Ike Davis Is Mad And Doesn’t Care Who Knows It

Ike-DavisMets’ spring training is less than an official week old and we’ve already had a mini-drama. This latest teacup tempest involves embattled first baseman Ike Davis. Davis, the subject of many a trade rumor this winter, the man on the hot seat, the repository of much Met fan frustration, boiled over at New York Post reporter Mike Vaccaro Puma. Vaccaro Puma had written an article regarding the oblique strain that scuttled Davis’s season last year, revealing that Davis was actually dealing with it all season, but hid it from the higher ups. It was even hinted that this might explain Davis’s putrid 2013 statistics.

This, of course, caused ripples all through Port St. Lucie. It naturally stirred up all the jokes about the Mets’ medical staff. Among long-time fans, visions of “It’s day-to-day,” morphing into “Why isn’t he playing?” leading to “He’s on the DL,” finishing with “He’s out for the season” became fresh again. The article forced manager Terry Collins to go on-record with the truism that players should be responsible for reporting injuries to him and to the training staff. It caused casual fans to wonder if that really was the cause of Davis’s off year. Finally, it got Ike Davis’s dander up and this may turn out to be the most important consequence of all.

The day after Vaccaro’s Puma’s article appeared, Davis confronted him in the Mets’ clubhouse. His argument was that the article was pointless. He was adamant that the injury had nothing to do with his results. Loudly, he told everyone “I sucked because I sucked.” To your intrepid columnist, this was a cool zephyr blowing through a potentially murky situation. This was a ballplayer stepping up and taking responsibility for the things he can control on the field. Here was a guy refusing to hide behind an injury; many athletes nowadays would call it out, seeking an excuse and forgiveness from the general public. Here was a teachable moment for the many youngsters in the room: nothing’s gonna bail you out but you, your performance and your attitude. It also spoke to the passion Davis brings to the game, passion which oftentimes is obscured by his calm, measured on-field demeanor. Face it: Ike Davis is not Paul O’Neill. Not a single 2013 water cooler needed to fear when Davis was around. The micro-blowup at Mike Vaccaro Puma gives lie to that image and it’s good to show the fans that side every once and awhile.

The major hope, of course, is that Ike Davis will be able to channel his anger into his at bats. We’ve all seen the power Davis is capable of when healthy and focused. If he can funnel his emotions into his plate appearances, fans populating the Pepsi Porch may end up with a couple of souvenirs. All winter, it’s been predicted – by me – that Davis will have a Dave Kingman type of year offensively: low AVG, decent OBP, high SLUG. Maybe if this incident snaps him out of his personal funk, this year might be a little more special than that. It might give the MSM something else to write about.

The fire this time.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley

17 comments for “Ike Davis Is Mad And Doesn’t Care Who Knows It

  1. phil soccia
    February 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Editor’s Note – This post was deleted for violating our Comment Policy on capitalization.

  2. Sean Flattery
    February 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I’m sure he’ll be in the Top 10 when it comes to complaining about called strikes.

    • brian
      February 25, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      You beat me to it. He spends too much time whining about every called strike instead of thinking about what pitch the pitcher might use on him next. His mind is already out of the at bat after a called strike and don’t think pitchers don’t know this.

    • Arturo Castelo Jr
      February 27, 2014 at 9:41 am

      True, he did a lot of that last season but he was right half of the time. Terrible calls which when your going bad you always seem to get. Pitches way outside that he could not hit with a paddle.

  3. Patrick Albanesius
    February 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    While Ike sometimes looked a little too distraught and mopey last year, this fire is a nice chance of pace. The worry for me is that Ike seems like the kind of guy who would benefit by not being the center of attention. Like, at all. This just shines more light on his faults, and the guy already needs all the confidence he can get right now.

  4. Artie
    February 25, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Puma wrote the article not Vaccaro.

  5. Race Manley
    February 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Come on Ike….I hope this lights a fire…im pulling for you!!!

  6. Name
    February 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Go Lucas Duda!

    • Chris F
      February 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm


  7. Jon
    February 25, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Psst, the writer was Mike Puma not Mike Vaccaro.

    As for Ike I’m sure he was genuinely taken aback and probably embarrassed at the play the Post gave his comments but he can’t go around being subject and editor at the same time, and his record on health pronouncements — really his health itself — can’t be trusted following the seasonlong ankle issue and the valley fever. I will be surprised if he’s still here in 3 weeks.

  8. Metsense
    February 26, 2014 at 7:54 am

    The fact that Davis was hitting poorly was enough of a reason to sit him in 2013. Being injured was a better reason to sit him. The lesson I take from this is that an unhealthy Davis is pretty useless and a healthy Davis is a pretty good ball player. You can’t rely on Davis to tell you his condition so when he isn’t hitting I would sit him. I still would give Duda his chance at first but that is not the Mets thinking. This issue should have been resolved two years ago. If Davis was traded he would probably have a decent career in his new home. So what ! Duda might have a decent career in Citifield if given the chance.

  9. February 26, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I admire Ike for not allowing an injury to become an excuse for his poor play. It’s old school.

    I also agree with comment that this fire within him may be a good thing.

    If he is healthy, 30+ homers would be special.

  10. Nebba
    February 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Ike will likely platoon and that will give him the best chance of succeeding. TC needs to get some production out of 1B and that’s the safest bet.

  11. Race Manley
    February 28, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    If Ike is healthy and producing there is no way he will platoon…We need that big lefty bat that can go up and hit us a 3 run bomb when we need it. We all know he can do it…he did it before. I believe this year he will have less pressure…people need to get out of his ear and let the man do his thing

  12. Chris F
    February 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Let’s face it though, he tagged a meatball. They didn’t pitch him with the outside breaking ball for some unknown reason. Maybe Alderson paid Mike Rizzo. Cap’t Kirk got the tough pitches!

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