Buehrle earns Fielding Bible Award
Recognized as top defensive pitcher for second straight year
CHICAGO -- Mark Buehrle on Monday captured his second straight Fielding Bible award, an honor recognizing the best defensive player at each position throughout Major League Baseball.
And there's a chance Buehrle wrapped up this 2010 prize on Opening Day.
In the fifth inning of a 6-0 home victory for the White Sox over the Indians, the ace left-hander deflected Lou Marson's hard-hit grounder up the middle with a kick-save worthy of a hockey goaltender. He then raced over past the first base foul line to grab the deflection.
Buehrle's excellence didn't stop there. He grabbed the baseball with his glove and made a no-look, fade-away toss between his legs to first baseman Paul Konerko, who grabbed the throw with his bare hand for the out.
Of course, Buehrle's fielding reward came for more than just that sensational effort.
"It's Buehrle's control of the running game that puts him head and shoulders over his competition," said John Dewan, the author of the Fielding Bible, Volume II, in Monday's press release.
Dewan went on to explain how only six of 12 potential basestealers were successful with Buehrle on the mound. Buehrle also came up with six pickoffs, putting him sixth overall in that category since 1974.
Ten experts, including Dewan, Peter Gammons, Joe Posnanski and Bill James, made these selections. Umpires Joe West and Angel Hernandez, who called two balks apiece against the hurler with arguably the best pickoff move in Baseball, were not part of the distinguished panel.
Final vote totals left Buehrle with 86 points and seven first-place votes. Zack Greinke finished second with 63 points. Buehrle should be in line for his second straight Rawlings American League Gold Glove, announced on Nov. 9.
Alexei Ramirez figures to receive strong consideration for the same honor. The White Sox shortstop checked in at third overall in the Fielding Bible voting, with Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki (97) and St. Louis' Brendan Ryan (69) topping Ramirez. But his 69 points were far and away the highest total for any AL shortstop.
Other Fielding Bible winners were catcher Yadier Molina, first baseman Daric Barton, second baseman Chase Utley, third baseman Evan Longoria, left fielder Brett Gardner, center fielder Michael Bourn and right fielder Ichiro Suzuki.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.