Gordon Wears the Gold…Again
I thought about burying the lede with a story about Rex Hudler, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll just tell you that Alex Gordon won his second consecutive gold glove last night. No matter what you think of the award (and I think it’s ridiculous due to how it’s determined and some of the past winners) this is a fun time for Royals fans because it’s the only time during awards season we’ll get to see any of our boys in blue. So congratulations to Alex Gordon on becoming just the third Royals player in team history to win multiple gold gloves as a member of the team.
What’s most amazing about the recognition is that he’s done this after converting from a position where many believed he might be a gold glove winner, third base. That obviously didn’t work out for multiple reasons, but Alex’s move to the outfield was a complete success. A big reason for his defensive prowess is that fantastic arm. It isn’t that it’s strong and it isn’t that it’s accurate. It’s that it is both of these things. There are very few outfielders anywhere who combine those two attributes as well as Gordon does. The fact that opposing teams run on Gordon absolutely stymies me, but I won’t complain about it because its better to see an opposing team free out than¬† Royals free out.
We all know the Alex Gordon story and how it didn’t go exactly as planned, but after a breakout 2011, he signed a long-term deal to stay in Kansas City and the early returns are quite good. For a reasonable price, the Royals now have a very good offensive player who supplements that with fantastic defense. Add in some solid base running and a great example in the clubhouse (yeah, a stat guy acknowledges that) and you have a guy who has accumulated the fifth best fWAR in all of baseball over the last two years. Ok, so maybe the leadership doesn’t count in WAR, but I think it will pay off somewhere down the line with a young Royals team often looking for an example. A big reason for the value Gordon provides his defense, and I’m happy he was honored once again for that.
The Hudler story comes from early in the season when Gordon made a really nice play and for the first time I heard him say, “That’s why he wears the gold.” As pretty much everything Hudler said, I was annoyed by it. And then I found myself out at the stadium watching the game and watching Gordon make his trademark faceplant diving catch or throwing out a runner, and in my head I heard Hudler’s voice saying that phrase. So it’s stuck and I like it. And every time Gordon does something impressive in the field (which is quite often), I think to myself that the play I just witnessed is why he wears the gold. And he does…again. Congratulations to Alex Gordon!
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