

Pitcher—Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox (first-time winner)

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