The Mets still have not had the ultimate Ike Davis conversation. The one multiple members of the organization told me will be held at season’s end when a group will advise Sandy Alderson on the tough decision about what to do next with the first baseman. And really don’t kid yourself about how difficult this choice is for the franchise. For those thinking you must keep him — well how do you get beyond “The Old Mets” syndrome if the team brings back Davis and he goes through another one of those dismal first halves that stains a lineup and drains an organization? But for those in the turn-the-page camp we offer you another Davis named Chris. His skinny batting average and fluctuating power frustrated the Rangers who twice sent him to the minors in 2010 when he hit .192. Texas traded him during the 2011 season and he finished with 33 homers in 2012 — one more than Ike. Still at the end of 2012 his age-26 season Chris Davis had a .775 OPS and 77 homers in 1644 plate appearances working in homer-friendly Texas and Baltimore or not all that different than Ike Davis has now at the end of his age-26 season with a .768 OPS and 67 homers in 1711 plate appearances hitting in hardly homer-friendly Citi Field. My friend Tom Verducci did a wonderful job in a recent Sports Illustrated article detailing the mental and physical alterations made by Chris Davis that have elevated him to be the pre-eminent power hitter in the game. Much of that success is derived from finally blocking out the noise — the endless stream of often good-intentioned counsel that turns into a stew of gobbledygook in a hitter’s brain. This is not to say refinement and simplicity will permanently fix Ike Davis. But when I asked recently what has turned Chris Davis’ career around a pro personnel head said simply “he turned 27.” It was shorthand to explain not every player is a prodigy such as Mike Trout or Manny Machado. Some need to combine reaching their athletic prime with a critical mass of educational at-bats. Late bloomers such as Jose Bautista Brandon Moss David Ortiz and Jayson Werth attest to the phenomenon.
Mets’ Ike decision is complicated
New York Post | Sep 4