<
>

Dirty dozen for Pudge; sixth for Chavez, Hunter, Ichiro

Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez captured his record 12th Rawlings Gold Glove Award, highlighting the list of American League winners announced Thursday.

Rodriguez, who won for the first time since 2004, is the all-time Gold Glove leader among catchers, two ahead of Hall of Famer Johnny Bench (10).

The Rawlings Gold Glove, awarded for defensive excellence and voted on by each league's managers and coaches, is now in its 50th year. The National League winners will be announced Friday.

Joining Rodriguez on the AL list is Tigers batterymate Kenny Rogers, who earned his fifth Gold Glove overall and his third straight.

Detroit pitchers made five errors during the Tigers' five-game
loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, four on bad throws and another on
a botched comebacker. No other pitching staff had made more than
three errors during a Series.

Rogers did not have any fielding fumbles, but he did have a
brownish smudge on his pitching hand in the first inning of Game 2.
Whether it was dirt, pine tar or something else may never be known
-- St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa never urged umpires to
check Rogers' hand and instead merely asked them to make sure
whatever it was went away.

The hand was clean when he came out for the second, Rogers went
on to pitch shutout ball through the eighth and Detroit won 3-1 --
its only victory of the Series. Rogers, who pitched 23 scoreless
innings in the postseason, was poised to start Game 6 but Detroit
lost to the Cardinals in five games.


Leading the AL's Gold Glove infield is Oakland A's third baseman Eric Chavez, who won for the sixth straight year. In addition, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees garnered his third consecutive Gold Glove at shortstop; Mark Teixeira of the Texas Rangers was a repeat winner at first base; and Mark Grudzielanek of the Kansas City Royals won for the first time at second base.

"This was the best year I've played defensively. That's why I
felt comfortable," said Chavez, who played through injuries and
hit just .241 with 22 homers and 72 RBI. "I knew I could impact
the game defensively. I knew I had to because offensively I was not
able to produce."


Yankees owner George Steinbrenner praised captain Jeter and
campaigned for him to get another award.



"I hope he wins the MVP," Steinbrenner said. "He should."

In the outfield, Minnesota Twins center fielder Torii Hunter and Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki each earned their sixth straight Gold Glove, while Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells won for the third year in a row.

Chavez and Rodriguez each earned $100,000 bonuses for winning
Gold Gloves, while Rogers gets $75,000. Grudzielanek, Suzuki and
Wells get $50,000 apiece and Hunter receives $25,000.


To celebrate its golden anniversary of the award, Rawlings is initiating a nationwide fan vote to select the all-time Rawlings Gold Glove Golden Anniversary team -- the greatest fielder at each position.

A panel of baseball historians and experts will choose 50 players, several at each position, who will appear on the final ballot. Fans will begin voting during spring training, and the all-time team will be revealed during the 2007 All-Star break. Rawlings has launched a Web site (rawlingsgoldglove.com) with more information.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.