Golden touch: 4 Rays finalists for Gold Gloves
Manager Joe Maddon suggested at various points during the season that all four of the Rays infielders were having Gold Glove caliber seasons.
He was correct, as on Friday, all four were named among three AL finalists at their positions: 1B James Loney, 2B Ben Zobrist, SS Yunel Escobar and 3B Evan Longoria.
Winners will be announced Tuesday night.
While the awards traditionally have been decided by vote - most recently of coaches and managers, the process was changed this year to include a sabermetric component. Rawlings Sporting Goods, which awards the Gold Gloves, collaborated with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to devise something called the SABR Defensive Index that will account for 25-30 percent of the votes.
The annoucement of the finalists is a device to build suspense for the announcement.
1B - Loney, Baltimore's Chris Davis, Kansas City's Eric Hosmer.
2B - Zobrist, Boston's Dustin Pedroia, New York's Robinson Cano
SS - Escobar, Baltimore's J.J. Hardy, Kansas City's Alcides Escobar
3B - Longoria, Baltimore's Manny Machado, Texas' Adrian Beltre.
Longoria has won twice before. The Rays had a "half" winner last year as Jeremy Hellickson shared the pitchers award.