The Rawlings Gold Glove Awards will be handed out tomorrow night, and what kind of awards would they be if the spectacle didn’t far outweigh the substance? With this in mind, it gave me great joy (read: mild disinterest) to learn that this year’s version of the awards will be handed out via a real life awards show on ESPN2.

ESPN2 will televise the first-ever Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Show – emanating from ESPN’s Baseball Tonight studio in Bristol – Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 10 p.m. ET.

And here I was, worried that this year’s off season might be dull.

ESPN has also announced the list of nominees:

Category American League Nominees National League Nominees
Pitcher Mark Buehrle, CWS 

Dan Haren, LAA

Fausto Carmona, CLE

Clayton Kershaw, LAD 

Hiroki Kuroda, LAD

Kyle Lohse, STL

Catcher 

 

Matt Wieters, BAL 

A.J. Pierzynski, CWS

Alex Avila, DET

Yadier Molina, STL 

Brian McCann, ATL

Carlos Ruiz, PHI

First Base Adrian Gonzalez, BOS 

Casey Kotchman, TB

Mark Teixeira, NYY

Joey Votto, CIN 

Gaby Sanchez, FLA

James Loney, LAD

Second Base Dustin Pedroia , BOS 

Robinson Cano, NYY

Ian Kinsler, TEX

Brandon Phillips, CIN 

Neil Walker, PIT

Omar Infante, FLA

Shortstop Erick Aybar, LAA 

J.J. Hardy, BAL

Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE

Troy Tulowitzki, COL 

Ronny Cedeno, PIT

Alex Gonzalez, ATL

Third Base Adrian Beltre, TEX 

Kevin Youkilis, BOS

Evan Longoria, TB

Placido Polanco, PHI 

Daniel Descalso, STL

Pablo Sandoval, SFG

Left Field Alex Gordon, KC 

Brett Gardner, NYY

Sam Fuld, TB

Gerardo Parra, ARI 

Ryan Braun, MIL

Matt Holliday, STL

Center Field Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS 

Austin Jackson, DET

Peter Bourjos, LAA

Matt Kemp, LAD 

Shane Victorino, PHI

Chris Young, ARI

Right Field Nick Markakis, BAL 

Torii Hunter, LAA

Jeff Francoeur, KC

Andre Ethier, LAD 

Carlos Beltran, NYM/SFG

Jay Bruce, CIN

The top five blatantly overlooked:

  1. Franklin Gutierrez, SEA, CF – He only played 763 innings in center field this year, but he was more remarkable in limited action than a full season from Austin Jackson.The top five glaring omissions:
  2. Alexi Ramirez, CHW, SS – I really don’t know how you miss Ramirez whose reputation is every bit as deserved as defensive metrics can suggest.
  3. Alcides Escobar, KCR, SS – There are quite a number of talented defensive shortstops in the American League, and I don’t think they’re being represented very well.
  4. Howie Kendrick, LAA, 2B – It’s strange that Erick Aybar would get honoured without some equal praise for Kendrick who was ranked very well by every defensive metric in existence.
  5. Scott Rolen, CIN, 3B – Only 547 innings? It doesn’t matter. Even with constant injuries, he’s still the best defensive third baseman in existence.

The top five Do Not Belongs:

  1. Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE, SS – As I mentioned in the previous section, there are a ton of talented shortstops in the American League. Cabrera isn’t one of them. He’s not even average. Cabrera’s lack of qualifications for this list is only amplified by the players left off of it.
  2. Neil Walker, PIT, 2B – I think Walker is a very talented baseball player. Unfortunately, little of that talent is stored in his defensive capabilities. Not a single defensive metric lists him as having a plus season in the field.
  3. Ryan Braun, MIL, LF – Braun actually looked more capable in the field in the few Brewers games I watched this season, but it was an improvement from god awful to barely below average. His defensive metrics also indicate not quite break even defense this season.
  4. Kevin Youkilis, BOS, 3B – Youkilis does a lot of things the right way as a baseball player, but third base isn’t one of them. In his first season of more than 506 innings at the hot corner, the Greek God Of Walks played decidedly below average defense.
  5. Daniel Descalso, STL, 3B – Descalso’s defensive contributions to the Cardinals were so important that he barely played in the postseason, only filling in occasionally as a late inning replacement or pinch hitter.

While we’re talking about baseball and defense, here’s a free idea for MLB: Why not give a separate award away for the best defensive play of the year? Spectacular defensive plays are by far the most enjoyable parts of any highlights package for baseball. Having fans vote on the best one would be fantastic publicity for the sport’s most dazzling plays.

At the very least, the awards show should give us all something to argue about until the other major awards are announced later this month.

NOV. 15, 2011
AL Cy Young Award announced

NOV. 16, 2011
AL, NL Manager of the Year Awards announced

NOV. 17, 2011
NL Cy Young Award announced

NOV. 21, 2011
AL Most Valuable Player Award announced

NOV. 22, 2011
NL Most Valuable Player Award announced