The Tampa Bay Rays may be excluded from major league baseball's postseason, but the odds of outfielder Kevin Kiermaier walking away from the season with some personal hardware increases with every jaw-dropping play he makes.
The 25-year-old has been an absolute thief in center all season long, doing everything from robbing home runs to last night gunning down the potential tying run at home with a throw that went over 100 miles per hour.
The throw factored into starter pitcher Jake Odorizzi's decision, keeping a 2-1 lead in tact as he left the mound; he'd earn his ninth win of the season when the Rays beat the Miami Marlins 4-1.
While the objective observer would have a tough time excluding Kiermaier's season-long performance from the list of Gold Glove award winners, the process for deciding the honor isn't close to a meritocracy.
After all, Derek Jeter won the award at shortstop in 2010 despite being 16th and 15th in Fangraphs' UZR/150 and Defensive Rating statistics. And who could forget Rafael Palmeiro's glorious 1999 Gold Glove campaign, when he played a grand total of 28 games at first base, the rest spent as a designated hitter.
If Kiermaier doesn't win one this year, we might as well throw the award out.