Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 3:40 p.m., Updated at 8:05 p.m.
By Mark Zuckerman
NATIONALS PAGE NATIONALS VIDEO
Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals came up short in his bid to win a second straight Rawlings Gold Glove Award this afternoon, losing out to Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen in a vote of National League managers and coaches.
Zimmerman, who won the award last season for the first time, appeared to be favored to earn the nod again, but he faced a deep field of fellow third basemen that included Rolen, the Philadelphia Phillies' Placido Polanco, the New York Mets' David Wright and the San Diego Padres' Chase Headley.
Rolen earned his seventh career Gold Glove, though his first since 2006. The 35-year-old enjoyed a stellar comeback season in Cincinnati, committing only eight errors while posting a .977 fielding percentage. Zimmerman, meanwhile, committed 17 errors with a .951 fielding percentage.
Zimmerman, though, had a better case through advanced fielding metrics. He bested Rolen in Ultimate Zone Rating (13.9 to 10.6), though Headley led all NL third basemen in that category with a rating of 16.5.
"I don't ever expect to win those things," Zimmerman said. "This league is so hard to be successful in, let alone win awards. ... Scott is one of the guys I've looked up and tried to model my game after. If you could think of a consistent third baseman over the last 10 years, he's the guy that you look at. He deserves it as much as anyone."
The majority of Zimmerman's errors come on throws, and they tend to come in bunches, something that frustrates him.
"Every year I go through one of those spells where I don't throw the ball well," he said. "That's something I'm really concentrating on this offseason. I can never pinpoint what it is. I'll tell you guys when I do bad things, and over the past couple years that's obviously something I've had a problem with at one point or another during the season. And that's something I want to clean up."
The nine NL winners, one for each defensive position, are...
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B: Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2B: Brandon Phillips, Reds
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
3B: Scott Rolen, Reds
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
OF: Shane Victorino, Phillies
OF: Michael Bourn, Astros
P: Bronson Arroyo, Reds
Only three of the 18 Gold Glove winners between both leagues played for teams with sub-.500 records: the Astros' Bourn and the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki and Franklin Gutierrez.