O-for Oriole

Chris Davis can’t buy a hit, and if anybody could, he’d certainly have the cash for it. As of yesterday, he’s gone 49 consecutive at-bats without recording a hit. Granted, this guy has never exactly hit for a high average. For his career, he’s recorded a measly .236 average, including an amazingly awful .168 last season, the lowest average ever recorded by a player who had enough appearances to qualify for the batting title.

This is the man who, not so long ago, inked a seven-year, $161 million-dollar contract. He’s scheduled to make $17 million this year, which is better than $100,000 for every game or roughly $20,000 each time he makes an anemic attempt at reaching base. Granted Davis clobbered 53 home runs in 2013 and 47 in 2015, which is outstanding in these post-steroids days. In those seasons, although striking out far too often, he put up respectable numbers to go with his power output. Then he signed that contract, which promised him more money than the GDP of Belize. (I think I’m kidding but I’m not sure.)

I’d be happy to stand out there and make outs for half the money that Davis is bringing home. Think about it. If we use that $20,000 per at-bat figure, he’s earned almost a million dollars since his last hit. I’m just glad I’m not a Baltimore Orioles fan.

What’s the problem with this man? Is he not trying? I doubt that. Nobody achieves as much as he has achieved without having a certain measure of pride. Is he ill or are his abilities simply tailing off? That’s possible. Is he just in an unlucky streak? Given his past tendencies, I rather doubt that explanation.

But here’s the bottom line. Every time Chris Davis walks to the plate, Orioles fans experience mixed emotions. They’d really love to see the return of that 2013 or 2015 Chris Davis, but then they’re also fed up with the 2018 and 2019 version. You can’t read or hear anything about him–including this writing–that doesn’t mention how much he makes. I feel some sympathy for the man . . . at least until I think about what his paychecks must look like.

Davis’ problem is that for a couple of seasons he was really, really good. Had he never been such a slugger, nobody would think that much of his numbers tailing off. We’re used to seeing marginal players come and go. It’s the nature of sports. But Chris Davis did excel, which makes it harder for people, especially Orioles fans, to see him today.

I could try to offer up some spiritual conclusion to all this. Maybe there’s one out there, but it would be forced. So I’ll try to stop coveting Davis’ money and aim to finish the race while simply again being glad that I’m not an Orioles fan.