Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals beat out the Giants Pablo Sandoval for the 2009 Silver Slugger Award for National League third basemen. Managers and coaches vote.
I'm sure Mr. Zimmerman is a fine fellow and all, rescuing babies from burning buildings and whatnot, but this is the SILVER SLUGGER award. According to the website:
They base their selections on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage . . .
Hmm. Batting average? Check. On-base percentage? Check. Slugging percentage? Check. I'm sure glad the managers and coaches were paying attention to the criteria for Silver Slugger Award when they filled out their ballots. Oh, wait:
. . . as well as the coaches and managers general impressions of a player's overall offensive value.
This is what we call a fudge factor. As in, "I never got to see Sandoval play, because I'm an East Coast guy, and the Nationals really suck, and the only other guy I know who plays third is David Wright and so, uh, I guess it's Zimmerman." That, my friends, is what passes for analyis in the upper echelons of MLB leadership.
Of course, any excuse to write about the Panda is fun. Here's the latest on his off-season (hat tip to OBM). How can you not love this guy? Here's what he says:
The fans, I love them and want them to know I'll always be the guy who's working hard.
Hah. Keep your damn silver bat, Zimmerman. Let's see you top that!