Chris Davis’ complicated Orioles legacy
When the Orioles arrive in Sarasota, Fla. For spring training, Chris Davis will be missing for the first time in a decade. Davis, who quietly retired on August 12e, was supposed to prepare for the final year of his seven-year, $ 161 million contract, but a hip injury kept him from playing any longer.
Every offseason since 2017, when Davis swore his performance would improve after a disappointing season, there was intrigue. He had come to spring training leaner, or he had come with more muscle. He would change his hitting position, anything to help with a startling decline.
Now, there is no Davis drama off season, and the great first baseman is not around to represent his teammates with the Players Association. He does not make generous public contributions like the one he made to the Neither does the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital after the 2019 season.
In training last spring, Davis wasn’t even in the Orioles uniform after the Grapefruit League opener when he took two batting strikes and then got injured.
He hasn’t played much in 2020. In that pandemic-shortened 60-game season, Davis was sidelined with a knee injury and made just 55 appearances at home plate. He only hit 115.
His last game before Oriole fans was on September 22sd, 2019. On his last strike at bat, he scored, offering the winning margin in a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
It was a rare happy moment in another sad season in which he reached .179 with 12 home runs. In 2018, he reached .168 with 16 home runs.
These past sad seasons shouldn’t mask how entertaining and productive Davis was during his early years with the Orioles.
In 2012, he pitched two scoreless innings at Fenway Park on 16e and 17e, in a dramatic May game that helped show the baseball world that the Orioles could be a rival team. Davis has hit 33 home runs and hit .270 this season.
In 2013, the “Crush” legend was born when Davis led the majors with 53 homers and 138 RBIs.
The following year, Davis’ first child, Ella, was born. The Orioles won the American League East title, but Davis was unable to play in the playoffs because he was suspended for 25 games for using a stimulant without a therapeutic exemption.
He’s only hit 0.196 this season, but in 2015 he dominated the final two months of the season. He hit 22 home runs in August and September. In the past month, he has hit 12 home runs, recorded 25 points, and reached 0.318 with an OPS of 1.211.
He was a free agent after this season and most thought he was going to leave. But he did not want to and his agent, Scott Boras, negotiated this gigantic contract with the team.
Davis’ 2016 and 2017 seasons have been disappointing compared to his early years, but in retrospect, 38 home runs, 84 RBIs followed by 26 home runs, and 61 RBIs don’t look so bad. Its average went from 0.262 with an OPS of 0.923 in 2015 to 0.221 with an OPS of 0.792 and 0.215 with an OPS of 0.732 in 2016 and 2017.
The 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons were disastrous, and Davis ended his Orioles career with 253 home runs, the sixth-biggest in franchise history. His 1,550 strikeouts are also the biggest in team history.
So how will Davis be remembered? Are the happy early years with long home runs any more memorable than the streak of 54 no-hitting streaks that lasted in late 2018 and early 2019? Will this huge contract make fans forget this Sunday night at Fenway where he launched for the first time since college?
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Davis’s early seasons shouldn’t be completely obscured by the horrific seasons that ended his career.
Even when Davis walked away, the majority of fans at the stadium were cheering him on. There were boos, but in 2020, the year he barely played, there weren’t any fans at all.
Who knows what Davis will do now that his baseball career is over. He has been a devoted father to his three daughters and has all the time he wants to spend with them and his wife, Jill.
Without a doubt, he will continue to be active in a number of charities. In addition to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, there have been many people he has donated to and involved with.
Someday he will return to Baltimore to celebrate those enjoyable teams of the past decade and possibly take his place in the team’s Hall of Fame. It is assumed here that the fan’s reaction to Davis will be positive, so overwhelming.