As Charlie Rich taught me when I was just a lad listening to WGBB, people like to talk, lord, don’t they love to talk. When they can’t talk, they whisper. Sometimes the whispering works as such:
• First somebody whispers to somebody about this guy.
• Then somebody disseminates the whispers about the guy.
• Then everybody rushes to ask the guy about what is being whispered about him.
• Now nobody is whispering; everybody is talking out loud.
And that’s how Ike Davis has gone from guy whose season got somewhat better while the Mets’ year was getting much worse to guy the Mets might trade because they cannot allow themselves to keep getting worse every year — and it’s not like Ike Davis by himself is necessarily likely to stop that from happening.
Or something like that.
Ike may have been a guy the Mets were thinking about trading in the offseason, but now we won’t be totally surprised if one of their foundation players from 2010 is gone by 2013. I can’t say I’d have been shocked anyway, if only because you can’t be shocked that a team that nosedives in every second half would think about trading any player, save for a young pitching jewel or two. Teams that are unwatchable aren’t generally loaded with those you’d call untouchable.
But in that way the Mets have of touching things and turning them to mold, Ike, per Adam Rubin’s unnamed “baseball source,” isn’t just a potential trading chip because he’s had good power numbers, ya gotta give up something to get something, and maybe Lucas Duda would get his groove back if rescued from the outfield and shifted to first. The Mets have made it clear to somebody (somebody who talked to Rubin) that they think Ike — who’s hit homers if not his stride — doesn’t quite cotton to coaching and is too much of a night owl in a sport where they play mostly night games, with them fearing that the latter might “influence other young players” in a wayward fashion.
That was the story Rubin had Tuesday morning (except his language originally mentioned the Mets “worry about his impact on other young players away from the ballpark,” which was even more vague and potentially insidious). By Tuesday afternoon, prior to the Mets’ rainout, Ike had to respond to what not 12 hours earlier had been a whisper, and the day before had been nonexistent in the public ear. Ike, 25, was off into a detailed defense of his movie-watching habits and his bedtimes, which I have to admit are topics I’d never before considered. He also insisted he was not “uncoachable,” an assertion Terry Collins, inevitably a part of any story about one of his players, backed up when asked.
Yet now it’s out there. Ike Davis, who recently hosted a Met-studded charity event in memory of his late childhood friend, is reportedly a carouser and a malcontent…according to a source. If you’re a GM from another team, please give the Mets a package of several fine players for him. When he gets enough rest and properly processes advice, he’s really not so bad.
But don’t quote me on that.