Albert Einstein defined insanity as repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. In baseball terminology this is called Ike Davis.
Davis swings -- and misses. Put him back out there and let's try again. OK. Everyone deserves a second chance, right? Another oh-fer. Be patient we're told every player goes through a slump. One bad game becomes a series; then a homestand; a week; a 10-day road trip. Just wait. The team is coming home and he's going to enjoy some good ol' fashioned home cooking. A month passes. Six weeks. Didn't this happen last season too? Yes. But this week, oh boy, all these right-handed pitchers, you watch, Ike is going to feast of them. Besides, we're putting him back in the cleanup spot where he is comfortable. I know he struck out four times in a game, but did you see it? He's swinging better.
Am I losing my mind? Why does this feel like a scene out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? This is insane.
The Mets first baseman recorded his first hit in a week Friday against the Chicago Cubs. Do you remember the last time the Mets first baseman got a hit? After Jordany Valdespin’s now infamous ninth-inning home run last Friday off Jose Contreras of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Davis singled to center field; an unremarkable hit at a remarkable moment of the Mets season. Timing, whether at the plate or in a larger context, has not been one of Davis' strengths.
In between singles Davis has struck out 11 times in 24 at-bats, including four K’s Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals. His season batting average has dropped 30 points in a week (.190 to .160). Davis is right back where he was one year ago on this date. If history is to repeat itself, Davis won’t begin coming out of his two-month funk until mid-June – or four weeks from now.
Despite his prolonged slump, the Mets are determined to keep Davis on the major league club. Just when it appears he’s punched his ticket to Las Vegas, manager Terry Collins offers a verbal reprieve. One week ago, after Davis admitted to “letting the team down,” Collins served up what sounded like an ultimatum: "It's a work in progress," he said. "We'll have much more answered by the end of the week and see what happens."
Here's what happened:
- Sunday, May 12: 0-for-4 (two strikeouts)
- Monday, May 13: 0-for-2
- Tuesday, May 14: 0-for-3 (one strikeout)
- Wednesday, May 15: 0-for-4 (one strikeout)
- Thursday, May 16: 0-for-5 (four strikeouts)
Davis was 0-for-18 with eight strikeouts in the five games following Collins’ statement. After the four strikeout game, Collins said:
“Ike’s swinging better. The hardest part is when he’s swinging better, he’s not getting any hits and that’s frustrating.”
Swinging better? Davis didn’t put a single ball in play the entire game. He … struck … out … four … times. He’s not just “not getting any hits,” he’s not even making contact. That's crazy talk. At this point, I am not sure who needs a straightjacket more, Mets fans or Collins, who has become the male version of Nurse Ratched, allowing this cruel and inhumane treatment to continue.
When Davis finally broke his hitless skid with a sixth inning single at Wrigley Field Friday against the Chicago Cubs, Collins wobbled -- again -- on making a decision. “I don’t know, we’ll see what happens this weekend, I don’t really know what we will try,” Collins told New York media.
No. Where is Jack Nicholson? The lies, voices, the strikeouts; please make them stop.