Ike Davis: From Swank To Skank (And Back?)

Games, Management, MiLB, Players, Prospects

The reaction to Ike Davis’s reported unhappiness that Zach Lutz was promoted over him when Lucas Duda went on the disabled list elicited disgust at Davis’s “selfishness” and “diva” behaviors. With Davis hitting .161 for the Mets, the demotion to Triple A was warranted. He got off to a slow start for Las Vegas, but is hitting now and is expected to be back with the Mets within days.

Was Davis right to be irritated? I don’t think it would’ve been a positive response had he nodded his head agreeably when hearing that it was Lutz instead of him. Davis was probably packing his bags and getting ready for a flight to Philadelphia when he heard of Duda’s injury and then had to recalibrate himself for more time spent in Las Vegas, a place that he doesn’t want to be as a player. Getting past the embarrassment of having been demoted after three full years in the majors and 32 homers last season, that the remaining cachet he has is as a former big leaguer who was deemed not good enough to be in the everyday lineup for the Mets—the METS!!!, and that he’s in Triple A where Ron Darling pointedly and honestly said on a recent Mets broadcast that “no one wants to be,” is anyone surprised that Davis is getting antsy and expected to get the call when Duda got hurt? Stunned that he saw a 27-year-old non-prospect like Lutz called up instead and got annoyed?

Davis enjoys the big league life and all it entails. He likes the sway and luxury. Although Las Vegas is far more appetizing toward that end than most other Triple A venues, he still doesn’t want to be there. Nor should he. While he might have the residue of name recognition and money to enjoy a city like Las Vegas as a nominal celebrity, there’s a difference between a group of big league players going to gamble and have dinner on an off-day and being treated like big leaguers and a guy who was sent to the town to fix that .161 average, nonexistent power and clouded head. It’s the fine line between swank and skank and Davis has had enough of the skank and wants to return to the swank of big league life.

Would it be preferable for Davis to plaster on a wide-eyed and blatantly phony smile that would be more fitting for a ventriloquist dummy and through clenched teeth say to Lutz, “I’m so happy for you,” extending a handshake so tight that one would think he was trying to break his hand? Or is it better for Davis to say, “Enough of this. Call me up already instead of a fringe big leaguer whose ceiling is Triple A,” and look like a whiner?

He didn’t want to go to Triple A in the first place. Why is there shock and indignation that he doesn’t want to stay there?