Pena, Pedroia among first-time Gold Glove winners in AL
NEW YORK (AP) -- Carlos Pena grabbed attention for all those balls he hit. Now the Tampa Bay first baseman is getting noticed for the ones he caught.
The Rays star raised his profile Thursday when he won the Gold Glove, one of four newcomers on the AL team.
Pena bounced around the majors for several seasons before joining Tampa Bay in 2007, and quickly got a regular spot by hitting 46 home runs.
Pena starred with the bat this year, too, with 31 homers and 102 RBIs in helping lead the surprising Rays to their first playoff spot. He also sparkled with the glove, making only two errors as Tampa Bay reached the World Series, where it lost to Philadelphia.
The 30-year-old Pena has shown improvement in the field, cutting down from 13 errors with Detroit in 2003. He made eight last year with the Rays.
Rawlings has presented Gold Gloves since 1957. Managers and coaches pick players in their own leagues near the end of the regular season, and can't vote for someone on their team.
The Gold Gloves often raise the ire of many baseball fans. Critics claim the best fielders are overlooked in favor of more popular players, and further insist that better hitters get a break in the voting.
Hunter and Sizemore earned $100,000 bonuses in their contracts for winning Gold Gloves. Beltre and Suzuki got $50,000 each and Pena, Mauer and Young won $25,000 apiece. Mussina and Pedroia did not have Gold Glove clauses.
The NL Gold Gloves were announced Wednesday. Winners were pitcher Greg Maddux, catcher Yadier Molina, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, second baseman Brandon Phillips, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, third baseman David Wright and outfielders Nate McLouth, Carlos Beltran and Shane Victorino.