A slugger who no longer can hit
Chris Davis may have just had the worst season of any everyday baseball player in history, said Stephanie Apstein in Sports Illustrated. After the Baltimore Orioles’ first baseman led the league with 53 home runs in 2013 and 47 more in 2015, he was rewarded with one of the most lucrative deals ever: $161 million over seven years. In the three seasons since, he’s looked like a superhero robbed of his powers. “I have no clue what I’m doing at the plate,” says Davis, 32. He just posted the worst batting average in modern MLB history for a regular player (.168), with more than twice as many strikeouts as hits. “Failure follows me around daily,” he says, and he thinks about it obsessively. Nothing changed about his swing, his physique, or his practice routine. He just couldn’t hit. Raised by a stoic Texan father who dragged him to the batting cage even after great games, Davis isn’t inclined to be self-pitying. Yet at one point during his season-long slump, he found himself behind the wheel with “tears just falling from my eyes.” He broke down to his wife and asked her whether his failure was God punishing him for his sins. “Am I blind to something that I’m habitually doing? Do you see anything in me that needs to be brought to light?” No one, least of all Davis, has been able to answer these questions.