Ike Davis irate about report that injury caused struggles
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets first baseman Ike Davis fired back Monday after a published report revealed that he hid an oblique injury from the Mets for the better part of the 2013 season.
Davis, concerned that he appeared to be using the oblique injury as an excuse for his horrid 2013 season, made his displeasure known in the team's clubhouse, raising his voice to chastise the author of the report in front of teammates, club staffers and members of the media.
"It shouldn't have been a story, anyway, because that's what we talked about before you wrote it, was we shouldn't write this because it doesn't matter," Davis told Mike Puma of the New York Post. "But that was nowhere in the article. It's just an overblown thing."
Still agitated, he later went into more detail.
"Everyone has injuries and then they get hurt," Davis said. "So it was pointless to write an article. I sucked last year because I sucked. It's not because I had an injury. You always have injuries. Now it just looks bad. I didn't want the article to come out and it did, so whatever."
Davis blasted the story as "pointless" and "blown out of proportion," given that he acknowledged last year that an oblique injury had nagged at him.
"Not at all," Davis responded when asked if the injury had an effect on his performance, an important distinction considering the first baseman's struggles.
Manager Terry Collins said he has yet to address the topic with Davis, though he admitted he was "surprised as anybody" about his comments.
"I'll go back to the night Ike hit in the cage long after the game was over," Collins said, recalling when Davis took swings after a game May 16 in St. Louis. "If there was a huge issue -- certainly there were 10 guys watching him -- somebody would have picked up something."
Collins said he knew of no one from the organization who approached Davis at any point with concerns about an injury. Nevertheless, he lamented Davis' decision to keep his injury concerns to himself.
"As I look back now . . . everything would have been better off had he said something," Collins said. "And certainly, he'll hopefully learn from it, that he needs to speak up."
Davis told the Post on Sunday that he suffered an oblique injury in mid-May as he tried to reverse his early slump with extra work in the batting cage. He expressed regret to the Post about not telling team officials.
Davis finished the season hitting .205 with nine homers and 33 RBIs and spent the offseason on the trading block. The Mets failed to find a trade partner, forcing Davis into an awkward situation at camp, where he is competing with Lucas Duda for the starting job at first base.
Davis' comments were just the latest odd twist to a nightmarish 2013 campaign that ended when the oblique injury became severe enough to force him to sit out the season's final month.
The injury hit Davis as he was trying to stave off a demotion to the minor leagues -- a fate he wasn't able to dodge.
"You can't tell people stuff because you won't play," Davis said. "You always hurt. We always hurt. You play 162 games in like how many days. You hurt all the time. You can't tell people. Unless you can't physically actually go out and play, you can't say anything, so that's what we do, and you have injuries that last a little longer and they don't. Sometimes they never pop. I wish it didn't. It did.
"What am I going to do, not play?"