On Monday morning, New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis was agitated when an injury he failed to disclose to the team last season was uncovered. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweeted the series of events that followed:
Ike Davis livid at a NY Post story suggesting he played hurt most of last season. Says oblique injury did not affect his performance at all.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 24, 2014
The aforementioned report was by Mike Puma of the New York Post, who wrote:
Ike Davis concealed an oblique injury from Mets officials for most of last season because of bad timing and the fact he was struggling and didn’t want to surrender his spot in the lineup, the beleaguered first baseman told The Post on Sunday.
Monday morning, Davis encountered Puma and was not pleased with the fact that he ran the story, as DiComo tweeted:
Quite the scene in #Mets clubhouse this morning. Players staring gape-mouthed as Ike screamed at Post reporter, disputing content of story.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 24, 2014
Davis then proceeded to refute the report to the media, as tweeted by Adam Rubin of ESPN:
Ike Davis disputes accuracy of report -- says oblique was tight for few months but never was making excuse. "Everyone has injuries."— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) February 24, 2014
"I sucked because I sucked." -- Ike Davis #mets— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) February 24, 2014
Before Monday, there was a solid argument that the Mets needed to trade Davis. After this outburst, it appears as if Davis’ tenure in New York could (and should) be over.
Davis has been a distraction the past two seasons, and this outburst only added to the drama. The Mets needed Davis to hit for power in both 2012 and 2013 if they wanted any chance to win, but for the most part, he let them down.
While he hit an impressive 32 home runs in 2012, most of them came in the second half while the team was out of contention. Even with the late-season power surge, he ended the season with an unremarkable 1.1 fWAR. In comparison, Marlon Byrd had an fWAR of 4.1 in 2013 while hitting 24 home runs, exhibiting how little Davis brought to the table in 2012 outside of his power.
In 2013, Davis got off to a slow start once again, but unlike the previous year, he was never able to come out of his power slump. He was an embarrassing presence in the Mets’ lineup, finishing the season with a pathetic minus-0.1 fWAR in 103 games.
Both seasons the Mets and their fans waited through Davis’ terrible performances with the hopes that he would tap into his monstrous power, and that waiting has been a major distraction. Now, with a comparable player (albeit with a less high ceiling) in Lucas Duda also vying for the first base job, Davis’ potential power is no longer worth the distractions he brings to the team.
As Andy Martino of the New York Daily News has reported all offseason, the Mets have been trying to trade one of Davis and Duda in order to remedy their first base situation, with the team’s preference being to trade Davis.
I predicted last week that Davis would get traded during spring training. Now, with the news breaking that Davis not only viciously disrespected a member of the media but also possibly lied to the team about his health last season, the Mets may lower their asking price and are even more likely to deal their slugger prior to the season.
Many fans still cling to the idea that Davis is the Mets first baseman of the future, drooling over his power potential and sometimes slick defense. While he may still have a solid major league career ahead of him, the Mets need to cut him loose now, as a positive future in New York seems unlikely.
Davis harmed the Mets last season by hiding his injury, and has single-handedly kept the Mets from winning games the last two seasons by being a near-automatic out in the middle of the order for weeks at a time. The Mets need to realize that Davis’ light-tower power is not worth his baggage, and that with Duda in the wings, it is time to move on.
Hopefully, Davis goes on to have a great career, but after all he’s been through in New York, his best chance to succeed is elsewhere.
All statistics courtesy Fangraphs.