By: Brian Mangan
In an ideal world, I would have written this on Friday when the news came down and have plenty of time to organize my thoughts on it. In an ideal world, Ike Davis would still be a Met. This is not an ideal world. As it stands, I think the Mets made the wrong choice and I hope and believe that Ike will have a long and productive career in Pittsburgh.
The long and short of it is this: I often make fun of writers and other analysts for making a big deal over a player’s “streakiness” when in fact a baseball season is nothing more than several dozen such little “streaks” which amount to nothing more than statistical noise. For example, at Metsblog, the writers are convinced that David Wright is an unusually streaky hitter. We put the issue to bed a few years back, pointing at the player who, at that time, was the best in the world and who would never be considered streaky:
For the first nine games, Pujols hit .400/.486/.886. Then for the next eight games, he hit .147/.275/.294. But wait! In the next seven games, he hit .520/.600/.800! But now he looks lost, hitting .222/.364/.296 in his last seven games.
That is baseball. Pujols is “The Machine” but he goes through swings like anyone else. It’s luck, it’s health, it’s rhythm, it’s weather, it’s opposing pitching, it’s being home or away.
The reason I bring this up now is because – like all rules – they are meant to be broken. And boy, has Ike Davis broken the rules. In Ike’s few years with the Mets (which go back to 2010, longer ago than one might realize) he has been the most streaky, most bi-polar, hitter that I have ever seen. I have been a Mets fan for many years, and have defended many players against silly allegations like streaky, and choker, and other nonsense — but I don’t think we’ll see another player with a career like Ike’s for 20 years.