I thought Barack Obama had Rookie of the Year locked up, and was even in contention for MVP. He had a great first half, so they moved him into the cleanup spot, where’s he’s less protected. Recently he’s been swinging at bad pitches, trying to hit a home run every time. Now that pitchers have learned his tendencies, they’re getting him out more easily. He went 0-4 against O’Reilly the other night, barely making contact. Maybe he’s been reading his press clippings. His fielding has dropped off as well, making a lot of mental errors. He’s better as a leadoff or two-slot hitter, and I think they’ll have to move him from SS to 2B eventually. He’s not really a power hitter, but he’s been put under that expectation because of injuries this season.
Steinbrenner once unfairly accused Dave Winfield of being Mr. May, in contrast to Reggie Jackson’s Mr. October. That wasn’t true of Winfield, but it might turn out to be true of Obama.
This Palin kid up from Triple-A is impressive so far. She’s more of a line-drive hitter, steals a lot of bases. Her fielding has been specatacular since she’s come up, including that game-saving throw to the plate last week, but her usual game is consistency. If she just stays within herself she’ll do fine. It’s too soon to tell. She has to learn to foul off bad pitches and make opponents work to get her out. I also don’t like her stolen-base percentage – a little too aggressive, trying to force errors. I don’t know if she’ll have enough at-bats to qualify, but she’s contributing in a pennant race, while Obama is choking.