November 13, 2002

I'm back

I hope everyone enjoyed Scott Halgrim's guest column about the ongoing Bert Blyleven saga.

I want to thank Scott for pinch hitting for me, he did a great job.

Like Scott, I enjoy Blyleven in the booth, particularly his relationship with Dick Bremer.

They don't take themselves too seriously, they don't try to act too "cool" and they call a good game.

I am holding out hope that Dick and Bert will be back working together in 2003.

For anyone else out there in cyberspace that might be interested in being a guest columnist on this website, feel free to contact me.

I certainly won't promise that your stuff with automatically make it on here, but if it is good, chances are it will.

The American League Gold Glove awards were handed out today.

Here are your 2002 AL Gold Glovers:

C - Bengie Molina

1B - John Olerud

2B - Bret Boone

SS - Alex Rodriguez

3B - Eric Chavez

OF - Darin Erstad

OF - Torii Hunter

OF - Ichiro Suzuki

P - Kenny Rogers

A few thoughts...

Did you notice that all but Torii Hunter come from the American League West?

Very strange.

I think the voters did a pretty good job this year in the AL.

Ivan Rodriguez was hurt all year and, even when healthy, his throwing was not nearly as good as it usually has been.

Bengie Molina threw out almost 45% of runners this year, which was #1 in the AL.

Doug Mientkiewicz won the GG in 2001 and I think he should have won it this season.

Mientkiewicz is the best defensive first baseman I have ever seen, although I haven't been around long enough to even see Keith Hernandez.

But, John Olerud is a very good defender too.

Personally, I would have given the GG at second base to Luis Rivas.

(A little Aaron's Baseball Blog insider humor)

But seriously, I think Bret Boone is a somewhat deserving winner.

I would have given it to Adam Kennedy, but Boone would have been a close second.

At shortstop, Alex Rodriguez won his first GG.

Omar Vizquel is already complaining about his streak of 9 straight coming to end, but it is more than time for someone other than Omar to win it.

I am not really sure that Vizquel was ever really a great defensive shortstop, but, even if he was, he is not anymore.

Alex Rodriguez deserves the GG award, although he deserved the one Miguel Tejada has a little more.

By the way, that is all you will hear from me regarding the AL MVP "debate."

Sorry to those of you expecting more, you can always take a stroll through my "archives," there is plenty of ARod/Tejada material.

A man can only bang his head into the wall so much - eventually he either passes out or realizes it is pointless.

And yes, that is an original Aaron Gleeman quote.

At third base, Eric Chavez is simply a great defender.

I think Corey Koskie is pretty awesome too, but I can't really complain with Chavez winning.

The GG outfield situation always confuses me.

The voters do not have to vote for a real outfield alignment of 1 from left field, center field and right field.

They just vote for 3 outfielders.

In which case, a non-center fielder should pretty much never win a GG.

Ichiro! has now won 2 in a row.

Ichiro! is a very good defensive right fielder, but he isn't that great and certainly not better than about a half dozen center fielders (not to mention a few left and right fielders).

Erstad was the best outfielder in the AL this year, so I am glad to see him win the GG.

I have talked about Torii's 2002 season before, but suffice it to say that he isn't a horrible choice.

My GG outfield for 2002 would have been Erstad, Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran.

I think the NL GGs come out today, so I'll give everyone my choices before the actual results are given:

C - Jason LaRue

1B - Todd Helton

2B - Pokey Reese

SS - Jack Wilson

3B - Scott Rolen

OF - Andruw Jones

OF - Jim Edmonds

OF - Dave Roberts

P - Livan Hernandez

Looking at the candidates from each league, it seems to me like the AL has a better group of defensive players, overall.

But maybe that is because I am an "American League" guy.

The free agent/trading season has official started and, although there haven't been any major moves yet, there have been some interesting ones.

The Diamondbacks traded away their starting catcher, (former Minnesota Twin) Damian Miller, to the Cubs for 2 minor league non-prospects.

Damian Miller is certainly nothing great, but I really thought he would fetch more than 2 non-prospects.

It is a nice move for the Cubs.

They had a huge problem at catcher, between Todd Hundley and Joe Girardi, and now they have a new starter who is good with the glove and decent with the bat.

Miller does have some health problems and he is set to make some decent money this year, which is probably why he was available.

Cubs catchers in 2002 hit .229/.299/.372 in 564 at bats.

Damian Miller in 2002 hit .249/.340/.434 in 297 at bats.

Like I said, if he can stay healthy, he is a good upgrade, offensively and defensively.

For more on the Miller trade, check out a brand new baseball blog, "Bryan's Baseball Banter."

Bryan is a reader of this website that decided to test the blogging waters for himself.

So, go check out his site.

It is brand new, so there isn't a whole lot to read yet, but it looks promising.

Speaking of checking out other blogs...

Take a trip over to John Perricone's world famous "Only Baseball Matters."

John's current topic of choice is, of course, Mr. Bonds and his 5th MVP.

John also has some interesting stuff about the Giants new manager, Felipe Alou.

Another blogger with some good writing about Felipe Alou is Mike over at "Mike's Baseball Rants."

And, as always, when you are blog hopping, make sure to stop at John Bonnes' wonderful, which is the first website I go to every morning.

Along with his always entertaining and insightful Twins related material, John has a new venture,, which provides similar Minnesota Timberwolves related discussion, by John and several other Minnesota writers.

All the blogs I just mentioned, as well as dozens more, can be found on the left side of this page, under "Other Blogs."

Check a few of them out.

And don't forget to come back here, of course!

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