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Glove stories

A-Rod breaks Vizquel's streak; AL West earns eight of nine

Posted: Wednesday November 13, 2002 11:27 AM
Updated: Wednesday November 13, 2002 7:04 PM
  Alex Rodriguez A-Rod earned his first Gold Glove after leading all shortstops in putouts and double plays. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez won his first American League Gold Glove on Wednesday, a vote that Omar Vizquel didn't handle too cleanly.

Vizquel had won nine straight times at shortstop. But the fancy fielder from Cleveland had his streak broken by A-Rod, the Texas Rangers star.

"Obviously, I didn't think I was going to lose the Gold Glove this year. I don't think I gave it up. I know I had the numbers to compete," Vizquel said.

"I know he improved his defensive numbers. He had a good year. The voting could go either way," Vizquel said of Rodriguez. "He's on TV everyday. He's in the national papers everyday."

Vizquel said he thought Baltimore's Mike Bordick, who did not make an error in his final 110 games, was as deserving as Rodriguez.

Best Defense
American League Gold Glove Winners
Pos. Player, Team No.
1B John Olerud
Seattle Mariners
2B Bret Boone
Seattle Mariners
3B Eric Chavez
Oakland Athletics
SS Alex Rodriguez
Texas Rangers
OF Darin Erstad
Anaheim Angels
OF Torii Hunter
Minnesota Twins
OF Ichiro Suzuki
Seattle Mariners
C Bengie Molina
Anaheim Angels
P Kenny Rogers
Texas Rangers

"I don't know why he wasn't recognized as one of the best," Vizquel said.

"The batting champion has always been the one who hits for the highest average. The fielding champion should be the guy who had less errors or the better percentage," he said. "They are probably going to have to change the voting."

A-Rod made 10 errors, had a .987 fielding percentage and took part in 108 double plays. Vizquel made seven errors, had a .990 fielding percentage and participated in 98 DPs.

Gold Gloves, presented since 1957 by St. Louis-based Rawlings, are voted on by managers and coaches before the end of the regular season. They may not select players on their own teams, and they vote only for players in their own league.

The World Series champion Anaheim Angels won two Gold Gloves, with catcher Bengie Molina breaking the 10-year winning streak of Texas' Ivan Rodriguez and Darin Erstad replacing Seattle's Mike Cameron in the outfield.

Mariners first baseman John Olerud, second baseman Bret Boone and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki all won AL Gold Gloves.

Olerud won his second Gold Glove, replacing Minnesota's Doug Mientkiewicz at first base. Boone won his first in the AL, taking over from Roberto Alomar, a 10-time winner who was traded from Cleveland to the New York Mets following the 2001 season.

Boone won an NL Gold Glove with Cincinnati in 1998; his father, Bob, a catcher, was a seven-time winner.

Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez won his second straight Gold Glove, as did Suzuki and Minnesota outfielder Torii Hunter.

Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers won for the second time in three years, replacing Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees.

Alex Rodriguez, whose $252 million, 10-year contract is the richest in sports, gets a $100,000 bonus, a day after earning $200,000 for finishing second in the AL MVP voting. The others get $50,000 each, except for Hunter, who didn't have a bonus clause.

NL winners are to be announced Thursday.

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