From the desk of: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
NEW YORK METS: Ike Davis Is Running Out Of Time. Even A "Better Late Than Never" September Can't Help Him Now.
The Mets can no longer keep flipping a coin with Ike Davis, hoping it comes up heads. For his part, the beleaguered first baseman is doing nothing in the mean time to help his cause. And with thirty-one games left in the regular season, there is not much more he can accomplish between now and October that will sway many minds off their current opinions of him. His continuing struggles this season have simplified the situation if only somewhat. Because now, you either like Ike, or you don't.
He has received instruction on the major league level, and at the AAA level with Wally Backman and his staff, but to no avail. At present, all he has going for him is a defective swing, old highlight footage and a prayer. That's not a good place to be. For a youngster with his amount of experience, in baseball terms that translates into an off-season non-tender. This much is sure, no matter what he does between now and the end of the season, he will surely be treated in a cold, hard, business like manner by Team Alderson. His could be a case management might be more than willing to let an arbiter decide - which would be an arbitration rarity for the Mets.
I like Ike, and I'm not so sure Matt Harvey's impending surgery hasn't bought Davis one more year playing first base in Flushing. This much is also sure - with every passing at-bat, his price drops a little more. The Mets have multiple holes to fill, and supposedly will have a few more of Fred Wilpon's discretionary dollars to plug them with. But with so many needs now, they must surely prioritize. In fairness to Ike Davis, alternatives such as Josh Satin, Lucas Duda, Eric Campbell or even Wilmer Flores, etc., have done nothing to suggest the first base job is better off in their hands. Ike is still smooth as silk with a glove, and I like that he is left-handed. But at the very least, the Mets need him to be a reliable slugger in the middle of the line-up, which he hasn't been. In fact, he's been far from it.
But because Ike is such a well liked player, his is a disposition perfectly set-up to get horribly wrong. A decision to keep him, and have him succeed would come off like a stroke of genius; brilliant. To grant him walking papers, and watch him realize his full potential in another uniform like Jeff Kent and Kevin Mitchell did would set off a different kind of uproar, but none like the decision to keep him and watch him struggle through another full season in Queens.
Ike Davis' situation is way beyond - Better Late Than Never. What he needs now is friends in high places.