As soon as Matt Harvey concluded his two innings of pitching in the All-Star Game, Ike Davis, Harvey's past and future (Davis hopes) teammate, said he turned off the television.
The situation was a bit like a player whose team doesn't make the playoffs and therefore can't bring himself to watch athletes he considered his equals enjoying better things.
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When Davis was temporarily banished to minor-league Las Vegas this summer, he did catch pieces of Mets games on television that were showing in the Las Vegas clubhouse before his own games. "You like to see how your friends are doing," he said.
But the real motivation always is to be a part of what's going on, and Davis wasn't. During an appearance as co-host of the Players' Association superstorm Sandy benefit golf tournament Wednesday at Bethpage Black, Davis again acknowledged the difficulty of being demoted.
"Professional athletes are pretty competitive," he said. "To realize you're not in the big leagues is not good. It's not good to struggle."
He kidded that fans' relentless criticisms and suggestions regarding his batting slump (he's crept up to .165 since returning July 5 by hitting .238) followed him all the way to Nevada. "I think people would fly to Vegas just to come yell at me," he said. "And I think they were from New York. They'd fly in just to say their piece and take off again."
Davis said his father, Ron, had been "released a couple of times during his career" with five major-league teams, starting with the Yankees. But father and son have not had any deep discussions about handling the down times.
"What are you going to do?" Davis said. "Just play. It's life. Obviously, I want to be here. The Mets are the only team I've played for. This is home."