(WJZ)- Orioles first baseman Chris Davis told The Baltimore Sun Wednesday that he is fully planning to be part of the team in 2021 and never considered retiring. In that same interview, Davis questioned the direction of the team’s rebuild as he’s trying to find his form again, amidst three straight seasons of hitting below .200.
“It’s tough to really know what to make of it right now,” Davis said to the Sun. “I think there’s no doubt that we’re in a rebuilding phase and I just personally, I kind of wonder where that rebuild is headed. Are we talking a complete rebuild? Are we talking we’re going to try to start things over from scratch and only have younger players, players that this new regime has drafted, that they’ve brought in? I think that they’re trying to get the most out of the guys that we have now, and I think that means you’ve got to lose some of the guys that have been productive for you.”
In an interview with 105.7 The Fan’s Vinnie And Haynie Show, MASN broadcaster and Orioles Hall of Famer Mike Bordick pushed back on Davis’ comments saying that there is a “track record” when it comes to Davis’ work habits. Bordick believes he hasn’t done enough work to keep up with the game as he has aged.
“There were a couple of head-scratching comments by Chris Davis. I think the thing that got me was the fact that he said when he came back for the second spring training, he just didn’t feel the same as he did in the first spring. And, I think unfortunately, there is a track record with Chris Davis’ work habits,” said Bordick.
Davis did post a solid spring training before COVID cut the season short, and fans hoped it meant good things once things restarted. But Bordick says Davis was back to his old ways when the team began exhibition games again in the summer.
“I think a lot of us want to see Chris Davis come out of this at some point. It’s never going to happen because of his work habits,” said Bordick. “He proved that after he left spring training because when he came back he wasn’t the same. He didn’t have the same explosive bat speed. He didn’t even have the same mental attitude. He thought he could repeat that without the repetition of the work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in baseball. Period. I don’t care what age you are, but as you age in this game, you actually have to work harder, not less. Yeah, experience helps, but you still have to physically be able to move and catch up with a 95 mph fastball and those days I think are gone.”
For Davis, the 2020 season lasted just 16 games with 52 at bats. He ended the season on the injured list. There are still two years and $46 million remaining on Davis’ contract. That led to some speculation as the season was concluding that maybe the O’s would decide to part with Davis this offseason.
However, general manager Mike Elias basically put an end to that speculation telling reporters in September that they club has no plans to “alter” the fact that Davis is under contract.
“He is under contract and there is a lot that goes into that, and we do not have plans to alter that fact,” Elias said. “It was not a successful year for Chris on a number of fronts, and it’s a frustration for everyone involved and a tough situation for everyone involved, and that includes him. We are taking it as it comes.”