Longoria wins Fielding Bible award, Crawford loses out to Yanks Gardner
Evan Longoria won the Fielding Bible Award as the top defensive third baseman in the majors, but Carl Crawford lost out to the Yankees' Brett Gardner in the leftfield competition.
The winners - one at each specific position - are chosen by a panel of 10 experts, including longtime writers Peter Gammons, Bill James and Joe Posnanski, along with John Dewan, author of the Fielding Bible—Volume II.
The third-base competition was the tightest. "This was our closest race,'' Dewan wrote. "Evan Longoria prevented Ryan Zimmerman from winning his second consecutive award by a single point in the voting (92 to 91)."
Crawford won the award three times previously, but was beaten out by Gardner. According to The Fielding Bible website: "In the big upset of the awards, Gardner unseated three-time winner Carl Crawford by 10 points in the scoring. The judges recognized his speed and skill in covering the spacious left-field territory in the Yankees new stadium."
The main reason Crawford lost were the ballots by Gammons, who had seventh, and James, who had him fifth.
Among the leftfielders Gammons voted ahead of Crawford: Gardner, Arizona's Gerardo Parra, St. Louis' Matt Holliday, Detroit's Ryan Raburn, and Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata. James had Gardner, Tabata and Texas' David Murphy among those ahead of Crawford. (The complete ballots were not available.)
Ironically, Gardner's solid play is a reason the Yankees may not bid for Crawford when he becomes a free agent five days after the end of the World Series.
Among other Rays, Sean Rodriguez finished fifth among second baseman and Ben Zobrist eighth among rightfielders. B.J. Upton didn't make the top 10 among centerfielders, finishing 12th.
The complete winners were:
1B: Daric Barton, Oakland Athletics (first-time winner)
2B: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies (first-time winner)
3B: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays (first-time winner):
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies (second-time winner)
LF: Brett Gardner, New York Yankees (first-time winner)
CF: Michael Bourn, Houston Astros (first-time winner)
RF: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners (third-time winner)
C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals (fourth-time winner)
P: Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox (second-time winner)