2012 Defensive Indifference Awards

December 31st, 2012 by pbr

Kurt Suzuki didn’t care about baserunners advancing 16 times in 2012, and that would give him a Defensive Indifference Award for the year – except that he switched leagues part way through. He was indifferent to defense 9 times for Oakland and 7 times for the Nationals. Since baseball awards are traditionally split by league, he doesn’t get one. Maybe that will make him be less indifferent about defensive indifference. Or… less indifferent about an awards system that punishes players for changing leagues. But still, he was behind the plate and ignored base runners going from first to second base 14 times, and second to third twice, figuring in each case that those runners didn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, and making any attempt to throw them out wouldn’t be worth the effort.

For the American League award, the indifference trophy is split between two players from the same team. Chris Iannetta and Bobby Wilson each had 12 instances of defensive indifference. All twelve for each player were on runners going from first to second base. And the Angels didn’t care about any of them.

In the National League there was a deep pack of catchers trying to be the most indifferent, but none could break into double digits. Carlos Ruiz (PHI), John Buck (MIA), Matt Treanor (LAD), Jonathan Lucroy (MIL), Ryan Hanigan (CIN) and Buster Posey (SF) all had 9 recorded Defensive Indifferences in 2012.

The Angels had 31 total instances of Defensive Indifference in 2012, and that shatters the 21st century record for single season indifference by one team. The 2009 Dodgers were charged with indifference on 25 plays.

Here are the team by team totals for 2012:
Angels – 31
Nationals – 22
Brewers – 18
Tigers – 17
Dodgers – 17
Rangers – 17
Rays – 15
White Sox – 15
Marlins – 14
Giants – 14
A’s – 14
Phillies – 13
Mariners – 13
Padres – 12
Reds – 12
Mets – 11
Pirates – 11
Indians – 10
Rockies – 10
Yankees – 10
Cardinals – 9
Cubs – 8
Diamondbacks – 7
Blue Jays – 7
Twins – 6
Braves – 5
Orioles – 5
Red Sox – 5
Royals – 4
Astros – 1

Alex Gordon, Cameron Maybin, and Josh Reddick all had 5 instances where they advanced a base while the defense was indifferent.

Overall there appears to be an upward trend in defensive apathy, with 353 total DI instances in 2012. In the 2000 season, only 199 defensive indifferences went into the score books.
Here is the year by year chart:

Season Defensive Indifference
2000 199
2001 213
2002 202
2003 219
2004 247
2005 231
2006 208
2007 255
2008 246
2009 307
2010 304
2011 296
2012 353

2 Responses to “2012 Defensive Indifference Awards”

  1. morineko says:

    and 10 of the 18 Brewers’ DI cases came with John Axford on the mound!

  2. cwolf20 says:

    I’m surprised that percentage isn’t higher.

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