Davis on 2019 Orioles: 'It's not going to happen again' - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Davis on 2019 Orioles: ‘It’s not going to happen again’

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—After what many are calling the worst season in baseball history, Chris Davis insists that’s not going to happen again, and the Orioles won’t lose 115 games in 2019.

“I’m ready to get it started,” Davis said on Saturday at FanFest. “I’m ready to put last year behind us.”

Davis, who’s beginning the fourth year of a seven-year, $161-million contract, batted .168 with 192 strikeouts in 128 games.

“By the time the season ended, I was just so tired that I was ready to turn the page,” Davis said. “And I had a lot of work to do, not a whole lot of time for me to sit there and feel sorry for myself. I wanted to explore a lot of options as far as my offense was concerned, my nutrition and training, and so I felt the clock was ticking.”

Davis, who will turn 33 on March 17, said he’s lost weight.

“I’m a little bit lighter,” Davis said. “Everybody keeps telling me I look skinny. I think that’s a compliment. I feel good. I feel more ready this time this year than I did last year, and that’s saying a lot because I felt like I was going to have a really good year last year.”

Davis said that this offseason he’s worked with hitting coaches who knew him 10 years ago when the was Texas.

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“Going through last season, going through that failure day-in and day-out really got me to the point where it was like, ‘now, we’ve got to exhaust all options and really take a step back and make an adjustment,’” he said.

“I don’t feel like I’m an old man. I don’t feel like I’ve lost a step.”

In 2018, Davis hit just 16 home runs and drove in 49 runs, his lowest full-season totals as an Oriole.

“Anything above what I did last year would, I guess, be considered successful,” Davis said. “For me, it’s getting back to the player that I was in 2013, 2012 and 2015, years that I was productive—even in ’16—just being a threat in the lineup, being a guy that produces runs that his teammates can count to be there on both sides of the baseball. That for me, is where I’m going to define a successful season.

“I’m never been a guy to throw out a lot of numbers, but to continue this path that I’ve been on the last couple of years and make no adjustment and make no strides in a different direction, I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to go through another season like I did last year, and I don’t think that will happen. I really don’t.”

In 2013 and 2015, Davis led the major leagues in home runs, and in 2013 led baseball in RBIs, too.

“I don’t physically feel like I’ve lost a step,” Davis said. “I don’t feel like I’ve lost any ability. If anything I have a lot more perspective than I had a couple of years ago. I still feel like I’m at the top of my game.”

Davis took enforced breaks during the season, sitting out for eight games in June and didn’t play in the season’s final eight games, ending the season in an 0-for-21 skid.

“It did get to a point last year where mentally it was too much for me to handle,” Davis said. “I wasn’t opening up or sharing any of that with anybody. I was trying to keep it all in and be professional. It took its toll on me, and I think it was very obvious and easy to see.”

Davis couldn’t imagine that he’d be on a team that lost 115 games.

“I, in no way, fulfilled my responsibility or my duties in terms of production,” Davis said. “But at the end of the day, the two best seasons I had statistically, we didn’t sniff the playoffs. It just goes to show that no one man can carry a team.

“As hot as Manny Machado was at times last year, we were still losing games. As well as Alex [Cobb] threw the ball down the stretch, we were still losing. You can’t put it on one person. It’s not fair, and it’s just not right.

“That doesn’t mean you can neglect responsibility or not accept accountability. It didn’t feel real going through it. I was just kind of numb to it. Maybe it was because I had so much going on personally. Maybe it was because we had won here for so long. I don’t want guys to think this is what it looks like. In my mind, that’s a fluke. It’s not going to happen again.”

When Davis walked among Orioles fans at the Baltimore Convention Center, he found them to be supportive.

“I can’t tell you how many people have walked up to me and encouraged me,” Davis said. “Praised me for the way that I carried myself, for the way that we handled ourselves as a team going through that and told me how excited they were for this year. That, to me, is life-giving. After everything that went on last year, all the emotions tied to it, and not knowing what it was going to look like, it’s been exciting for me, and made me want to get down to Sarasota even more.”

 

 

 

 

 

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. BirdsCaps

    January 26, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Hope has a better year this year (hard to imagine him doing any worse). Didn’t he say that he worked on his swing and with a coach last year? I remember Palmer claiming that Davis wasn’t working all that hard during last offseason. Like everything else about the ’19 birds, it will be interesting. Also, assuming he never returns to form, I wonder if there will be a baseball holiday known as Davis day when he collects his deferred money. It would be a Baltimore version of Bobby Bonilla day.

  2. CalsPals

    January 26, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I wish him the best, I wouldn’t put a whole lot into anything Palmer says about the O’s, his MASN broadcasts are always negative, like he always has to be the best, always cutting down the O’s….

    • Bhoffman1

      January 26, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      What was positive about last year that a winner like Palmer should talk about on his broadcasts.

  3. cedar

    January 26, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    With the team in rebuild mode, I wish nothing but the best for Davis.

  4. Bhoffman1

    January 26, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Are we supposed to feel sorry for a man who was exhausted at the end of the season after getting paid 22 million for embarrassing himself.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 7:48 am

      Despite his awful 2018, Davis still has many supporters here.

  5. CalsPals

    January 27, 2019 at 8:34 am

    No one said anything about last yr, he’s always been that way, kinda negative like you, hope you have a better day…..

    • Bhoffman1

      January 27, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      I can’t be positive about last year or the way Davis played and the money he got which he should give back for having the worst season in MLB history . Rich you and a lot of fans may be supporters of Davis and I’m sure he’s a good guy but no one in the history of any sport has been paid like him and produced the way he has the last two seasons.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Bhoffman, I never said I was a supporter—or not. I simply wrote that Davis has many among the readers.

  6. Orial

    January 27, 2019 at 10:06 am

    If Davis were to have a bounce back year he could very easily become a fan favorite again. The team lacks an identity/face Davis does have an opportunity. There may be slight improvement but hard to imagine anything major. Maybe–.250 BA,30 HRs,85 RBIs. I wish him well. Very likeable guy.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      Orial, I think those stats would be perfectly acceptable to the fan base now.

  7. OrioleMaze

    January 27, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for the reporting. I just wish he could learn to bunt so as to beat the shift.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      He talked about it yesterday, Maze. Thank you for the compliment.

  8. mcgooding

    January 27, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Chris Davis seems like a good guy and I’m pulling for him to turn it around this year. I’ve heard the working out with the hitting coach over the winter line before, so that remains to be seen. Last season, although he struck out a ton, he seemed less aggressive at the plate. He was trying to get on base more, and was taking strike three down the middle of the plate more times than not. If the guy hits .260 with 30 bombs and less than 200 K’s I’ll take it! Maybe with the change in management, and playing on a non contending team, they’ll be less pressure on Davis to turn things around. I hope that he does because it could be a bright spot in a season that probably won’t have many of them!

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      Mcgooding, a lot of fans agree with you.

  9. Raymo

    January 27, 2019 at 11:15 am

    We all wish him well and hope he can redeem his career. But if there’s no improvement by midseason he should do the honorable thing and announce his retirement.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      Raymo, I’m not betting on that.

    • Jacobs1928

      January 27, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      I agree 100%

    • Raymo

      January 27, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      I wouldn’t bet on it either Rich. I suspect greed will prevail over honor and dignity.

  10. Jacobs1928

    January 27, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    I have not been happy that the O’s locked themselves in with this player at the costs…
    However, I am pleased to read his comments…if he comes thru with 30 hrs and fewer
    Strikeouts then he will be o.k. But if he does not then I think he should be cut.

    • mcgooding

      January 27, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Jacobs 1928, I understand your frustration. That said, Angelos and the Orioles have always been criticized for not spending a ton of money. They rolled the dice on Davis, and so far have not reaped the rewards. The fact of the matter is though that if the Orioles let Davis walk, the fans would have been killing the O’s brass for letting that happen. Davis hasn’t been great as of late, but he was one of the guys that helped turn this team into a contender for a few years. I hope that he becomes what he once was!

  11. OsFanIA

    January 27, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Does anyone think that management will eat the final two years of Davis’s albatross contract if he plays like he did in ’18?

    • chico salmon

      January 28, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Yes. I do. He’d be standing in the way of a developing player, and a lot of the money is deferred.

  12. GSISDANNO

    January 30, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    Chris Davis had a very tough year. That is for sure. However, he never embarrassed himself or the team. His defense was excellent. If he played in another city, he would have been booed at record levels. But Baltimore fans usually treat the players pretty well. I hope he bounces back. Stranger things have happened.

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