Bourn brings Gold back to Houston
Astro has become a true asset with his defense, baserunning
Michael Bourn, the first Astros outfielder to win a Gold Glove Award since Cesar Cedeno earned his fifth in 1976, credited Jose Cruz Sr., who was recently dropped from the club's coaching staff, for his defensive improvement.
"He knew how to coach us because he played the game," Bourn told the Houston Chronicle of Cruz. "That was the best attribute that he has."
Several people called Bourn to offer congratulations, including fellow Gold Glove winners Jimmy Rollins and Matt Kemp. Ryan Howard and Astros teammate Darin Erstad also called.
"I feel like it's a very good honor," Bourn said. "Of course, I was excited when I heard the news. Looking around at the people that were also named as the Gold Glove, it's a good caliber of people to be around. I was real excited and thankful at the same time."
Kemp, who also won his first, wants to become an annual winner and satisfy the fans in Los Angeles.
"People's expectations -- I'm supposed to win a Gold Glove every year," Kemp told the Los Angeles Times. "I have to be better next year."
Adrian Gonzalez earned his second straight Gold Glove at first base on Wednesday.
"I'm happy for Adrian," San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I hope this puts the focus on how terrifically well-rounded he is as a player."
Rollins is the first NL shortstop to win three in a row since Rey Ordonez did so with the Mets from 1997 through '99.
"I would like to thank the managers and coaches who felt I was worthy of a Gold Glove Award," Rollins said in a statement as reported by MLB.com. "Defense is a very important part of my game, and it truly is an honor to be recognized as one of the best defensive players in the league."
Nineteen-game winner Adam Wainwright said the Gold Glove Award took him by surprise.
"I'm really astonished," Wainwright told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I was very surprised. I would have thought that, if there was one award I would never win, or never have a chance to win, it would be to win a Gold Glove. I'm super surprised and also very, very, very excited."
Shane Victorino now has two straight Gold Glove Awards, another sign of his rising stature within the game.
"I take a lot of pride in fielding my position, so it is an honor to be awarded with another Gold Glove this season," Victorino said in a statement as reported by MLB.com. "I would like to thank the managers and coaches who voted for me and who believe that I am one of the best in a league full of outstanding players."
Bay secures first Silver Slugger: Jason Bay earned his first Silver Slugger Award on Thursday, giving the Red Sox at least one Silver Slugger winner in nine consecutive seasons, MLB.com reported. Bay hit .267 while ranking third in the American League with 36 home runs and second with 119 RBIs. The home run and RBI totals were career highs for Bay.
"I'm very excited to have won my first Silver Slugger," Bay said through his agent, Joe Urbon. "Especially given the talent of the outfielders in the American League, it's an honor."
The Blue Jays had two players pick up Silver Slugger awards -- Aaron Hill and Adam Lind.
"It's obviously a nice feeling for me and Adam," Hill told MLB.com. "I love -- and I know Adam feels the same way -- I love what we have, and I love Toronto, and I love this team. I'm excited about it. Next year, or a couple years down the road -- hopefully I'll be here for a while -- I would love to be on the team that brings us back to the playoffs and eventually to the World Series."
Said Lind, "It felt pretty cool to finally win something, after being up for a couple things. It felt great, and I'm really excited to get the trophy with everybody's name on it. I'm more excited about their names than my name."
Hill hit .286 with 36 home runs, 37 doubles and 108 RBIs this season. He collected 195 hits and scored 103 runs. Hill ranked first among Major League second basemen in home runs, RBIs, total bases and at-bats (682).
Lind finished the season batting .305 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .562 slugging percentage, belting 35 homers with 46 doubles, 93 runs scored and 114 RBIs. Lind is the first left-handed-hitter from the Jays to notch at least 100 RBIs since Carlos Delgado in 2003.
Jones hopes Gold Glove spurs attention to team: Adam Jones, a 2009 All-Star and Gold Glove Award-winner, said he hopes such honors help the Orioles gain some much-needed recognition.
"It can put Baltimore back on the map," Jones told MLB.com. "It's been kind of the hidden city over the last decade because the Yankees and Red Sox have been overshadowing people. Hopefully, everybody on our team gets recognized because we have a very good team. It's young and raw, but I think we have a very good team."
Polanco's defense backed by Leyland: Placido Polanco was awarded his second Gold Glove in three years -- much to the delight of Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
"I'm thrilled," Leyland told MLB.com. "To me, he's been a Gold Glover every year since I've been there. He's just a tremendous, tremendous, steady defensive player, and I couldn't be happier for him. He's a great player, great teammate, and I'm happy for him to get recognition."
Junior back for another year in Seattle: Ken Griffey Jr.'s agreement to return to Seattle for another season was met with widespread approval, including that of teammate Ichiro Suzuki.
"Ichiro told me many times throughout the '09 season that he was just thrilled to be on the same team as 'George' [Griffey's given first name; Kenneth is his middle name]," Ichiro's agent, Tony Attanasio, told the Seattle Times.
"I said all year long: this guy has had a huge impact, and he deserves to finish his career in Seattle," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He still has love for the game, and I think he rekindled that a little last year. He helped the club, and the club helped him. We have a great relationship. As a manager, you want guys that are a positive influence in the clubhouse. In my short career, he's been a joy. This is where he belongs."
LaRoche welcomes addition of Alvarez: With one of the Pirates' top prospects, third baseman Pedro Alvarez, set to crack the Major League roster sometime in 2010, incumbent third baseman Andy LaRoche went out of his way to approach his future teammate last month in the Instructional League in Bradenton, Fla.
"I talked to him and said, 'Don't feel uncomfortable around me. If you're ready, we need you in the lineup. I'll go play another position,'" LaRoche told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. "I don't want him to think I have any animosity toward him."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.