At least one Tiger is assured of some post season hardware. Placido Polanco won his second Gold Glove for excellence in the field of fielding. Polanco had a very fine defensive season and he was one of a handful of players (Mark Ellis, Dustin Pedroia, Aaron Hill) who were deserving at second base.
Polanco was the only Tiger to notch the honor. Gerald Laird was deserving at the catcher position and Brandon Inge could have made a case to be in the discussion at the hot corner. Joe Mauer and Evan Longoria took home the award though at their respective positions.
But back to Polanco’s candidacy. Rob Neyer wasn’t a fan of the choice grouping Polanco with Derek Jeter, Torii Hunter, and Adam Jones as the players that the voters “flat out blew it.” I’m not really sure how Polanco fits in that group. Polanco fared well on both conventional fielding metrics (only 2 errors) as well as the more advanced measures as Detroit Tiger Tales summarizes. Using most objective measures Polanco was a legitimate winner so I don’t know what Neyer is exactly looking for.
As an aside, props to Tigers MLB.com beat reporter Jason Beck who referenced Polanco’s UZR number in his story. It’s great to see the mainstream guys helping to go to the newer stats and it’s the only way that these will gain more traction.