9/7 Barney goes for gold

The Cubs’ Darwin Barney leads all National League second basemen in fielding percentage, which would make him the favorite to repeat as Gold Glove winner at that position. Barney just hasn’t gotten as much attention about his defensive play this year because he isn’t pursuing the Major League record for error-free games.

Last year, Barney tied the Major League single-season record with 141 consecutive errorless games at second, and won his first Rawlings Gold Glove.

“He hasn’t done anything for anybody to take it away from him,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of his second baseman. “He’s had a heck of a year defensively again. The way he turns a double play, tough double plays, he’s the incumbent and somebody has to take it away from him. I don’t see anybody doing that.”

Barney leads NL second basemen with a .993 fielding percentage; the Twins’ Brian Dozier and the Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia lead the Majors with a .994 figure. Barney has been charged with four errors in 123 games, one more than he made in 155 games last season.

He’s not flashy but will likely face competition from the Reds’ Brandon Phillips, the Pirates’ Neil Walker and the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter.

“Sometimes people do things without having ‘web gems’ and that’s why they’re the best at their positions,” Sveum said.

Barney was tied with the Braves’ Dan Uggla for fifth in most double plays (68), and was fourth in putouts.

“It’s definitely a goal of mine every year to win a Gold Glove,” Barney said. “I don’t think it’s my No. 1 goal. My No. 1 goal is to win 90, 95 games and make the playoffs.

“On a personal level, having the season I’ve had defensively this year, if I don’t win the Gold Glove, I’d still be satisfied and feel I helped the team defensively,” he said. “Leading the league in defense at second base is something I take pride in.”

He’s aware that there are players who make more acrobatic plays.

“The coaches and managers vote,” Barney said. “They’re players. They understand. I don’t think they’re going to vote someone in because they make ‘web gems,’ they’ll vote someone in who deserves the award. If someone else wins, that person deserved the award among their peers, and that’s fine with me.

“Last year with the [error-less] streak, there was a lot to be talked about,” Barney said. “This year, it’s one of those years where it’s a normal year. There’s no streak. It’s been a good year and every error could be prevented and I’ll look back on the film on the ones I’ve made and not let them happen again.”

– Carrie Muskat

12 Comments

Go for it, Darwin! You are the best! Not show off, just the best ! Your approach is steady, well studied and dependable. The pitchers want you there behind them. They know you got their backs!

Cant’ argue with that White! Especially the part about the pitchers wanting him on the field, no doubt.

White your right they do want him picking up there back.Pitching and defense win CHAMPIONSHIPS!I have thrown out a couple of names of good defensive infielders with bad batting stats that have rings.You take the good with the bad and make it work.Hopefully F.O. is letting D.S.learn the ropes.Maybe this will all come about sooner than later.Lighting the grill,what a great weekend to be a sports fan.P.S. I wasn’t calling Barney bad,enjoy!

With all do respect for Barney’s talent, ” good field, no hit” label means you might hang around a team that has superior offensive talent for defensive purposes, but with the Cubs, in a serious rebuilding mode, trying to solidify your up the middle strength, it’s doubtful DB will be on the roster for Spring training. A Gold Glove looks nice on your mantle.

The only two players who have more RBI’s than Barney are Rizzo and Schierholtz. Castro and Barney are tied for RBI’s. I sure hope this non hitting Cub will be back next year. But if not than I guess there will be another plan for this class act Barney. As you probably know my granddaughter is his wife. And, no, his Gold Glove is not on his mantle! He is a modest man and not a show off .

He really seems to be a class act.Actually will be considered a veteran on next years team.Had no idea he is part of the family.Much respect im sure considering all the bashing he has taken.A old time ballplayer caught up in a numbers game.Hard nose,gritty and loves to play.Good luck!Maybe a 2nd gold glove?

Yes, a lot of bashing – but I am a 78 year old lady who has had Communist machine guns directed at me, have fled riots in Paris, have survived the most horrendous hurricanes at sea and am struggling with MS – but I am still awed by the beauty of the day and the joy of watching a baseball game – the Cubs. Win or lose it is the action of the endeavor that leaves me inspired to go on!

Good to hear White. I must say however that I do see the difference between “bashing” and pointing out a players weak areas. Offense in Barney’s case. I think more of the latter has been on this blog and not so much “bashing”. I would think Barney is more akin to Ozzie Smith (no, all you nay-sayers…NOT Ozzie’s equal…let me finish…) an outstanding fielder, no outstanding bat, but would be MOST welcome on a contending team with lot’s of offense from the positions that normally provide offense (as Diamondjim points out). On THIS Cubs team that has been thrown to the wolves the past few years (and a few to come?) without any MAJOR offensive contributors from LF, RF, 3B or 1B (I said MAJOR!) Barney’s lack of offense is very noticeable and easily targeted. I admit to a few projectiles myself but there is no dismissing his value as a defensive gem. One must wonder if Barney himself would rather spend the next few years on a contender rather than languishing on THIS Cubs team without a chance of contending and more than likely being replaced (ironically) just as they begin to contend.

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Well you guys, let me come into this conversation, Barney’s number one fan, right White & Joey? haha. Barney is an amazing player! Now he can go for this gold and win it, I know he can. ANd for his “no hitting” thing, everyone on the team is going through it. For some reason they are all in a slump, for the past games we’ve only been getting a few runs in. So yes his fielding is awesome and he needs help hitting but he has enough talent to win it for sure!

You bring up a great point Isabel. The entire team does not seem to be hitting as well as expected (with the exception of Schieroltz perhaps because his expectations were not publicized) and this could be due to one or more of the coaching staff including the manager. I would not be very happy if some studs in my stable were not getting the best guidance. Time for Epstein to “reavulate” his crush on Sveum and Sveum’s “Brew Crew” of coaches. I would hope a change is in order and by the end of spring training next season Barney, Castro, Rizzo & Lake are on fire ready to solidify the infield next year. If not….I think Rizzo is the only one of those three that gets a long benefit of the doubt being a “Boston Baby”, the other two….not so fortunate.

I agree with you Joey! I also thought that the Coaches have a part in this but no one seemed to agree with me, just my grandpa. But I agree and see your point, hopefully they all just finish this season strong! :)

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