It’s been a trying few seasons for Orioles (former) slugger Chris Davis, and some of that frustration came to the forefront Wednesday night against the Yankees.
After being lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning against James Paxton, Davis got into an altercation with manager Brandon Hyde. It’s unclear what exactly Hyde said to Davis as he walked past the first baseman, but whatever it was, Davis didn’t appreciate it.
Here's what the MASN cameras caught of the Chris Davis-Brandon Hyde interaction:— Zachary Silver (@zachsilver) August 8, 2019
Appears Hyde said something Davis didn't appreciate, then Davis had to be held back by hitting coach Don Long and Mark Trumbo. pic.twitter.com/4GTaePor2Y
Hyde doesn’t break his stride as he heads down the dugout steps, but Davis immediately becomes incensed. Multiple teammates and coaches are forced to hold back Davis as he yells at Hyde, and eventually, he walks away with Mark Trumbo and sits down, still seething.
After a few breakout seasons, including an Oriole-record 53 home runs in 2013, Davis received a huge contract to stay in Baltimore. The high price tag coincided with a steep decline in production, and Davis has now become one of the worst hitters in baseball. His contract puts a target on his back in the eyes of fans, but he’s always been able to count on total support from the front office and coaching staff.
Hyde has always come across as a player’s manager and has specifically defended Davis countless times this season. It’s curious to see him apparently say something so inflammatory, though it’s possible Davis was just venting and anything Hyde said would have set him off.
It’s important to note we’re smack dab in the middle of the proverbial dog days of August, and Davis has had to sit through a lot of losing baseball in the last year and a half. Getting blown out once again by your biggest rival in the middle of another lost year would be frustrating for anyone, especially someone with as visible struggles as Davis has had this season.
The first baseman is batting .183 with nine home runs this season while striking out 110 times in 246 at-bats.
In reality, these sorts of shouting matches happen in every clubhouse multiple times a year. It's rare to see such a public blow-up, especially between two consummate professionals like Davis and Hyde.
Hopefully for tensions in the clubhouse, this is a one-off, but the Orioles are quickly running out of reasons to keep Davis around long term, regardless of how much money he’s owed. This certainly isn’t a point in his, or anyone’s, favor.
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