Orioles Jones, Wieters and Hardy get Gold Gloves

Three members of the Baltimore Orioles have won American League

Gold Glove Awards for their defensive prowess this season: center

fielder Adam Jones, catcher Matt Wieters and shortstop J.J.

Hardy.

The trio helped the Orioles reached the playoffs for the first

time in 15 years. It’s the first Gold Glove for Hardy and the

second for Jones and Wieters.

”We’re so proud of these guys,” manager Buck Showalter said.

”When you look at the consistency of these three guys – the number

of games they played and the level that they held themselves to

every night out there – not only did they make us better, but they

made their teammates better.”

The awards were announced Tuesday night. Baltimore was the only

team to earn as many as three Gold Gloves and was one of only two

clubs, along with the New York Yankees, to have more than one

player selected.

Hardy led AL shortstops in games (158), fielding percentage

(.992), putouts (244) and assists (529). He made only six errors in

779 chances, and his fielding percentage was the highest by an AL

shortstop since Mike Bordick in 2002.

”It means a lot to me. It’s definitely an award I always hoped

to get and never really expected to get. I’m surprised and honored

at the same time,” Hardy said. ”It’s definitely an award I’ve

seen a lot of shortstops get that are really flashy and kind of

catch the eye of a lot of people. I don’t look at myself that way.

I kind of look at myself as just trying to be consistent and

steady. I never felt like people noticed.”

Showalter noticed, and mentioned it after almost every game.

”I happen to think J.J.’s substance is his style,” the manager

said. ”I consider him to be very stylish. Maybe flashy isn’t the

word, but he can do things that other people can’t do.”

Wieters also received a Gold Glove last season. This year, he

led AL catchers in defensive games (134) and putouts (994). He

ranked second in runners caught stealing (32) and was third in

caught stealing percentage (38.6 percent).

Jones, who won the award in 2009, led AL center fielders in

games (162) and putouts (439) and was third in assists (7).

”To play the number of games that these three guys played, and

to maintain that level of defensive skill and contributing every

night regardless of what they do with the bat, it’s something I

made a lot of notes on mentally and physically,” Showalter said.

”To me it’s glaring how good they are at what they do, and how

hard it is to do what they do every night.”