OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp definitely remembers the error he made in Game 2 of last year's American League Division Series in Detroit, but not for the reasons you might think.
He remembers it mostly because it's the last error he made. Since then, the A's center fielder has been flawless -- not a single drop, boot or bad throw in 110 games and more than 300 chances.
He's the only regular A.L. center fielder not to make an error during the 2013 season, quite an accomplishment for a player who covered more ground than any other center fielder in the league, according to some high-tech range-factor statistics.
"Hopefully I'll win my first Gold Glove," he said. "That would be awesome. I don't care about batting titles, stolen base titles. But I would like to win a Gold Glove."
Alas, the A's were recently informed that he does not qualify for the Rawlings Gold Glove under the new -- and somewhat unknown -- guidelines adopted by the company. An outfielder must play 95 games and 713 innings by the team's 141st game to be eligible. Crisp missed the cutoff by two games despite logging 779 innings.
"He's been as good as anybody I've seen, no doubt about it," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's had quite a run. He's done everything we could expect out of a center fielder."
"The knock on him with the Gold Glove is he doesn't throw people out," Brandon Moss said. "But for every guy he doesn't throw out, he runs down three doubles in the gap. He saves runs, no question about it."
Chris Young, who knows a few things about playing center field as a former Gold Glove finalist, thinks Crisp should be a lock. Damn the qualifications.
"Every center fielder in the league is going to be fast, but what separates the best ones like Coco is being able to see the ball off the bat and take good routes," Young said. "I saw quite a few balls this year I didn't think he'd get to, but he got them. He also made some amazing diving plays. If you don't make any errors and you make all the plays, you deserve it."
While being ineligible may irk Crisp, he doesn't chafe at being asked about the playoff error in Detroit last year. He remembers it well, as he does most of the mere 25 errors he's made during his 12-year major league career.
"I don't think about it until somebody brings it up," he said. "It doesn't matter, things happen during your career both good and bad. I put it behind me the day after it happened."
Many have questioned whether the error he made in Game 2 of the ALDS last year was actually an error at all.
Miguel Cabrera was jammed on a pitch that he fisted into short center field. Playing deep for Cabrera in spacious Comerica Park, Crisp broke back briefly, then ran an incredibly long way just to get to the ball. He got there, but when he tried to make a basket catch, it hit off the heel of his glove and two runs scored to give Detroit a 3-2 seventh-inning lead.
Crisp didn't dispute the error call. But when reliever Sean Doolittle, who was pitching at the time, remarked that Crisp "catches that ball 99 times out of a 100," the outfielder corrected him.
"I like to think I make it 100 out of 100," he said at the time. "It's just unfortunate that I didn't make the catch. I felt like I should have made it, obviously. I'm better than that. In this type of situation, you've got to make that play."
After Crisp's error, the A's regained the lead 4-3, but they ultimately lost 5-4.
Crisp isn't thinking about redemption in this rematch with the Tigers. His goal simply is to win a second World Series ring. He got his first in 2007 with the Boston Red Sox.
"Not taking anything away from other teams, but these young guys put in a lot of hard work and they deserve it," he said. "Coming from the underdog aspect of it and becoming the team that they are -- I guess I'm involved in that, too -- it would mean a lot to share a World Series win with this group of guys."
The Tigers know the impact Crisp could have. Even though he hit just .182 in last year's ALDS, he homered to lead off Game 1 against Justin Verlander. He led off Game 3 with a single and subsequently scored the first run in a game that the A's never trailed. Then he had a walk-off hit that won Game 4.
Although Crisp doubts that 2013 has been his best all-around season, he did post career highs this year in runs (93), homers (22) and walks (61). The errorless season was his first. He also cemented his position as the team leader, although he chuckled a bit at that.
"It just means that I'm old and cool and I'm not a butthead," he said. "If they ask me questions, I'll answer them. That's just being a normal veteran as I see it. But it is an honor that they look at me as a person they can come to for advice."
And perhaps this postseason, he'll catch everything he can reach, as he has done all season.
(Max Scherzer 21-3)
at A's (Bartolo Colon 18-6), 6:37 p.m. TBS
(Justin Verlander 13-12)
at A's (Sonny Gray 5-3), 6:07 p.m. TBS
(Jarrod Parker 12-8) at
Detroit (Anibal Sanchez 14-8), time and TV TBA
(Dan Straily 10-8) at Detroit (Doug Fister 14-9), time and TV TBA
Oct. 10*: Detroit at A's,
time and TV TBA
Find out columnist Tim Kawakami's pick to win the series at www.mercurynews.com/tim-kawakami
Whether Yoenis Cespedes plays left field is still up in air. PAGE 4