Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Darwin Barney, Gold Glover

Some congratulations are in order for Darwin Barney. He is the 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner for National League second basemen. I stayed up to watch that announcement, even though some auto race ran long on ESPN2 and I knew I had to be up early this morning for work to compensate for being able to miss the past two days due to the weather. Still, I was excited.

Here is a new card for my 2012 set, an update card if you will.

Darwin Barney, 2012 National League Gold Glove Second Baseman

My phone immediately started blowing up as I recently signed up for a twitter account and am following about 80 people associated with the Cubs. Should have seen that coming. That feature is now disabled although I will probably reactivate it soon. Don't anticipate a slew of tweets in the offseason.

Curious, I logged into Twitter and noticed Darwin Barney was trending. I clicked on that and noticed that while a lot of tweets were positive, there also seemed to be a lot of venom towards the decision. After looking at the nominees for all of the positions, I thought that this one seemed to be a lock!

Whatever statistical category you can come up with, Barney ranked higher than Brandon Phillips (the favorite among Barney bashers).

Chances? 731-637
Putouts? 311-241
Assists? 418 -391
Double Plays? 96-73
Errors? 2-5
Fielding Percentage? .997-.992
Defensive Runs Saved? 28-11
Range Factor/9 5.6-4.55
Range Factor /Game - 4.7-4.33
Errorless streaks broken/tied? Cubs and National League broken, Major League tied - nothing

How can anyone say Phillips has more range when Barney has more chances, putouts and assists and fewer errors? Seems to me like Barney gets to plenty of balls hit his way. It also seems more likely that Barney plays the batters correctly and therefore doesn't need to dive and make highlight reel plays (of which he had plenty anyway).

Not only did Barney beat Phillips this year is all of those stats, he beat Phillips in almost all of those stats for Phillips' previous three Gold Glove seasons. Phillips is a very good second baseman, but as I've said before in defense of Barney, the Gold Glove Award is not a lifetime achievement award, it is annual. And this year was Darwin Barney's year.

I will admit it. I root for the Cubs first, then for anybody playing against another NL Central team. I am not a Reds all. Do I love that the Reds had 6 Gold Glove nominees? No. Do I love that they got shut out? Absolutely.

I challenge someone to honestly argue otherwise....without bashing the Cubs as a whole.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Customs

I've been away for far too long. Well, from posting here anyway. I've still been reading what everybody else has been writing but I've also been cooking up a few things of my own in the meantime. I've been adding to my collection in my absence so I should be getting back to posting fairly regularly in the near future, although probably not daily as I once was.

One of the things I've been working on is a new custom card design. I'm not sure this will be the design for my 2013 Cubs set as each one takes a lot longer than the 2012 set, even with a template. But these have been fun to work on!

The gray area with the faded Cubs logo is where I anticipate getting an autograph. I'd be curious to hear what you think about the player obscuring part of their name and/or the omittance of the first name altogether. Let me know what you think!

Tony Campana, the Michael Jordan of bunting

Pitcher Chris Rusin legging out his first career hit (a triple!)

James Russell found something to celebrate in 2012

Matt Sczcur, future Cub
Again, let me know what you think!