Who knows what was in the water at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California, when Nolan Arenado and Matt Chapman attended? If you could bottle the stuff it would be worth its weight in gold.
Both players took home their second consecutive Platinum Glove award recently, voted as the overall best defensive player in the National League and American League respectively.
In U.S. national coverage, everyone brings up Arenado as a great fielder and for good reason. Hopefully Chappy will start getting the same level of recognition because for how superlative a third baseman Arenado is, our man is right there alongside him.
He joins our other great Matt, Olson, as repeat winners, prompting a typically droll comment on Twitter from friend of A’s UK Brett Anderson.
With Marcus Semien and the oft-maligned Robbie Grossman also making the Gold Glove shortlists at shortstop and left field respectively, the Awards showed what we all know: there’s plenty of premium leather in Oakland.
Eric Chavez is, of course, the gold-standard when it comes to fielding A’s third baseman of recent vintage. Whether Chappy can repeat or better his run of six awards (2001-2006) will probably come down simply to how long he remains an Oakland A.
That’s not something I want to worry about too much right now, not least because the more pressing reason to fret is the impending free agency of the guy who plays to Chappy’s left every day.
Great as it is to have Semien on the three-man shortlist for AL MVP alongside Mike Trout and Alex Bregman (AL West Is The Best …!), it only further increases the risk that another team will be throwing a lot of money at him in 12 months’ time.
Selfish, I know, but I would be more than happy for the MVP announcement on Thursday 14th to pass by without Semien’s name being mentioned if instead there’s an A’s press release in draft waiting to reveal a contract extension.
(Side note: prior to the 2019 season getting underway I decided to start up a specific A’s UK blog. On reflection, this website, plus three YouTube channels, three Twitter accounts and a Twitch game-streaming site is probably more than enough for me to keep on top of. Consequently, I’ll be back posting A’s UK blogs on here from now on. If that’s solely your interest in my writing then you can use the Oakland A’s UK category to only find those posts).