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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Psst! Didja Hear About Ike Davis?

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.

28 comments to Psst! Didja Hear About Ike Davis?

  • Ljcmets

    This just absolutely infuriates me. I’d be sad if the Mets traded Ike, but this kind of very thinly veiled character assassination is despicable. I don’t even care if it’s true. There’s got to be a better way to handle it than letting some one hang out there in the New York tabloids (!), someone who, at least to my knowledge, has been nothing but loyal to the Mets. I’m embarrassed I brought my husband into Met fandom (Ike is his favorite player). This is Nixonian, dare I even say Steinbrennerian…when you no longer want a player, trash them in public and break their spirit so they no longer want to be here. I’m not saying there’s any comparison between the two players – there isn’t – but on a purely visceral level my first thought was Grant/Young/Seaver all over again. Next we’ll be hearing that Ike’s wife or girlfriend is jealous of Ruth Ryan.

  • 9th string

    Yep, that’s the Met way. Let’s get rid of a guy who can hit and play defense for a guy who can’t do either. Also, let’s not go after positions with a need, let’s get more than one guy to play the same position (or have we forgotten the great Reyes at 2nd base fiasco, or the two headed Piazza-Hundley catching explosion). On the subject of character, I think the bar was set by Ambroix Burgos (I refuse to learn the spelling of that asshole’s name. If I got it right, it’s only by accident). I imagine Ike could rob liquor stores and still be less of a risk. I know – let’s get Escobar.

    • Just_Da_Damaja

      to be fair…no one knew Burgos was going to be a cross b/w OJ Simpson and Charles Manson when we got him…

      a fireballer with a 100 mph who just had some control issues…

      most gm’s make that trade…

      and…lets not forget…we did release after he was arrested for attempted murder!

  • otb

    Of course the best way to build up a player’s trade value is to label him “uncoachable” and a malign influence on other players. Now they’re sure to get Albert Pujols or someone of that caliber in a trade for Ike. This is almost as pathetic as Wilpon’s comments in the New Yorker about Beltran, Reyes and Wright.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    We really do not know who Rubin is referring to when he says the “Mets” – it could be the entire organization down to one or two individuals. One thing, if we remember what Fred Wilpons said in public about Jose Reyes and David Wright, we can only imagine what he might say in confidence to others.

    But I somehow doubt it was the manager or coaches who are complaining since they were the ones who stopped the front office from sending Davis down earlier this year.

    This front office dismantled a good team of it’s best players over the past two years instead of adding to it since it had a vision of starting over and building up from within. That is now the reality.

    This is only Ike’s second full season in the majors since last year he was injured. How long is it before they become impantient with one’s development and replaces them with others – two years? For a team that is rebuilding, that is a short time leach. With that type of thinking, the Braves would have rid themselves of Jason Heyward after batting just .227 in his second year.

    Does this mean Ike is washed up at 25?

    Or does it mean someone within the organization wants ascapegoat other than the front office to blame their problems on?

    • Dennis

      “This is only Ike’s second full season in the majors since last year he was injured. How long is it before they become impantient with one’s development and replaces them with others – two years? For a team that is rebuilding, that is a short time leach. With that type of thinking, the Braves would have rid themselves of Jason Heyward after batting just .227 in his second year.”

      Excellent point and the problem with this organization. You have to wonder if there is any plan at all if they would be willing to part with Ike so quickly.

  • Dave

    One can only hope that stories about Ike’s nightlife or coachability impacting his performance are more internet-fueled rumor than anything else; as Marvin Gaye heard through the grapevine, believe half of what you see and none of what you hear. Or just the imagination-spiked work of a reporter desperate to find something to write about regarding a team that hasn’t produced any news in months.

    Or even if he does stay up late or whatever, I would hope that the Mets wouldn’t be so dumb as to publicize it and lower his trade value. On the other hand, this is the same organization that couldn’t even let the likes of Mackey Sasser, Bill Pulsipher, Grant Roberts, Todd Hundley or Pete Harnisch leave quietly, we had to hear snide comments about their human imperfections on the way out.

    And on top of everything else, they sure have bigger problems as a team than Ike Davis’ bedtime.

  • 5w30

    Bumbling Mets public relations at its best. Disparaging a player with Tribal roots during the Days of Awe. A shonda.

  • Just_Da_Damaja

    “Trading Ike would not be my preferred move. But, he can be a bit aloof”

    This was the first reaction Matt Cerrone had when he wrote the article up on metsblog reporting the rumor…

    after the hundreds of fans that came on bashing the mets for throwing Ike under the bus…Matt removed the comment…( if u dont believe me, just google that quote and it still comes up in googlge’s cached results )

    even still removing it does nothing to take away the point for me…

    that the mets place a huge importance on IMAGE vs Production…

    this team will NEVER rise to being consistent champs with the wilpons as owners

  • boldib

    The whole practice of constantly using anonymity in “journalism” is what this is about, and there’s a lot more at stake than this feeble garbage from Rubin.

    To me, this is defamation of character
    by Rubin. And, before rushing to judgement about the Mets organization bungling another one, where does it say anywhere that this was leaked from within? I must have missed that part. It said a “baseball source” if I’m not mistaken.

  • boldib

    It said a “baseball source” if I’m not mistaken.

    Which Greg clearly pointed out and quoted.

  • Metsfaninparadise

    Yeah, I really thought this was heinous. Drive a wedge between your best power hitter and his organization on the strentgh of an anonymous report. Real bright. This isn’t reporting, it’s sensationalism, and beneath ESPN. Adam Rubin should be fired.

  • Dak442

    Assuming Rubin didn’t make this up (he’s a professional journalist, c’mon) it is jackassery of the first order. The Mets just diminshed his trade value AND soured his outlook for the rest of the year. If you’re seriously concerned about his nocturnal habits you take him aside, you don’t leak it to a reporter!

    The Mets got rid of Kevin Mitchell so he wouldn’t be a bad influence on Straw and Doc. That worked out great.

  • Tom

    Why hasn’t Sandy Alderson jumped in and said anything? I really don’t like this – all the Mets’ moves these days are so calculated and corporate – accidents like this just don’t happen. It’s in the same week that Lucas Duda is inexplicably playing first against…lefties.

    I agree with the image over everything comment – and the last teams that did that were the post-86 Mets. Didn’t the GM around then want “gentlemen” on their team or something? And end up with Eddy Murray and a host of others at the end of their careers?

    I agree with the “death spiral” post on this blog. Unfortunately, the team is only too willing to prove it more and more true…

  • Seth

    In all fairness, they don’t “nosedive in every second half”. Sometimes they nosedive the entire season (2009?). Other times, they only nosedive when they need to (2007, 2008).

  • Jacobs27

    Doesn’t anyone concerned with the Mets remember that we like Ike? Hello? This is so depressing and so typical on so many levels.

  • Steve D

    For the record, I have been anti-Ike all year. I thought his approach at the plate was horrible and he made little effort to change it until he was hitting .180 in July. He finally did try to change some stuff, but still is the 3rd worst OBP in the NL. That being said, it makes it tougher to trade him when these rumors come out. I hope it is not someone in the organization being that dumb.

  • Lenny65

    I guess “patience” is only for ultra-high priced FA busts and not 25 year old power-hitting first basemen. Seriously, unless the trade was just too good to pass up, dumping Ike would be a bad, bad move IMO.

    • Steve D

      He’s hitting .180 at home. If he stays and does that again next year, he’ll be untradeable.

      • Lenny65

        Well, that’s true I suppose. Sometimes heart beats logic and I think a lot of us just WANT Ike to pan out for us badly enough that we’re blind to the reality of it, which is that he’s becoming a better-fielding (and more personable) version of Dave Kingman. One-eighty, huh? Jeez. And here I thought he’d be the new Rico Brogna.

      • Jacobs27

        If they do trade Ike, I’d like it to be about those things, not about some off-field tabloidy nonsense. At the same time, the .180 at home could be a fluke. If you were feeling optimistic about Ike you could say, on the flip-side, he’s got a .889 OPS on the road, where he’s even played slightly more games. Or you could say he’s batting a respectable .256/.345/.517 in the second-half. If he does that for all of next year, whatever his home-road splits, he’ll be plenty trade-able (and keep-able, too!). People might even expect him to do better away from Citifield–a plus to his trade value. The point is: there’s no reason to think any one of those current splits projects Ike’s “real talent” level any more than the others. So, you have to be careful about the splits you pick, they can be misleading.

        • Steve D

          I totally agree…I base my opinion on watching him swing and I think he does not have a good swing and has not adjusted.

          • Jacobs27

            Yeah, it’s definitely a concern… In other bad news, what I can’t figure out is how Wright seemed to have such a good swing in the first-half and has somehow mal-adjusted it in the second-half. His numbers are bad, but the way he looks, more often than not, is even more disturbing.

  • Does it even matter anymore? Do any of you care about this team the way you did 5 years ago? Every year, it’s the same nonsense. This team has absolutely no ball$. Go back and look, this team which was in serious need of talent influx, passed on Aroldis Chapmen, Yoenis Cespedes, Darvish, etc. They were never even in the mix. Look it up both Chapmen and Cespedes have affordable long term contracts, and the Mets passed. Now, this year they claim the will be minor players in the free agent market. For who Nick Swisher? Another great investment. I don’t even care anymore, it’s the same old story. I’m spent, call me when the Wilpons sell. Until then I’ll be watching the Yankees bc at least they are watchable.

  • Andee


    “A baseball source”? Really? You turn that in in journalism class, you get an F. How do we know Rubin didn’t just make the whole thing up? Oh yeah. Journalistic Integrity. He would never. Yeah, right.

    TC has already said it didn’t come from him or any of the coaches or the FO. “A baseball source” (should it actually exist) could be ANOTHER TEAM’S FRIGGING GENERAL MANAGER, goddamnit, who wants to drive down the price of Ike so he can swoop in and get him. Which makes a hell of a lot more sense than someone from Sandy’s office spreading rumors about him. You’d have to be really, really, really stupid to actually do that in advance of trading someone. That’s the kind of shit that gets out AFTER you trade someone, not before. Sandy knows better than that.

    This is not like BV getting into it with Harnisch or Hundley. Those were personal tiffs. And it’s not like Ike is an impending FA or potential nontender and they’re trying to soften the blow of not signing him. It’s not even Fred Wilpon crawling into a bottle of scotch and saying whatever shit came into his drunken mind. No. This is just BS. There’s no evidence that Ike is guilty of anything other than being 25, other than whatever crawled out of Adam Rubin’s ass and on to his keyboard.

    But don’t get me started on that.

  • […] mouthing his usual boilerplate, a manger who doesn’t deal in reality, the lingering residue of whispers about one player’s work habits (instead of a legitimate full-throated throttling of all of them) and this poor schnook pitcher who […]

  • […] Davis wasn’t necessarily a sure thing to remain a Hot Stove staple at Mets events. There were murmurs that indicated the Mets weren’t happy with Ike personally (not to be confused with the shouts […]