I've always had a soft spot for players that choke up on the bat....really, always, going back to Roy White (who even batted clean-up for the Yankees doing it), when I was a kid. There is a natural inclination to be more controlled, which isn't necessarily slower (and may be quicker), when you choke up on a golf club (go try it) and I'm sure the same thing applies with the bat.
Man, I've even seen Zunino choke up this year.
BTW, I didn't realize that Aoki leads the league in times caught stealing this year. He's a career 67% guys, so his 1st to 3rd glitz doesn't translate to 1st to 2nd.
I don't remember which Brewer it was last night, but one of them hit a little flair-up out to RF and dropped his head immediately, just knowing that was an easy play. But---Holy Marv Throneberry---Seth Smith didn't even come close to it!!! Heck, he barely got into the same zip code as the ball was when it nestled into the Safeco grass with out dimpling a blade. Now maybe Smith had him played wrong or maybe the batter's dejection at contact was too doomy & gloomy, but it sure caught my attention. Watching with my 88-year old dad, I commented on how the M's get weak in the COF's when we face RHP's. Servais is doing his best to mitigate that, running O'Malley out to cover for Smith in the late innings (interesting that it isn't Guti, who has goine from a GG CF'er to a -0.7 dWAR COF this year), but it is a bit of an issue to me. Then I remind myself that Aoki actually looks worse than he really is in LF, where he's "not bad" (essentially league average....even if he seems to take weird routes to balls). He isn't Alex Gordon, for sure, but he will do. This year, he's hitting RHP just like he always does (.740) but his bread and butter has been his ability to be tough on lefties, too....this year he isn't. Servais is handling that nicely, too. When rosters expand I imagine Heredia will get a few of O'Malley's vL starts in LF.
Hey, we're in a realy honest-to-goodness, true blue, Rock-em Sock-em Robots, Wild Card chase! Ain't it a blast?? What was it G. Washington said about the whistle of bullets in battle being a thrilling sound?
We're going to battle for the next 40 games. Felix, Seager, Zunino, Cano, Cruz, Kuma et al are bringing the heavy artillery. Even Lind is launching some howitzer shots again. Aoki? He's the Rangers, sneaking up on you!
Smoke 'em if you've got 'em.