Friday, 7 November 2008

Carlos is Golden

And quite right too.

The firsts just keep on coming for the Rays, even after the season has ended - yesterday Carlos Pena claimed the first ever Gold Glove in Rays history for his outstanding work this year at first base. And although a lot of times the award seems to go to players who are not exactly known for their glovework (Rafael Palmeiro anyone?), Carlos is, in my mind, a truly deserving winner.

All year long, commentators from across the country have been describing Pena as "a Gold Glove-calibre" first baseman. Now they can describe him as a Gold Glover. Its not just the fielding he does himself, its the confidence that he gives to the other infielders. They know that if they can get the throw in his vicinity then, more often than not, he's going to dig it out and make the play. He has fantastic range, great hands, and can turn the 3-6-3 double play as well as anyone that I've ever seen. In short, its very well deserved.

And you know what, it could be the first of many for these Rays. I mean, look around the field and its hard to spot someone who doesn't have a chance of nabbing some gold in the future. Evan Longoria is as close to a dead-cert future winner as you will find, while CC is probably unlucky not to have one already. BJ Upton just needs to cut out a few sloppy plays, and he could get one, while Aki Iwamura must have been very close to winning in his first ever season at second. Hey, even Jason Bartlett and Dioner Navarro are above average defensively...

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