Mets Blew It With Ike Davis On Many Levels; So Did His Father

Ike Davis’ father, former Yankees reliever Ron Davis, has ripped into the New York Mets. The elder Davis said the Mets screwed up handling his son, which, while correct on some levels, can’t make things any easier for Ike if he stays with the team.

Ron Davis is correct, but partially.

RON DAVIS: Wrong in attacking Mets

RON DAVIS: Wrong in attacking Mets

Yes, he’s correct in that this began not with the Mets’ intent to trade Ike Davis, but for how public they made it.

“I think that’s why the Mets have really screwed up in that situation – because they’ve publicly done it so much,’’ Ron Davis said. “It’s saying to my son, `Hey, we don’t want you anymore.’ ’’

Well, yes and no.

The issue isn’t what it said about Ike Davis, but in what it tells other teams, `We don’t want Ike Davis, but please take him off our hands.’

The first rule in making a trade is to not devalue the talent you’re trying to unload. If you don’t think the player is worth anything, then why would other teams?

Another rule is to understand the value of the talent you’re trying to deal and don’t go in with the idea of fleecing the other team. The teams the Mets were talking to, notably Milwaukee, said GM Sandy Alderson’s asking price – the Brewers’ fifth starter – was too high.

So, the Mets did not want Davis and then asked for too much. But, that isn’t the whole story with how the Mets mishandled Davis.

With Ike Davis coming back from the ankle injury and the virus, the Mets might have rushed him back in 2012. Despite a horrid first half, the Mets didn’t send him back to the minors to work on his mechanics. Instead, they kept him around, a gamble that paid off when he had a strong second half to finish with 32 homers.

IKE DAVIS: Needs to learn to hit.

IKE DAVIS: Needs to learn to hit.

He was even more lost last year, but despite all signs saying Davis needed to go to the minors, the Mets ignored them in the hope of another strong second half. Long after it became apparent Davis was lost at the plate was when they sent him down. Then, they clearly brought him back too soon, which only compounded their mistake.

Alderson also screwed up by not having a defined objective for Davis after the season. Alderson had enough of a sampling of Davis to know what he should do.

That he didn’t want him was clear in the effort to trade him, but that intent should have been understated and with a lower asking price. By this time, teams were waiting out the Mets in hope they would release him. However, Alderson was playing chicken holding out for more.

Then, Alderson blew it more by offering Davis arbitration. Why would they do that for a player they clearly didn’t want?

While the Mets blew it on several levels with Ike Davis, I would be remiss in not calling out Ron Davis on a few things.

OK, you’re unhappy with how the Mets handled your son. Anybody can see that, but ripping the Mets does nobody any good, especially your son. The last thing a major league player needs is to have a Little League father upsetting things in the papers and clubhouse. What could the other players be thinking You want to rip the Mets? Fine. Do it after he’s out of the organization.

Secondly, don’t blame Citi Field for your son’s troubles. His problem is not with the ballpark, but his approach to hitting. Quite simply, he doesn’t know how to hit.

His comment last spring that, “I’m a home run hitter. I like to hit home runs. Strikeouts come with that,’’ tells you all you need to know about Ike Davis as a hitter.

Ron, you were a big league pitcher. Are you telling me you can’t look at your son’s hitting approach and say how you would attack him? C’mon. If you really wanted to help him, you’d study the video and tell him he needs to be more patient, he needs to stop trying to pull everything, he needs to use Citi Field to his advantage and hit balls in the gaps.

That’s how you would help your son. Not by being a Little League father. Ike Davis doesn’t need your coddling; he needs tough love.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

20 thoughts on “Mets Blew It With Ike Davis On Many Levels; So Did His Father

  1. Good analysis, John. The Mets completely misplayed that whole bit. They should have been hawking Duda as the unneeded part and Ike as the fair-haired boy if they really wanted to trade Ike. You are also spot-on in saying how Davis the Elder should be helping Ike by pointing out all the weird things he is doing to throw off his timing, and look back to footage where he really did hit well.

    When Ike came up he was a victim of Citifield, but since they pulled the fences he was a victim of the quest for the longball. Saying, “I am a homerun hitter blah blah blah” is a copout. One thing we all need to recall is that, unlike Duda, Ike is a pretty smooth defender at first but if we wanted Carlos Pena we could have signed him.

    • Yes. I agree. A good article

      The handling of Davis is odd.

      Considering how they do not rush their young talent why rush him? I don’t get it

      • Davis: When Davis came up they had just lost Delgado and no first base options. When he first came up Davis was far more patient and hit to left field. Then, for some reason, he stopped and tried to pull everything. His approach to hitting is off on so many levels, and it isn’t just physical mechanics. He doesn’t think like a real hitter.-JD

    • Met Fan 4 Life: Thanks for the kind words. Ron Davis didn’t do any favors for his son. As a pitcher, he knows how to attack an hitter. He had the potential to be a great teacher.-JD

  2. It’s clear to see where Ike got his bad attitude…in as much as he does nothing to improve himself, instead making excuses. Why wasn’t he playing winter ball? He can’t be bothered to actually work at his craft.

    • Hawk: His work ethic has been questioned. I’m not sure the minor leagues helped him at all. He got a few hits and the Mets thought all was well. He was supposed to go to Triple A to LEARN how to get a better approach. He clearly did not.-JD

  3. The banks stuck with the Wilpons as long as they made their interest payments and the value of the conglomerate we call ‘The New York Mets’ (team, SNY, stadium) is now over $2bil. All parties involved know they could strike a deal tomorrow based on fair market value and walk away a very, very rich family.

  4. Lets look at the WHOLE PICTURE here to start. Ike can out Hit, and with no mistake OUT PLAY Lucas Duda while playing with 1 arm and 1 leg. Duda couldn’t catch a cold let alone a baseball and that’s proven, So lets also look at how the Mets field their players. Honestly the Mets organization couldn’t figure out the right lineup if it was a paint by number puzzle. With the team they had last year the should have been without a doubt a .500 team. But when you keep scrubs like Tejada who at his best is a A BALL player you get what you deserve. Get a real SS and lose some of the horrible relievers and the year will go just fine.

    • brian: There’s no doubt Davis has a higher upside than Duda, who is a DH quality player. Tejada gave them a good year, and like Davis they are hoping for a rebound year. This is his last chance, too.-JD

  5. I can’t say they handled him great, but enough with the kid gloves. They handled him great in 2012 and stuck with him. Then in 2013, his regression made it tough. No one to blame but Ike in this situation. His 2012 offseason work did not get him into hitting shape for 2013. If he’s given a shot this year, IMO, it’s put up or shut up. If he goes 20-120, he has nobody to blame but himself. It’s not confidence from the Mets he needs. He needs to put up numbers, or more deserving guys, who the Mets have less confidence in, like Duda, Flores, Satin, will be taking his spot.

    • mikeb: I think the kid gloves are off. Sending him down last year and attempting to trade him has to be a clear signal. If not, then what? The leash will be short this year. It has to be.-JD

  6. Great article, yet we the fans have compunded the issue with our constant negative comments as well. So the blame game is much shared ALL the way around. We have made Ike an unwelcome entity on our team. I personally am an Ike supporter, and still have not lost belief in him. Support from front office, the fans, has not been there for him. There are questions of attitude, by the fan base, yet he is entering prime. Where were these questions on Strawberry years ago when he was not much better. This is the season where Ike should become better at just one thing only, driving in runs. There are situations where the best run producers learned that a hit is what is needed more than the long ball, adapting to such a philosophy. Run production is what wins games, and Harvey would not have had as many no decisions. This is where DW needs to step in with Ike. I hope he does so with him.

    • Metfan62: Thanks for the compliment. This is a make-or-break year for Davis. That he’s hit is the past is why the Mets are hanging on to him. But, for how long?-JD

  7. Granted, the Mets have shown patience with Ike over the past 2 years. I am convinced though that the additions of Young and Granderson will have a huge effect on Ike’s game this year. Having a supporting cast in the lineup can make all the difference and I for one am hoping Ike will have a very good year and we will all be thankful he wasn’t dealt during the off-season.

    • JMHammer: You make a very interesting point. Davis has had little protection in the batting order and not much as been made of that, including by myself. We talk about protection in the batting order for Wright. The same applies to Davis. Nice job.-JD