SARASOTA, Fla. (WJZ) — Spring Training is a time for hope and optimism.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is being an optimist as he gets ready for another season.READ MORE: Baltimore County Police Chief Reacts To Vote Of No Confidence
The Davis story the last few years is one of a decline. He’s the highest-paid player in Orioles history but has struggled along the way since signing his 7-year, $161 million deal.
This year, Davis is vowing to change the story into something positive.
Davis said he’s made significant changes to his batting approach in Spring Training.READ MORE: Maryland Offers "Full Support" After 19 Children, 2 Adults Killed In Texas Elementary School Shooting
His decline over the last four seasons has taken a toll on both physical and mental.
Davis said it’s taken years for him to realize he should be having fun playing baseball.
The enjoyment faded as his strikeouts and failures piled up, however.
“I felt like I was letting our fans down,” Davis said. “That was a big deal to me and it took a lot out of me. But I think, honestly, the pandemic has really helped me realize how much our fanbase has supported me and how much I missed playing in front of our fans and really what it’s all about.”MORE NEWS: A Mass Shooting In Texas Has Reignited A Nationwide Conversation On Gun Violence
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said he’ll give Davis all the opportunities he can to prove himself in Spring Training games. He still has two seasons remaining on his contract.