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.
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.
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.
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