Ike Davis, is that Vegas calling?
By Lisa R. Neilson
Life is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. It will eat you up, spit you out and run over you. It will present you with detours and obstacles that you never saw coming. And still, you continue on. That’s what NY Mets first baseman Ike Davis needs to do: continue on through one miserable at bat after another, continue on through miscued soft grounders along the first baseline, continue on through a costly obstruction call. OR, continue on to a short demotion to Triple-A. And soon.
I like Ike but watching him at the plate lately is giving me agita. The guy looks lost and uncomfortable out there and I can’t really find any negatives to sending him down. While it’s true that Davis worked out of a similar slump last season without being moved—ultimately hitting a total of 32 home runs by the time October rolled around—the Mets’ first half of 2012 was not as abominable as this year has been. The Mets need some run production and they need to win some games. Davis isn’t helping in either area.
Davis could benefit from removing himself from the microscope—aka, the New York media—that is examining every move he makes. There will be less pressure in Las Vegas which could mean that Davis may just be able to get his swing figured out and return to New York a new man. Or at least as the Ike we knew after last year’s All Star break. Listening to the Citi Field crowd boo him Wednesday afternoon made me cringe; I wonder what it did to Ike.
Being demoted to Triple-A isn’t unheard of. Both former Miami Marlins Gaby Sanchez and Toronto Blue Jays Adam Lind landed there last season after experiencing their own struggles in the game. Even SNY broadcaster and former NY Mets Keith Hernandez tells of his woes with the bat during his second year in the biggies with St. Louis and how some time spent in the minors greatly helped his career. The same could happen to Davis.
Of course, going to Vegas is a crapshoot. Hitting in the minors does not guarantee the same success in the majors. But Davis is a potentially powerful hitter who needs to find himself. He is an important piece to this NY Mets team. Rebooting in Vegas may just be the answer this first baseman needs.
Hey Ike – Vegas is calling, and the time has come for you to answer!