Aug. 11, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: New York Mets base runner Ike Davis (29) celebrates with catcher Anthony Recker after scoring in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dealing Ike Davis About Business, But Also Emotions

 

Everyone and their mother has written an opinion this month about the guy who’s on the trading block but who likely won’t be dealt.

Except me, so here it goes.

Since the day I first saw Ike Davis play at NYSEG Stadium as a Binghamton Met, I became a proud card-holding member of the “I Like Ike” clan.

I partied like it was 1999 the moment I got the alert he was being called up to the majors.

Yeah, it’s that serious.

You’re told to take emotions out of the equation, that it’s a business. But we’re dealing with people, teams and true love to the orange and blue, so of course there is some emotion. We can’t take that out and we shouldn’t. Don’t you remember the good ole days? Don’t you remember what Ike showed us he could be?

I’ll be the first to admit I have a somewhat emotional attachment to keeping Davis. He was the first player I watched rise through the farm system. I saw him play multiple times in Buffalo and Binghamton, where his fluid swing drilled home runs to the train tracks.

And at my first ever game at Citi Field last year I proudly told off a group of guys who were convinced Davis would strike out with the bases loaded.

Davis did me a solid and creamed his first career grand slam. The stadium went nuts.

That’s what Ike Davis brings to the Mets lineup. He hasn’t showed that over a full year span since he was a rookie, but it takes patience. As an impatient person myself, it’s been a struggle. But the kid is home-grown with proven power who has hit some bumps in his young road.

Late last year in his home state of Arizona, Davis got on base four times in each of the complete games he played. He walked twice in game 2, one of which was intentional (you did read that correctly) and three times in game 3. He had four runs over the two games.

The press box was a little amazed at the Scottsdale product. We probably shouldn’t have been.

Before Davis’ first of two breakout games, manager Terry Collins told the media,

I think a lot of times he’s still dangerous in a lot of people’s eyes even though his numbers don’t relate to that. He gets in the batter’s box and the other pitching coach and the other pitcher know he’s the one guy who can do damage. In my estimation I think they’re being very careful with him.

He’s still dangerous. He still has it in him, it’s just a matter of letting him get it back. The end of last season was promising, more promising than the end of the season before. Following his return from Triple-A, Davis had double the walks and half the strikeouts in seven less games than his first half. His BA/OBP/SLG all also doubled.

The stats breakdown: First half vs. second half.

Davis focused on swinging at the right pitches late last season. It helped, and there shouldn’t be any reason it doesn’t continue into 2014. He has all off-season to work it out, both physically and mentally.

Plus, he’ll have Curtis Granderson in the lineup to ease the pressure. Davis wasn’t supposed to stay with the team long-term when he was called up in 2010. But he did and we fans hung our blue hats proudly on the fact our rookie was coming up big for our crummy team. He was our cleanup batter, our offensive juggernaut.

That’s too much for one guy.

His defense at first is solid, even without the memories of flips into the dugout for foul balls. He provides more upside than Lucas Duda and the way the market and off-season are looking, he’s most likely staying with the Mets anyway.

I Like Ike. Hopefully later this season it’ll turn into a profound, “We Like Ike.”

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Tags: New York Mets

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