We knew the Baltimore Orioles and their .991 fielding percentage as a team were good in 2013. They committed a league record 54 errors (record low that is) this past season, and now we’re seeing the net result of so many sparkling defensive efforts. Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Nick Markakis were all nominated for American League Gold Gloves yesterday. It’s pointless to speculate as to which of those will end up winning the award over their counterparts, although we will do that just a bit – tomorrow.
The one thing that I will say is that the one Oriole who I feel is all but guaranteed to win is Manny Machado. Texas’ Adrian Beltre and Tampa’s Evan Longoria were also nominated at third base. Granted that’s pretty stiff competition, however Machado ranks first in AL third basemen with a .973 fielding percentage. I suspect that manager Buck Showalter might pop a vein if Machado isn’t given the award, because as we all know he made play after play – after play, at the hot corner this year. Furthermore, Machado is being branded as one of the “faces of the game” right now, along with Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Not that marketability should play a role, but we all know it unfortunately does. This is one instance where it would in theory work in the Orioles’ favor as opposed to against them.
Needless to say, having six players nominated is a tribute to the franchise, as well as to the close attention to detail paid by the likes of Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. Odds are against all six of these players winning, however all are very deserving. To say the least, six Orioles are at worst one of the top three at their position in the American League. The winners will be announced on Tuesday, October 29th at 7 PM.