Carroll County Times

Three Orioles win Gold Gloves

The Baltimore Orioles may not have been able to beat the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series this year, but on Tuesday night they did beat them, and every other team, in a different fashion.

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones, and catcher Matt Wieters all won Gold Glove awards on Tuesday. Baltimore's three recipients were the most for any team in the major leagues.

The Yankees were the only other team in the league with more than one recipient.

"I think this is something we take pride in," Wieters said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday night. "To have three guys in one year be able to win a Gold Glove is pretty special."

Perhaps the most deserving of the Orioles' three recipients was Hardy. Hardy led AL shortstops with 158 games played and 244 putouts.

The Orioles shortstop also led the AL with a .992 fielding percentage, committing just six errors, which was the highest for an AL shortstop since Baltimore's Mike Bordick had a .998 in 2002. Hardy also had an AL-high 529 assists, the most for an AL shortstop since the Orioles' Cal Ripken Jr. recorded 531 in 1989.

"It's definitely an award I've always hoped to get," Hardy said. "I'm surprised and honored at the same time. ... I never expected it. It's definitely an award that, in the past, I've seen a lot of shortstops get that are real flashy and kind of catch the eye of a lot of people.

"I don't look at myself that way. I kind of look at myself as trying to be consistent and steady."

Hardy beat out Seattle's Brendan Ryan and Texas' Elvis Andrus, the other finalists for the award, and joined Ripken and Mark Belanger as Baltimore shortstops to receive the award.

"Anytime that they talk to me about these guys and they compare me, it's an honor to be even mentioned in the same sentence," said Hardy.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter commended all of his players for the defense his team played this season and said he has always been impressed with Hardy's defense.

"I thought J.J. should've won the Gold Glove last year," Showalter said. "He had another great year defensively this year. ... He's the type of shortstop that's playing for people that are in the postseason."

For Jones, the Gold Glove is the second of his career with the other coming in 2009. Baltimore's center fielder played all 162 games this season and led AL center fielders with 439 putouts.

It is the second time in the last three seasons that Jones has led AL center fielders in putouts.

Jones also ranked third among center fielders with seven assists and beat out Los Angeles' Mike Trout and Detroit's Austin Jackson for the award. Jones said that to win the award, a player must do more than make sensational plays every now and then.

"It's making every play, all the routine plays," Jones said. "It's cutting runners down, it's holding runners, it's doing a lot of different things that sometimes everyone doesn't see on a day-to-day basis."

Last season, Wieters became the first catcher in Orioles history to win a Gold Glove and followed it up with a repeat performance this year. Despite a career-high 10 errors, The Baltimore catcher led the league with 134 defensive games and 994 putouts.

The 994 putouts are the third-most ever for an AL catcher and the most since New York's Jorge Posada had 996 in 2001.

Wieters also allowed just 32 base stealers, second least in the AL, and was third in caught-stealing percentage, throwing out 38.6 percent of potential base stealers. He beat out Detroit's Alex Avila, New York's Russell Martin, and Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski for the award.

Wieters said that when a team is able to play well defensively, the team will get good results.

"Defense is something you can work at and continue to get better at," Wieters said. "It's going to help you have a good chance to win."

This year marks the 18th time the Orioles have had multiple Gold Glove recipients in the same season and the ninth time they've had at least three in the same season. The last time Baltimore had three Gold Glove Award winners in the same year was 1998 when Mike Mussina, Roberto Alomar and Rafael Palmeiro were recipients.

Showalter said that all three of the Orioles' Gold Glove winners are championship-caliber players and that his players made difficult plays look easy on a nightly basis.

"It's an honor to watch them play every night," Showalter said. "We as a coaching staff realize how hard it is to do and the standard that they hold themselves to. ... I was so proud to watch the way they played the game defensively."