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Archive for Friday, November 3, 2006

Tigers’ Rogers wins fifth Gold Glove

K.C. second baseman Grudzielanek honored

November 3, 2006

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— After all those errors in the World Series, a Detroit Tigers pitcher won a Gold Glove.

Kenny Rogers, whose smudged left hand created a lot of suspicion during the World Series, won his fourth straight Gold Glove on Thursday and fifth overall.

Detroit pitchers made five errors during the Tigers' five-game loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, four on bad throws and another on a botched comebacker. No other pitching staff had made more than three errors during a Series.

Rogers did not have any fielding fumbles, but he did have a brownish smudge on his pitching hand in the first inning of Game 2. Whether it was dirt, pine tar or something else may never be known - St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa never urged umpires to check Rogers' hand and instead merely asked them to make sure whatever it was went away.

The hand was clean when he came out for the second, Rogers went on to pitch shutout ball through the eighth and Detroit won 3-1 - its only victory of the Series. Rogers, who pitched 23 scoreless innings in the postseason, was poised to start Game 6 but Detroit lost to the Cardinals in five games.

Tigers teammate Ivan Rodriguez won his 12th Gold Glove, extending his record for catchers. Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, Minnesota center fielder Torii Hunter and Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez won the awards for the sixth straight season.

"This was the best year I've played defensively. That's why I felt comfortable," said Chavez, who played through injuries and hit just .241 with 22 homers and 72 RBIs. "I knew I could impact the game defensively. I knew I had to because offensively I was not able to produce."

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells won for the third time in a row, Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira won for the second consecutive season, and Kansas City second baseman Mark Grudzielanek was a first-time winner.

It was the first career Gold Glove for Grudzielanek, 36, and the first for a Royals player since outfielder Jermaine Dye won the honor in 2000.

Grudzielanek, who was acquired by Kansas City prior to the 2006 season after being let go by the St. Louis Cardinals, posted a .994 fielding percentage this year and ranked fourth among Major League second basemen with 111 double plays.

His four errors tied him with Hall of Famer Frank White and Jose Lind for the fewest in franchise history.

He also set a franchise record with 77 consecutive errorless games at second base to open the season, surpassing the previous mark of 70 games by White from 1987 to 1988.

Coupled with White's eight Gold Gloves, Grudzielanek's gives Kansas City nine at second base, tying the Royals with Baltimore for the most by an American League team at the position.

NL Gold Glove winners will be announced today.

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