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Atlanta Braves Morning Chop: a Gold Glove tie?

We thought that Freddie Freeman might – and should – win the Gold Glove for his first base prowess in 2018.  But this was surprising.

Two strongly improbable things happened last night for Atlanta Braves players as the Gold Glove award rolled out in the midst of a media dead zone known as ‘Sunday night against the NFL’. Seriously, if MLB wants to raise the profile of their sport, they will avoid doing stupid things like this.

A MUCH better time frame to announce the awards would have been this morning. However, like regional blackout rules, it seems that whoever is making these decisions is failing to exercise even reasonable common sense.

But I digress.

 

The Envelopes, Please

Of the 5 nominees, 3 Atlanta Braves will soon be lifting the hardware onto their mantles.

Of the 2 missing out this year – Julio Teheran and Adam Duvall – Teheran had a real chance, but against the legacy that Zack Greinke has been recording, that chance was fleeting. Greinke takes home his 5th consecutive Gold Glove, which is something we haven’t seen since Maddux’ days.

But still… it’s hard to believe what did work in the favor of our friends at other positions.

Nick Markakis

As you may recall from Fred’s analysis last week, right field was a weak spot for the National League in general. Still – even though he was noticeably improved this year – Nick Markakis’ fielding metrics lagged behind the others, especially including Jason Heyward. Heyward, in fact, seems to have a lock on the award though didn’t fare as well in 2018.

Apparently, the voters opted to may him pay for that… and shockingly handed the award to Markakis instead.

Was this because of 162-game durability? His All-Star season? The Braves rise from the ashed? All of this, perhaps?

Whatever the reason, Markakis now owns his 3rd Gold Glove in a most improbable manner. Maybe character does matter, too.

Freddie Freeman

The notion of a tie for this award is not unprecedented, but still highly surprising… especially since Freeman should have won the award outright. In fact, Fred had jokingly suggested that rioting would be appropriate if Rizzo had been selected as the winner over Freeman.

I guess we won’t have to resort to that, but it’s still an ‘eyeroll’ kind of result (that’s at least 3 this year, counting Markakis’ win and Yadier Molina’s).

 

Ender Inciarte

Dude – we love you: truly… so stop blocking everybody on twitter, for we’d really like to congratulate you for defending your title as the best NL Center Fielder.

This time, the results were correct without much complaint, though Lorenzo Cain might wish to have a word. In fact, much of the talk around mid-season was in how Cain was leading the NL in WAR and how he might far in the MVP voting as a result… a WAR figure manufactured strictly from his defensive prowess for Milwaukee.

Still, the voters opted for the incumbant, and that made for 3 awards for Braves players – a mark that’s a testament of the emphasis that Alex Anthopoulos had placed on defense.

I still think that Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies deserved nominations

This approach has been validated, and I would not be surprised if that’s a key element of new player acquisitions being considered for this off-season, for that will continue to make our pitchers better and keep this team “in” a lot of games that might otherwise get away from them.

Next: Here’s some pitching to pursue

Hey – if there’s a free agent pitcher or two looking at Atlanta, that fact won’t hurt a bit, either.

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