Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com is generally a very good reporter who makes following the Mets easier thanks to his frequent updates on the team. However, yesterday morning, Rubin caused a huge distraction with a report that the Mets were looking into trading their first baseman Ike Davis.
The problem wasn’t exactly that a “baseball source” said that the Mets were open to trading Davis. The Mets have very little talent in the outfield and they should be open to anything that helps solve that problem. The problem was the following comments on why the Mets would specifically want to get rid of Davis.
The Mets are disappointed with Davis’ unwillingness to make changes based on coaching advice. Although he is personable and by no means a troublemaker, they also worry — fairly or unfairly — he is out too late after games, and that could influence other young players.
Yesterday afternoon, Davis responded to the report and basically said that he is very open to coaching advice and has never been talked to about how late he stays up after games. To me, a fan who follows the team closely until football season starts, it has never been apparent that there is any problem with Ike’s approach to the game or his off-the-field conduct.
Of course, Rubin is much more likely to have inside information than me, but when he only references a “baseball source” and the player in question denies any problems, it looks like Rubin is trying to cause trouble.
Why would Rubin comment about Davis’ supposed problems with coaching and curfews if they’re not true? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The facts that the Mets need outfield help and that Lucas Duda can play first base are enough of a reason to put Davis on the trading block. The other, more controversial stuff is just window dressing. The most sinister motive I can think of is that maybe Rubin is trying to push a trade because he believes it’s good for the franchise.
Whatever reason Rubin had for coming after Davis’ work ethic is not an excuse for poor journalism. However, that’s not something I’m accusing Rubin of… yet. His source might actually be someone with inside information of the New York front office and Davis could be lying to protect himself from negative opinion. However, if the claims remain unfounded, that makes Rubin a big time troublemaker in this case, and the Mets have enough problems as it is.