By David Toronto
Chris Davis, the one time all-star and 2013 silver slugger winner, recently went the worst batting streak in Major League Baseball history, batting a 0-for-54. Davis signed a 7 year 168 million dollar contract in 2014, solidifying his spot in Baltimore until 2021. Critics think that the contract was a terrible idea, but at the time the Orioles didn’t really have a choice. Davis had just come off a 55 homerun and 138 RBI season and the Orioles thought they struck gold.
Little did they know, Davis was abusing performance enhancing drugs the entire 2013 season. Of course, Davis was suspended 25 games and missed the entire 2013 playoff run for the Orioles. Sophomore Jeffrey Winkler says, “Chris Davis really let a lot of people down, the city of Baltimore was counting on Davis to lead the team deep into the playoffs, but we were wrong about him.” Davis had Baltimore head over heels for his monster home runs and gold glove worthy defense, however Davis would transform into a strikeout machine and an overall mistake for the Orioles organization.
Fast forward six years and the city almost sees Davis as a joke. Sophomore Pierce Pusheck says, “Me personally, I celebrated when Davis broke his 0-for-54 streak, I feel like fans either hate Davis with all their guts, or have just accepted that the Davis investment has failed.” Also, in pervious media interviews, Davis is considered and thinks of himself as a “Power Hitter,” or someone who tries to hit a homerun every time he comes to the plate. By doing so, Davis has racked up 1018 strikeouts in 5 seasons with the Orioles. Davis averages a staggering 203.6 strikeouts per season and has a 39% chance to strike out when he comes up to the plate. Those numbers are some of the worst statistics over 5 seasons in MLB history. Sophomore Sam Gruber says, “I used to love watching Chris Davis play the game, but now, he really looks like he is old and worn out. The Orioles should just pay him the rest of the money from his contract and get him out of the clubhouse.” Many O’s fans support Davis and his efforts to get himself back on the MLB map, but the results have not been there, and his actions have gotten Orioles staff fired.
Long time team manager Buck Showalter and the Orioles organization parted ways after the very disappointing 2018-2019 season, and part of the reason they did so was Davis. Davis constantly told the media he was working extensively with former hitting coach Bobby Dickerson, and Showalter to get his hits and homeruns up, and his strikeouts down. In the following season Davis played in 162 out of the 182 games in the season and batted a abismal .168 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI’s. Sophomore Massimo Conti says, “The parting ways with Showalter was in my opinion Davis’s fault, Showalter was the one who singed Davis to his major deal and all Davis did was let him down. Davis was Showalter’s project and Davis undershot expectations by a mile, leading to Showalter going out the door.” Davis of course was not the only reason Showalter was replaced, but Davis’s disappointing past few seasons definitely influenced the decision.
All in all, Davis is nowhere close to the worst MLB player ever, although his recent stats say otherwise. Davis has been in the MLB for eleven years, and has been in Baltimore for seven, but Davis is only hurting the Orioles. The franchise is in rebuilding mode, and Davis’s heavy contract is preventing the Orioles from making big roster moves. It’s time to face the facts and do something about Davis. Baltimore will always remember Davis, but Davis has overstayed his welcome and it would be better for the city of Baltimore and Davis to go their separate ways.