Brandon Phillips is Still the Gold Glove Favorite, Can’t Win in the West, and the Coming Off-Season

Photo: AP

In the last inning of the last game required to break the consecutive errorless games streak by a second baseman, Darwin Barney committed an error.  A throwing error, his third of the season.  His first error since April.  In spite of all of that, I still think Reds’ 2B Brandon Phillips is the favorite to win the Gold Glove this season.  These awards seem to be given based on reputation, and it is no secret that offensive production plays into the defensive award, as well.  None of this is to say that I don’t want Darwin to win the award.  He absolutely should.  It would be brutal for anyone but him to win after going over five months between errors, and the one he makes is on an insanely tough play.  Anybody that has seen the play knows that would not have been an error if it did not allow to cause a run to score.  We’ll see how it turns out.

After last night, the Cubs have gone 0-17 in road games against the NL West.  It is unfortunate that the team didn’t have a western swing in July, when they played well before the deadline.  They have two more opportunities to win a game out west this weekend, finishing the series against the D-Backs.  Should they fail to get a win, they will lose their 100th game, and have the first 100 loss season since 1966.

After all of the fuss about what Jed Hoyer said this week about having financial flexibility, it is important for Cubs’ fans to know that they can put away their anticipatory Josh Hamilton jerseys.  There will not be a major signing this off-season.  When you look at everything that the front office has said over the course of the last year, there is no reason to believe that they are going to pony up the cash for a big time free agent when they have said it is their goal to build from drafting and developing good players.  The goal is to have a strong organization from top to bottom, and we saw that over the course of the last few months.  Trading Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Geovany Soto, and Reed Johnson were all products of building a strong organization.  When you combine those statements with Theo Epstein saying he made mistakes in his approach toward the end of his tenure in Boston, there is no reason to believe there are going to be any nine figure deals getting tossed around this off-season.  It will be another in the process of building for future success.  At this point, the actual baseball season is a formality.  Games, at least in the north side of Chicago, won’t be all that significant for the next two to three years.

 

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