Feb 20, 2014; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis (29) chats with Lucas Duda (right) in spring training action at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Rebuilding No Longer A Crutch For Ike Davis

Deep down, I’m still in Ike Davis‘ corner, but the reality is that he’s complicating numerous issues.  Of course, there is the unanswered question of who plays first base.  He also poses logistical problems for Terry Collins, challenges the organizational mindset, and creates a logjam of back-up outfielders.

If Ike Davis starts the season at first base, Terry Collins will still potentially be faced with hiding him in the lineup – as he did last season – by batting him 6th or 7th until, if and when, he regains a productive swing.  The alternative is to bat Ike 4th or 5th and hope for the best.

The Mets will no doubt continue pursuing a trade.  It’s not my line, but it was recently said that you can’t trade a guy in a boot.  I agree, but also feel that Flushing is no longer big enough for both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.  Where first base is concerned, they are one and the same, which means we have a redundant situation.

In the club’s defense, despite their off-season attempts to trade him, Ike is still here because the organization would have been lambasted had they given up on him while obtaining close to nothing in return.  That was out of the question, so offering Davis arbitration was unavoidable.

At this point, however, I do not think the club can idly stand by again  if Ike Davis struggles for another three months, or beyond this year’s trade deadline.  That was a luxury previously afforded to Ike due to an ongoing rebuilding process.  That’s hopefully past practice, and should no longer be the case for a club attempting to elevate their standing.

Some time ago, the current general manager told us 2014 would inaugurate change.  I’m holding him and the organization to that. Therefore, the 2014 season should indeed usher in new standards and expectations. They should be thinking, and operating quite differently, and therefore looking to resolve this matter with conviction.

In part, that means the time for coddling players is over – rebuilding time is over.  The way I see it, Ike should be limited to three options – either seize the first base job and start performing like a franchise player, accept a demotion to the minors, or become a former Met.

Then there’s the case of Lucas Duda.

Curtis Granderson, Chris Young, Anthony Young, and Juan Lagares own the top four outfield spots, so, adding Lucas Duda to the mix all but ensures Matt den Dekker, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andrew Brown will start the season at Las Vegas.

Even a scenario wherein Duda starts the season at first, with Ike Davis on the disabled list, only buys the Mets a short time before they are forced to revisit the situation.  It is no secret that the Mets are leaning towards Lucas Duda at first base anyway, but are being cornered into a situation where they need to play Ike Davis.

Once he takes off his boot, and gets back to playing baseball again, for better or worse, Ike Davis will be in full control of what happens next.  This is effectively his last chance to turn everything around.  He’ll need to act quickly.  Anything short of a good start will surely invite more criticism, and hasten corrective action.


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  • Not4Nutten

    In my opinion, both Sandy and Terry are responsible for the decline in play of both Davis and Tejada. They have ripped them apart in every avenue of the Media. Never have I seen a witch hunt of young players by a GM and Manager. Their body language tells us they don’t want to play here. They are constantly having one or both look over their shoulder and that says a lot about what will probably happen to our young pitchers as well. Every pitcher has either been on the DL or Operated on in the last 3 years, only our 40 year old 18 game winner has avoided that and he’s his own doctor. If the Owners want to win and I think they do, they have to silent themselves as well as Sandy and Terry and invest in some major league talent!

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      I think Ike and Tejada brought most of this on themselves, however, I
      have been astonished over how brutally open Sandy and Terry have been
      with the media. They haven’t tried to sugar coat anything. You bring
      up a great point. The frequency of injury to Mets pitchers is
      alarming. As far as money issues, ownership has been spinning things
      since day one. They have never been truthful regarding their
      situation. In hard money, they haven’t spent anything yet. They’ve
      only given different people the same available cash.

    • Jenffrj

      I have to say that I agree fully with everything you have said here. You’ve hit every nail on the head. I think that attendance may suffer if no real SS or 1B is acquired before the season gets underway. It’s not like none are available!

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      Thanks Jen… Attendance is paramount for them. The optimism of seeing fresh faces will carry them through the first month or so. But, ultimately, people will only come out to see them win more games than lose.

    • RONBO19

      Mike, I think you and Jen both hit the nail on the head. Yes, Terry and Sandy have basically publicly challenged these guys which no doubt frustrates and embarrasses them.On the other hand, as you point out, the two of them have certainly brought most of the criticism on themselves. With Tejeda showing up late and out of shape last season and Ike going into these inexpiable early season funks they need to man up and deal with the criticism because as you said, they brought it on themselves. Hey, baseball is a performance so if you want to silence the critic’s do what they are paying you to do;perform!

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      Looks like we’re all sharing the same brain.

    • RONBO19

      Mike, I gotta say, this is probably the most frustrated I have ever been with this team. No question this team has a long history of frustrating its fans but the current state of this team is mind boggling! There are very small market teams that have significantly higher payrolls than the Mets who just happen to operate in the country’s largest market. With an obvious surplus of high end pitching and gaping holes at SS & 1B we sit there and ignore a proven power hitting option like Ken-dry’s Morales and two young talented SS’s the Mariners and Diamondbak’s are shopping. Then we watch a team like the Braves loose two of their starting pitchers and not hesitate to take out their check book and replace one of them with an Ervin Santana?

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      It’s ponderous! I had season tickets through the dark years of ’77-’82, and you’re right – the current situation has that beat. THERE IS NO MONEY! The Wilpons went from a 1% owner, to 5%, to 50%. In 2003, Fred cut Doubleday a check for his half. Then Wilpon immediately applied for financing on Citi Field. Then, a fruitful farm system of 30+ years, came to a grinding halt. Then Omar Minaya jacked up spending, and through losing picks via free agents, depleted the farm further. Then the ponzi scheme hit, and there went the Wilpon’s methods of financing payroll. With the Wilpon’s business model in utter failure, they incurred almost a billion in debt since, and needed to sell shares of the team to outsiders. They escaped this year’s $250 million note, and spread it over 7 years. They still have a $600 million note due next June to SNY. Attendance has fallen in every year of Citi Field’s existence. Money wise, IMO, there is perhaps no relief in sight for years to come. On top of that, we are 3 GM’s and 4 managers into Wilpon’s ownership. The farm has only very recently been revived, but money woes will surely persist. Yet, they tell us everything is OK. Yes RONBO, this is the worst period since the Dark Years, by far! Had Selig not thrown Sandy Alderson at the Mets, we wouldn’t even be this far along.

    • RONBO19

      Geez, Mike, I’m almost sorry I started this conversation.(not really, as its actually quite informative as i don’t tend to closely follow the financial issues with the ownership!)
      obviously I’m aware of the ponzi scam and its effect on the organization but I wasn’t aware of just how bad the situation still is. Frankly, I’m amazed Selig or someone in the office of Major league office has not encouraged them to sell the team. I cant imagine there is any way they could be forced to sell the team unless they were denied the ability to borrow money.

    • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

      LOL..!!! Never a problem my friend. This is fun. Despite Wilpon and Selig being good friends, that day may come yet. Wilpon is almost out of feasible options. Selig gave the former Dodgers owners the boot because they were looting the team to pay for (a divorce and…) personal expenses. Not so with the Wilpons. That’s why Selig has not encroached on Wilpon’s ownership.

    • RONBO19

      Interesting. I’ll be sure to stay in touch. Its great talking with you as you are well informed I only wish you covered the Jets too as they are nearly as exasperating as the Mets.