Coutinho: My Take On Ike Davis, Stick With Him
By Richard Coutinho
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New York, NY (WFAN) – The Mets have played 60 games in the 2012 season and Ike Davis is hitting .162. Everyone has weighed in on these issues trying to figure out how to straighten out Ike and as a consequence, there has been, in my opinion, too much tinkering. “Everyone who has given me advice is trying to help me and their hearts are in the right place”, says Davis, ‘but quite frankly it is up to me.”
Last night at Yankee Stadium, Davis had some real good at-bats including a drive that reached the warning track in center field as well as 2 walks and a single. “It was the best night I had in a long time”, said Davis,”and something to build on. Of course, we did not win the game and that is the most important thing but I felt good at the plate and that is a positive.”
The question everyone keeps asking is whether Davis should be sent down with the prevailing notion being that would be the best thing to do. I could not disagree more. The Mets need him to find his way here at the major league level because even if he has success down in AAA, he might still have the doubt he can hit major league pitching and that is the last notion you want creeping into his head. The other thing is the Mets need his bat to provide a power source and his replacement could never do that. So, I am going to do something outrageous here–I am going to show support for a player who is in a terrible drought. That’s right–a member of the media is going to show a little compassion for a player he believes in despite hearing from every corner of the press box he needs to be sent down.
After last night’s game when all the media left, Ike Davis and I talked about his situation and he told me that he can not believe what is happening. “I know I have been real bad”, says Davis, “but when it rains, it pours. By that, I mean when I hit it hard it is caught and that is frustrating.” I simply told him that it might seem that way but all that means is when it turns around, it will be like an avalanche because life is like that and baseball imitates life so why shouldn’t this game be like that.
He assured me he is 100% healthy and the Valley Fever has nothing to do with his struggles and I believe him. I also believe IN him as a player and I know that is not the popular notion but I’d keep playing him because if the Mets are to go to the playoffs, his bat HAS to be a big part of it. Sure you could move Duda to first and recalibrate the outfield but that is just a band-aid and won’t provide any long-term improvement.
I remember back in 1988 when Tommie Agee slumped as a first year Met spending most of the year below the Mendoza line but Gil Hodges still stuck with him because he knew Agee was the long-term answer in centerfield. A year later we all found out why Hodges stuck with him. And I know there will come a time when the patience Terry Collins shows with Ike Davis will pay off in a similar fashion.
That is why I would not send Ike Davis down.
What would you do with Ike Davis? Let us know below.