Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Pedroia win Gold Gloves


Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Pedroia win Gold Gloves

BOSTON For the third time in team history -- and first since 1979 -- the Red Sox have three Gold Glove winners.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and second baseman Dustin Pedroia all were honored at their respective positions. The winners were announced Tuesday night in a special awards show on ESPN2.

It was Ellsburys first time winning a Gold Glove, but the second honor hes been given for his remarkable 2011 season. (He was also named the American League Comeback Player of the Year.) Ellsbury made no errors in 394 chances over 154 games, the only qualifying center fielder to record a perfect fielding percentage, with six assists this season. Ellsburys UZR of 15.6 was tops among all qualified center fielders.

Pedroia won the second Gold Glove of his career, along with his MVP season of 2008. Although his seven errors were the most in his career, and his .990 fielding percentage matched the lowest of any of his full seasons (in 2007), it was second among qualifying AL second basemen, behind only the Angels Howard Kendricks .992. Pedroias UZR of 17.9 was tops among all qualified second basemen.

Gonzalez won his third Gold Glove, after winning in 2008 and 2009 with the Padres. His .997 fielding percentage (four errors, 1,351 chances) was the highest of his career, and second only to that of the Rays Casey Kotchman (.998, two errors, 1,201 chances) in the A.L. His UZR of 11.1 was the best among all qualified first baseman.

Gonzalez appeared on the live broadcast on ESPN2 as the awards were announced.

It feels great, Gonzalez said. Its pretty awesome hearing Dustin won, as well. Its pretty awesome playing alongside him. Being able to win in both leagues, Im pretty grateful to everyone who voted for me.

We try to cover the whole right side of the infield there and hopefully we can do it for many years to come.

"I try to be a complete player. You can always go into offensive slumps, but defense is something that should never leave you.

"I always say pitching and defense is whats going to win championships . . . I take a lot of pride in it."

The last time the Sox had three Gold Glove winners in one season was 1979, when center fielder Fred Lynn, right fielder Dwight Evans, and shortstop Rick Burleson all won. The Sox also had three Gold Glovers in 1968: First baseman George Scott, left fielder Carl Yastrzemski, and center fielder Reggie Smith.

Since Gold Gloves were first awarded in 1957, Evans is the all-time Sox leader with eight, while Yaz is second with seven.

Cubs reach first World Series since 1945


Cubs reach first World Series since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.