Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Adam Jones, 2009 Topps Finest #71

So the baseball offseason has barely started, and the rumor mill is already churning. The first item of local interest leaked out this weekend, as Adam Jones has purportedly won his first Gold Glove Award. Now, the primary source is Adam's older brother, via his Myspace page. But MASN's Roch Kubatko received confirmation from an unnamed source, so we might be getting somewhere.

Assuming for a moment that the rumor is true, it comes as a surprise for a few reasons. I've had the pleasure to watch AJ patrol center field at Camden Yards for two years now, and it's been a blast watching him effortlessly cover so much ground and rob multiple opponents of home runs. But it still seems like he's learning on the job, and his performance can be a little uneven at times. But indeed, advanced statistical measures show that he's got excellent range and compares well when it comes to outfield assists and those highlight-reel grabs, so he's a decent choice.

But the most astounding news to me was that the Birds had only one previous Gold Glove outfielder: Paul Blair, who owned the competition for nearly a decade. "Motormouth" nabbed the honors eight times between 1967 and 1975. Moreover, no Oriole at any position has won a Gold Glove since Mike Mussina was named the American League's top-fielding pitcher in 1999.

The recent dearth of fielding accolades for the O's has allowed the Yankees to tie them for the most-decorated American League club. So as an added bonus, Jones' selection would help the hometown team keep pace. That's assuming that Mark Teixeira is the lone New York winner; Alex Rodriguez could be lurking at the hot corner.

Anyway, a tentative congratulations to Adam Jones! Aside from the occasional Silver Slugger, it's not very often in recent years that a Baltimore player has gotten some postseason hardware.


Grand Cards said...

I like Jones a lot, but that would be highway robbery from Franklin Gutierrez, if not many others. Jones will get there--he's got all the tools--but he's not there yet.

FreeTheBirds said...

If true, I hope it doesn't go to his head like the All-Star selection seemed to last year. He really struggled after the break. Hopefully this is a sign that the Orioles are on thier way back to being relevant.

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...

Jones has shown some defensive greatness, but I feel that Markakis should have won one of the previous two years. I would much rather see Nick earn a GG ahead of Jones.

Kevin said...

Grand Cards - Oh, no question about Gutierrez. You have to take any GG selection with a grain of salt; think of Palmeiro winning in 1999 on the basis of his 22 games at 1B.

FTB - I don't know that it "went to his head", I just think he's a young guy who got into some bad habits and didn't get a chance to right himself because of the foot injury. I definitely think he started pressing when he got to 19 HR, though. Didn't hit one in his last 20 games.

Tim - I agree. Unfortunately GGs always go to CF, unless your name is Ichiro.

Shane said...

Yay Adam! Well done!