November 8, 2021
Now that baseball is over and done with for the year, all that's left is to decide on which players deserve awards for top performance -- and perhaps to gossip about trades and free agent signings. Yesterday the Gold Glove winners were announced, and the St. Louis Cardinals set a record by winning five of the nine awards: Paul Goldschmidt (1B), Tommy Edman (2B), Nolan Arenado (3B), Tyler O'Neill (LF), and Harrison Bader (CF). Two members of the World Series champion Atlanta Braves received Gold Gloves: pitcher Max Fried and right fielder Adam Duvall (who was traded by Miami in July). None of the Washington Nationals were even nominated for a Gold Glove, however.
In the American League, former Washington National Michael A. Taylor (who joined the Kansas City Royals after last year) won the Golden Glove for center field. His team mate Andrew Benintendi also won the award. The Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics also won two Gold Gloves each. For a complete rundown, see MLB.com.
Today the nominees for the rest of the awards were released, and two Washington Nationals players (or perhaps one and a half, given that one of them was traded to the Dodgers in late July) are in the running: Max Scherzer and Juan Soto. Also, former Nats manager Dusty Baker is up for his fourth Manager of the Year award. He led the Nationals to NL East Division titles in 2016 and 2017, whereas the two predecessors (Davey Johnson and Matt Williams) won the Manager of the Year award in 2012 and 2014, respectively, when the Nats won the division title. (See October 22, 2017.) Also, former Nats slugger Bryce Harper had a great second half of the season, and is a serious contender for NL MVP, but Juan Soto developed a legendary reputation with his historic .465 on-base percentage (.525 after the All-Star break). He briefly led the majors in batting average in mid-September, but dipped to .313 by the end of the season. Pitchers were afraid to pitch to him, for good reason.
|Category||American League||National League|
|Rookie of the Year||Randy Arozarena (TB) √||Dylan Carlson (STL)|
|Wander Franco (TB)||Jonathan India (CIN) √|
|Luis Garcia (HOU)||Trevor Rogers (MIA)|
|Manager of the Year||Dusty Baker (HOU) √||Craig Counsell (MIL)|
|Kevin Cash (TB)||Gabe Kapler (SF) √|
|Scott Servais (SEA)||Mike Shildt (STL)|
|Cy Young Award||Gerrit Cole (NYY) √||Corbin Burnes (MIL)|
|Lance Lynn (CHW)||Max Scherzer (WSH/LAD) √|
|Robbie Ray (TOR)||Zack Wheeler (PHI)|
|Most Valuable Player||Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR)||Bryce Harper (PHI)|
|Shohei Ohtani (LAA) √||Juan Soto (WSH) √|
|Marcus Semien (TOR)||Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)|
Thanks to Terry Wallace, I learned that the "Commanders' Classic" football game between Army and the Air Force on Saturday was held at Globe Life Field, the nearly-new home of the Texas Rangers. (Army won, 21-14.) So, needless to say, I had to make a football-layout diagram for that page. While watching the game on TV, I saw no trace of the warning track used in baseball games, but given the fact that the field is artificial turf, it may be just a matter of different color and/or texture. Temporary spray paint? Actual dirt is rarely used in stadiums with artificial turf these days. Anyway, I updated the Football use page, adding Globe Life Field.
You may think it strange that they played that game in Globe Life Field and not the Rangers' former home, Globe Life Park, which had been rebuilt for the specific purpose of accommodating football games.* (Apparently, so did the folks at ESPN, as I noticed that their scoreboard mobile app erroneously indicated that that is where the game was being played!) Talk about a waste of money! Another alternative would have been nearby AT&T Stadium, but the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Denver Broncos the next day, and the cleanup chores might have made games there on consecutive days inconvenient.
* Such a football conversion was also done at Turner Field, former home of the Atlanta Braves ; see below.
Terry also informed me that Globe Life Park, which had already been renamed three times since it first opened in 1994, is now called "Choctaw Stadium," in a naming rights deal with the Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma, which I drove past in 2014. So I updated that page with the information about the new name. It's now being used as a soccer stadium, and you know what that means... (See soccerstadiumdigest.com.)
But wait, there's more! I also recently learned that the [Braves' -- not
Rangers']* former stadium, Turner Field, which had been renamed "Georgia State University Stadium" after being converted to football use in 2017, is now called "Center Parc Stadium" (don't ask), so I updated that page, as well as the Stadium names chronology page, where I try to keep track of such things.
For the record, here is a complete list of all former full-time MLB stadiums that are still standing, excluding the two that have been drastically reduced in size, and are now used for other sports: Jarry Park (now Stade Uniprix) in Montreal and Braves Field (now Nickerson Field) in Boston. RFK Stadium may be demolished as early as next year, but the remaining six either remain in active use or will (apparently) be maintained for the foreseeable future. And some of them may undergo yet another name change or changes in future years...