November 3, 2012
The 2012 Golden Glove Awards were announced this week, and Adam LaRoche was the second Washington Nationals player in team history (since 2005) to earn that honor. (Ryan Zimmerman did so in 2009.) LaRoche led "all National League first basemen in fielding percentage (.995), games started (149) and innings (1,323 1/3)." No doubt about it. See MLB.com. The other Golden Glove nominee for the Nats, shortstop Ian Desmond, was edged out by Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies. (I predicted on Sept. 12 that Desmond was "almost guaranteed a Silver Slugger award for that position, if not a Golden Glove.") No National League team had more than one Golden Glove recipient this year.
On the American League side, in contrast, three Baltimore Orioles players won a Golden Glove: Matt Wieters (catcher), J.J. Hardy (shortstop), and Adam Jones (center field). That is indeed an astonishing testament to the depth of their team, which will probably be a pennant contender next year. Someone wrote a letter to the Washington Post complaining about the newspaper's failure to report the accomplishment. The Yankees had two Golden Glovers: Mark Teixeira (first base) and Robinson Cano (second base).
Adam LaRoche passed on the mutual option under his contract with the Nationals, thus declaring himself to be free agent. The Nationals made him a "qualifying offer" of $13.3 million, and I hope it's an offer he doesn't refuse. (Notably, they did not make such an offer to starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, another free agent.) LaRoche led the Nationals in home runs (33) and RBIs (100) this year, but lagged behind in batting average (.271). The Washington Nationals page now shows batting records for the usual position players and pitching records for the starting rotation and closers for the 2012 season. I plan to include such records for each year from 2005 to 2011 some time in the near future.
The PETCO Park diagram has been updated with the new (as of 2013) outfield fences with reduced dimensions, especially in right field. Construction work has already begun, so I figured why not? The diagram shows an interesting aspect of the grandstand roof that is similar to Progressive Field: The forward portion of it consists of bare structural beams, apparently designed to accommodate an extension of temporary awnings for more shade.
The MLB Franchises page has been updated. It has revised U.S.A. maps, various updated information, and shows that the Houston Astros are moving to the American League next year. It also indicates that 2012 was the Washington Nationals' first postseason, with seven years lapsed since the relocation (2005).