It's easy to snicker at MLB's Gold Glove Awards each season because they rarely seem to go to the most deserving.
Rafael Palmeiro winning the AL Gold Glove at first base in 1999, despite playing only 28 games at the position, is an oft-cited example used by the award's detractors. Did the managers and coaches who vote on the honor even pay attention that year?
Even though the Gold Gloves might not truly represent the best defensive players in each league for a particular season, they are awards nonetheless. It's a shortcut to explaining that someone is a good defender at his position.
With the increased acceptance of advanced metrics such as FanGraphs' Ultimate Zone Rating, which measures the balls in play that a player gets to in his defensive "zone," we have more of an understanding of what makes a good defender these days.
UZR isn't a perfect measure and probably shouldn't be the only deciding factor in awarding Gold Gloves. But it offers more of a measure of a player's defensive value than anything we had before, such as fielding percentage or the "eyeball test."
So in looking at those advanced metrics and the finalists at each position in Gold Glove voting, these six players were the most outrageous snubs this season.
Maybe the managers and coaches will get it right next year.