If you weren’t busy watching the election results or Game 7 of the World Series, you might have taken a few minutes to check in on the Gold Glove results on ESPN. And while you may have been disappointed to see that Addison Russell and Jake Arrieta missed out on taking home a precious metal mitt, Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward were good as gold.
This is Rizzo’s first Gold Glove and I have to think there are several more to come. Maybe I’m operating from some sort of bias or delusion, but I have always felt these awards were governed largely by popularity and history. If that’s really the case, Rizzo could have a leg up at first moving forward. Making plays like this will certainly help.
Heyward has already established a sterling defensive reputation, as evidenced by his fourth Gold Glove. His prowess out in right field was really the only reason Cubs fans were able to tolerate him, and even that was tenuous at times (insert joke about weight of gold in his trophy being worth $184 million). But with his rousing speech during that rain delay in Game 7, not to mention the subsequent win, Heyward was able to mitigate the worst of the criticism of his performance this season.
There were many great plays to choose from, but this diving grab from early in the season out in San Francisco stands out as one of the best.
I mean, this isn’t quite as cool as Darwin Barney unseating Brandon Phillips at second base a few years back, but it’s not bad. Now we’re just waiting on Russell to overthrow Brandon Crawford and for Javy Baez to get enough innings at second to be the hands-down winner there. Oh, and maybe for people to realize that Kris Bryant is actually pretty decent at third. He may never win a Gold Glove there, but maybe he can at least be considered a finalist one of these years.