There were six Cincinnati Reds in the top three for National League Rawlings Gold Glove awards for 2012 and they made it a clean sweep.
All six were swept out the door.
When the envelopes were ripped open Tuesday night, not a single Reds player took home the gold.
Center fielder Drew Stubbs, right fielder Jay Bruce, first baseman Joey Votto, second baseman Brandon Phillips, shortstop Zack Cozart and pitcher Bronson Arroyo all made the final three, as voted upon by the National League managers and coaches.
But the team that thrived on defense, the team that was near the top of the league in defensive statistics all season, was shut out. The Reds had the most nominees, six players for the nine positions, but none made the final cut.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that second baseman Phillips was beaten out by Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney.
Phillips, who made more barehanded plays than an NFL wide receiver, had won the award three of the last four seasons. His spectacular plays were a weekly staple on ESPN’s WebGems.
Even broadcaster and former major leaguer John Kruk was stunned.
“To me, that’s the biggest upset of the year,” he said. “I thought Brandon Phillips was going to retire the award.”
Barney, too, seemed a tad surprised when he said, “I never expected the award. I’m a pretty plain player. I don’t put any extra flare into my game. I just catch it and get the guy out.”
Barney probably snatched the Gold Glove away from Phillips with his streak of 140 consecutive errorless games, a streak that was three outs short of a major league record for second basemen when he made a throwing error on Sept. 29 against Arizona.
Third baseman Rolen, owner of eight Gold Gloves, missed a large portion of the season due to injuries, but received a shout-out from this year’s winner, San Diego’s Chad Headley.
“Scott Rolen is the best role model I have,” Headley said. “He plays low to the ground, like me, and is very consistent.”
Injuries probably robbed Votto of his second Gold Glove. He missed 48 games after knee surgery. When Votto won his first Gold Glove last season, after winning Most Valuable Player in 2010, he said, “Winning a Gold Glove is the proudest moment of my career because I worked so hard to become a good defensive player.”
Cozart, the only rookie among any of the NL finalists, was a surprise nominee, but lost out to four-time winner Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Stubbs was an outfield finalist for the first time and Bruce was a finalist for the second consecutive season. Stubbs lost to Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and Bruce lost to Atlanta’s Jason Hayward, both first-time winners.
Arroyo won his only Gold Glove in 2010 and lost to Miami’s Mark Buehrle, who came over to the National League after winning three consecutive Gold Gloves in the American League for the Chicago White Sox.
The Reds received another snub when catcher Ryan Hanigan didn’t make the final three. Nobody would argue with the winner, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, but Hanigan’s 3.05 ERA when he caught was the lowest in the majors and he threw out nearly half of the runners attempting to steal.