Is Ike Davis Hamburger Meat?


The excitement of the Omar Quintanilla signing has been somewhat muted by the latest comments by the father of Ike Davis, as reported by Adam Rubin in ESPN-NY.

Former Yankee reliever Ron Davis told Rubin that the Mets could have done a better job of trying to trade his son this winter. The elder Davis said:

“I think that’s why the Mets have really screwed up in that situation — because they’ve publicly done it so much, it’s saying to my son, ‘Hey, we don’t want you anymore,'” the ex-Yankee Ron Davis said Tuesday afternoon at a Baseball Assistance Team charity event in Manhattan. “So I think they backed themselves into a corner saying, ‘We want to trade you, but we want ‘X’ amount.’

“Now, with Milwaukee getting [Mark] Reynolds and [Lyle] Overbay and this guy, now they’re backing themselves into a corner. They’re in a situation like, ‘Well, heck, we may have to keep him now.’

“If you would have done it quietly and said, ‘Hey, well people called us’ we didn’t call them,’ then you could have something to say. But when you’ve gone out publicly and said, ‘Hey, we don’t want you here anymore’ basically, he’s learned the game. He’s been in the game four years and playing pro ball for six years. So he understands.

“Like his best friend, Justin Turner, they don’t even tender him a contract. And so it’s like, ‘OK,’ he learned the business quick.”

Hey, I get that Ron Davis is speaking out in defense of his son — he’s never been shy about sharing his feelings going back to the days Ike played college ball at Arizona State. At the same time, Ron Davis is not entirely wrong — the Mets chose to be upfront about their shopping of both Davis and Lucas Duda, and so far, the strategy has backfired. Maybe it was intentional, to drum up interest in “the next Chris Davis,” thinking that a player with a 30-HR season on his resume would be highly coveted.

(Not for nuthin’, but wasn’t it the Omar Minaya-led front office that has been ridiculed for loose lips? Isn’t the Sandy Alderson regime supposed to be so amazingly tight-lipped? Maybe we should check the real stats instead of basing opinions on what we remember — is there a comparison on Fangraphs somewhere?)

Ike’s dad went on to say,

Like I told him, I was released three times, I was traded three times and sold once to Japan. So, who cares? It’s part of the game. I told him, ‘You’re like a piece of hamburger meat, just sitting there at the grocery store. And when you’re first put out there in that wrapper, you look real good — bright and red. And the older you get, you start getting tarnished, a little brownish, and people don’t pick you as much.

Interesting choice of words — it really gets to the meat of the situation. But hey, at least Ike is no chopped liver. Again, Ron’s not entirely wrong — it’s a visual that applies to just about any professional athlete. The only problem with his declaration, however, is that when the Mets put the ground chuck out into the display case, it was already turning a brownish gray. Now, it’s time to slap on that bright orange “manager’s special” sticker. Or, take the meat out of the case, bring it back into the kitchen, make meat loaf, and see if the deli counter can sell it.

By the way, the rest of Adam Rubin’s piece with Ron Davis is fun reading on a wintry day. I recommend you check it out and see more of Ron’s thoughts about how Citi Field, the media, and other outside elements have affected his son’s performance — which, according to Ron, is not nearly as bad as everyone thinks. Hey, he’s a dad, can you blame him?

Post your notes in the comments.

Item of the Day

Sorry, I couldn’t resist: Hamburger Helper Variety Pack – 6 pk. Maybe instead of Sandy Koufax, the Mets should bring Betty Crocker into spring training.


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. CleonJames January 22, 2014 at 12:14 pm
    Ron Davis talks about RF at CitiField being death for left handers. I guess I would say I am tired of the Mets being hurt by their own ball park. He does have a point with the Mets having Duda Davis and Granderson, moving the fences in could mean 5 or 6 extra wins for the mets (81 wins instead of 75, for example). Of coursre there would be more HRs by the opposition, but a few feet might help put the Ike’s Fragile Psyche over the top.
    • Joe Janish January 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm
      Well, they already brought in the fences and it made no difference to the Mets’ W-L record, though it did seem to help increase homerun rate overall for everyone (including opponents). There’s only so much you can do — the park is what it is.

      That said, wouldn’t it be just absolutely CRAZY for the Mets brass to consider building a team around their home park? I know, it’s nuts, since the owners went on public record explaining that they built the park precisely because they wanted a stadium that would reward pitching, defense, and speed.

      But what the heck do I know?

  2. George Fisher January 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    It is up to IKE right now to prove to himself, first that he can be the player he wants to be. He says he wants the opportunity to play….that will not be enough! He has to step up for the Mets to be more competitive.. they need his power bat. Spring training is going to be very interesting. PS..all DAD’S love their sons!!
  3. friend January 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm
    The new Henny Youngman, “Take my son —– PLEASE!”
    • friend January 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm
      BTW, not only are the Mets saying “we don’t want you”, but also “everyone else thinks you’re worth less than we do”.
    • Joe Janish January 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      And there may just be a few MetsToday readers who are old enough to get the reference.

  4. crozier January 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm
    I don’t even know where to go with this post. First of all, you used an image so gruesome that will put me off ground meat for…well, hours, anyway. Didn’t you notice Dad Davis said the meat looked good? Yeah, I get it, “manager’s special,” but really…

    “At least Ike is no chopped liver” – very funny, but, ahem, chopped liver is part of a traditional Jewish diet, sir. So I think that would be an improvement over ground meat, metaphorically speaking.

    It’s obvious the Mets have to move someone before April, so neither Davis nor Duda can take it personally that someone has to go. With that being the case, I don’t think it hurts Davis’s ego that they weren’t willing to let him go without getting someone of value in return. Remember how Jim Bouton couldn’t shake the debasement of being traded for Dooley Womack?

    Davis could – possibly – go into the 2014 year with his head on straight and a desire to prove everyone wrong. I hope he does, for everyone’s sake.

    Or he could whimper off into the sunset. Time will tell.

    • Joe Janish January 22, 2014 at 5:55 pm
      1. Although I chose the photo, Ron Davis provided the image. I’m not sure how I would respond if my dad compared me to ground meat.

      2. Just because chopped liver is part of Jewish cuisine doesn’t make it better. Certainly, it’s more expensive per pound, but better? Up for debate. Sure, plenty of iron and protein, but also incredibly high amounts of fat and cholesterol.

      3. You’re maybe missing my intent on the chopped liver idiom — though, I’m glad you found the humor. Per Wikipedia:

      << Since eating chopped liver may not be appreciated by everyone, the Jewish English expression "What am I, chopped liver?", signifies frustration or anger at being ignored on a social level. An alternative explanation for the etymology of the "What am I, chopped liver?" expression is that chopped liver was traditionally served as a side dish rather than a main course. The phrase, therefore may have originally meant to express a feeling of being overlooked, as a "side dish." >>

      So, while Ike Davis stunk in 2013 (get it? many people think chopped liver stinks too), one thing can’t be denied this winter: he has been anything but overlooked. In fact, there’s been more media attention and discussion surrounding Ike Davis than any other Met this offseason. That said, he’s not chopped liver.

      All in good fun. It’s about time I’ve had something marginally entertaining to write about.

      • argonbunnies January 22, 2014 at 7:19 pm
        I vote the Mets replace Jay Horwitz with Ron Davis.
  5. DaveSchneck January 22, 2014 at 1:31 pm
    Papa Davis was quite candid, and that was a good read. With today’s media/internet world, it is hard to tell how “guarded” at team can be with potential trades, althoough there have been some (like the Prince Fielder deal) that have been kept below radar. In retrospect, Papa D is right, especially in NY. The beat reporters that have nothing to do in Florida for a month will play psychotherapist and continue to ask Ike “How did that make you feel?”. But, Ike is a big boy, and perhaps this will help him grow up and refocus. As Izzy said, I’m not sure how much more motivation you need outside of the possibility that a good job performance can earn you guaranteed income of $15 million/year. Go get ’em, Ike.
  6. MiniIke January 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm
    Just give Ike 200-300 ABs in a platoon to proof himself and I bet he goes on and hit’s 15 homers and bats 240.
  7. david January 22, 2014 at 5:23 pm
    The irony of Ron Davis’ statements are that he further diminishes the public perception of his son’s abilities. A reminder that sometimes it is best to say nothing at all, certianly in public. I am betting Ike already told his Dad not to fight his battles for him. Ike needs to do his talking with his bat, but I believe Valley Fever has done him in a la Connon Jackson. Which is really unfortunate for him and the team.
  8. argonbunnies January 22, 2014 at 7:16 pm
    It’s clear no one wants Ike right now. The Davises are bound to get a little defensive. I predict that Ike begins spring training with the Mets and one of two things happen:

    1) Ike’s swing looks better, his value rises in other teams’ eyes, and the Pirates cough up a solid prospect for him.

    2) Ike’s still got a big hitch and a slow bat, and the Mets can’t get anything for him, and they’re forced to choose between (a) losing with him in MLB and hoping he comes around, or (b) stashing him in AAA and basically giving up on the guy.

    I assume the Mets would choose (a), the course of unreasonable optimism, as per their past behavior.

    • DanS January 23, 2014 at 9:30 am
      Has Dave Hudgens done anything to help Ike? If I remember, HoJo didn’t have much success working with him. Not much evidence that Hudgens has helped anyone on the team. Possible for a batting coach to help a hitter? Do Mets hitters respect Hudgens? The whole running up the pitch count approach is overrated. Does it make sense to take that bat out of an aggressive hitters hands? Just asking…
      • argonbunnies January 23, 2014 at 8:35 pm
        In the first half of 2011, it looked like Hudgens had helped many Met hitters. Since then, not so much. He took some of the blame for breaking Thole. His one big recent success was Byrd.
  9. DanB January 22, 2014 at 8:29 pm
    Boy, I really do miss the days of Anna Benson defending her (now ex) husband. Now that was an entertaining interview of a family member. I did enjoy Ron Davis’ perspective, but I doubt he can rock a Santa Claus costume like Anna could… Am I the only one getting stir crazy from being snowed in?
    • DaveSchneck January 22, 2014 at 10:58 pm
      Yes, Anna as Santa’s helper…good times. I don’t know what worse, the snow, watching paint dry, or the Alderson/Boras staring contest over signing Drew. Even though the Mets actually signed a guy or two with a heartbeat, this winter feels an awful lot like the last three…spring training with zero buzz.
      • argonbunnies January 23, 2014 at 12:47 am
        If the Granderson signing was supposed to show other FAs that the Mets are serious about winning and thus not a bad team to play for, it doesn’t appear to have worked on Drew.
        • DaveSchneck January 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm
          AB, Hey, come on, it worked on Bartolo. I think it will work on Drew so long as he is willing to accept Alderson’s offer of 2 years $16 million.
        • argonbunnies January 23, 2014 at 8:38 pm
          Someone will probably give Drew one year for nearly that. I’d say 2 for $22 mil is more realistic.
  10. argonbunnies January 23, 2014 at 8:36 pm
    Does Brewers’ signing of Garza make Thornburg expendable?