There is a Team Defense Award and the Cubs ... Did Not Win? And Other Bullets

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There is a Team Defense Award and the Cubs … Did Not Win? And Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

jason heyward catch glove fallI am in Chicago briefly this weekend for a friend’s wedding. Ah, Chicago. It’s like I was just here. Oh, I was. Good times …

  • Wilson Sporting Goods has a set of defensive awards that you can probably ignore this year, because their defensive team of the year was the Giants … in a year that you can credibly make the argument that the Cubs had the best defensive team in history. There is no useful defensive metric in which the Giants are even close to the Cubs – literally, think of a good defensive metric, and the Cubs blew away the rest of baseball this year (heck, the Cubs had 82 defensive runs saved – second place was the Astros with 51(!)). So, yeah. I have no idea how an award that is determined using advanced defensive metrics came to this conclusion. The only team defensive metric I can see where the Giants paced the Cubs is team fielding percentage … a stat where the VERY BEST team in baseball is separated from the VERY WORST team in baseball by ONE percentage point. If you want to know what a useless team stat looks like, it’s that one.
  • OK, just one more, because clearly I’m riled up – BP’s park adjusted defensive efficiency metric is probably the most comprehensive team defensive stat we have, and not only did the Cubs lead baseball at 6.38, but there was no other team over 1.70. I know it’s hard to know what to make of those numbers without context, but I flipped back through 10 years of data, and the league leader is usually in the 2.00 to 3.50 range. I can find only one other team (2011 Rays) that is even over 4.00! The Giants in 2016 were at 0.68.
  • (Oh, and Anthony Rizzo won the Wilson award at first base, so, well, that part’s legit. Heh.)
  • All this defense talk made me notice just how abysmal the A’s were last year, and I thought about those controlled pitching rumors from yesterday and:

  • Gotta show this one more time if you didn’t see it, because it’s SO worth watching:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.