Hitting .168 last year wasn’t enough. Hitting .182 this year isn’t enough. Failing to live up to the expectations of your contract isn’t enough. Failing to hit your friggin’ weight over the last four seasons hasn’t been enough.
Presumably, Davis was removed for lack of effort. In general, it really doesn’t matter why he was pulled. But if it’s not enough to be terrible, effort could now be getting called into question.
“It was just a disagreement that we had in the dugout,” Hyde said during his postgame press conference Wednesday night. “What was said, what we talked about, I’m not going to get into. We’re going to keep it in-house and that’s private. That’s something that happens sometimes, frustration boils over a little bit when we haven’t been playing our best baseball the last couple games. We’re embarrassed that it was caught on camera and that people had to see it. Sometimes those things happen.”
Davis was a fantastic player for the Orioles in 2012 hitting, 33 homers and driving in 85 runs in his first full season in Baltimore. The 2013 season saw Davis finish third in American League MVP voting, clobbering 53 dingers with 138 RBI. He hit .286 that season as well. He flopped in 2014 before another massive year in 2015 when he mashed 47 taters and drove in 117 runs while hitting .262.
That offseason, the Orioles gave Davis a seven-year, $161 million contract and it’s been downhill ever since.
2016 wasn’t awful. If Davis would have hit somewhere around 38 homers with 84 RBI throughout the tenure of this deal, many Orioles fans would have been okay with it. But 2016 was his best year since signing the contract and that is inexcusable.
Over the last three nightmare seasons, Davis has combined for 51 homers in 1,172 at-bats. Strikeouts have always been an issue for “The Crusher” but he has racked up 497 K’s over that time frame. That’s an alarming strikeout rate of 42 percent! You could pump fake right now and he’d swing and miss. Half the time he just stands there for a Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Night without so much as lifting the bat off of his shoulders.
He can’t play anymore. A base hit here and there doesn’t mean a hot streak is coming. He is not going to regain form and if he does, I personally don’t care anymore after last night’s unacceptable incident. This team is trying to rebuild and there are many young guys on this roster as well as in this system that need veteran players to look up too on the big club.
I feel bad for Davis. Imagine being that good at something and then not being able to do it anymore. For a few years, he was on top of the baseball world and he just flat out can’t do it anymore. I am sure he is depressed and that is sad.
I don’t think what Hyde said after the game matters either but I understand the point there. There are some things you never say to anyone and maybe this was one of those cases. Still, it’s not a good look for Davis to go after his manager. Maybe if you’re Trey Mancini, you have some grace/leeway if you go at Hyde. Hell, you could argue of all players to go after Hyde in any way, Davis might be on the bottom of the list.
Again, if Davis was in the midst of a big year, this is something that has the chance to be talked through and worked through. But he isn’t in the middle of a big year. In fact, it’s arguable that this season is worse than last year. He’s striking out at a 44% clip and has 31 RBI over 83 games which ranks him seventh on the club behind the likes of Hanser Alberto, Anthony Santander, and Dwight Smith Jr. Santander has been here for 52 freaking games and is outproducing this guy.
A message needs to be sent today by the Orioles front office that no player is allowed to walk over Hyde like this, especially not the worst player in baseball. Especially not the guy who is owed $23 million a year for the next three years. I don’t care about the money and they shouldn’t either. If you’re going to cut Davis at the end of the year, why wait?
Enough is enough.
Image Credit: Kathy Willens, AP