Years from now, the real cost of Chris Davis' ill-fated seven-year, $161 million contract will be pondered as part of Orioles folklore. That is for future media discourse, but the cost has been enormous.
Not to beat a dead horse, but from the moment Davis signed the contract mega-agent Scott Boras negotiated with Orioles owner Peter Angelos, the Orioles never received the Davis they were expecting upon delivery.
Gone was one of the most feared sluggers in the game -- someone who clubbed 159 home runs, drove in 412 runs and batted .256/.342/.533 from 2012-2015. That guy was replaced by a very different person wearing the No. 19 jersey with Davis on the back. The Davis Orioles fans ended up with has hit .200/.295/.390 with just 85 homers and 211 RBIs.
The Orioles signed Sampson with hair and got the shorn version.
Not to belabor the point, but we all know Davis' 2019 season started with the 0-for-33 stretch, which ended once he got his first hits of the season in Boston April 13. His struggles became a national story and mostly disbelieving Orioles fans rooted for him. Davis rebounded by going 17-for-55 with four homers and 14 RBIs from April 13-May 10. He hit .309/.377/.582 during the stretch. We thought Davis' big issues were behind him.
And then came yet another slide from May 11-24. Davis went just 5-for-41 with one home run and one RBI. Davis, whose batting average was close to .200 at one point, was back to .171. The Orioles announced May 26 Davis was hitting the injured list with a hip issue.
In the meantime, designated hitter Renato Nunez got red hot and outfielder Joey Rickard was sent to Triple-A Norfolk. Former first-round pick DJ Stewart, an outfielder who was scorching the ball at Norfolk, was called up to the big-league team May 28.
Manager Brandon Hyde's newest configuration has Trey Mancini at first base, Keon Broxton in center and Nunez at DH. Stewart, who went 3-for-4 May 28, figures to play right field on most nights. The defense is much sounder now, and gone is Davis, someone who all too often couldn't be counted on to even make contact.
The Orioles had nothing to lose in giving Davis all the rope he needed to try to figure it out. There was a glimpse of the old Davis for that 55 at-bat stretch, but he blinked and it was gone once again.
This probably will not be a simple cut and run, and other injuries may crop up that will somehow give him another chance. But, barring Stewart fizzling, there simply no longer seems to be a way to have Davis on the active roster of one of the worst teams in baseball.
This too shall pass on the way from hell to contenders again, but it seems as if the sand is about run all the way through Chris Davis' Orioles hourglass.
Nothing is joyous about this ending. It's just time.
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