Revisiting Elias’ comments on Davis

The Orioles hire a top executive for their baseball operations department and fans wonder how it might impact Chris Davis.

Mike Elias brings in Sig Mejdal as an assistant in charge of analytics and fans wonder how it might impact Chris Davis.

The managerial search is underway, with Elias already doing background work and tapping into his vast network, and fans wonder how it might impact Chris Davis.

A new hitting coach? A true commitment to rebuilding? The chance for snow next month?

Fans wonder how it might impact Chris Davis.

The question of how the first baseman and the remaining $110 million on his contract fit into the rebuild hung so heavily in the air Monday during Elias’ introduction that it dimmed the lights. It had to be addressed, even if the response provided a modest level of illumination.

John Angelos deferred to Elias, the executive vice president and general manager clearly in charge here. But Elias obviously doesn’t make the final call on whether the club eats the remainder of the deal. That’s squarely on ownership.

No one expects it to happen with four years left before the deferrals hit, but there’s a curiosity over Elias’ vision of Davis meshing with a teardown and rebuild.

“To me, this lineup and this team is at its best with a productive Chris Davis, a dangerous Chris Davis in the middle of the lineup, so I want to see that happen,” Elias said.

He isn’t alone, of course. Former executive vice president Dan Duquette and his assistants wanted it, kept waiting for it. Former manager Buck Showalter tried everything - regular at-bats, resets, batting him first, batting him in the middle of the order, lowering him, engaging in one-on-one closed-door conversations.

I kept waiting for the Orioles to bring a live chicken into the clubhouse.

Elias naturally is going to offer his support of Davis. Anything else would be foolish, especially on his first day in front of the media and assorted team employees.

Davis-White-After-Strikeout-Sidebar.jpg“He had a frustrating campaign this year,” Elias said in the first understatement of his Orioles tenure.

“I think the chances are good of him bouncing back and improving upon that, and I’m going to get involved in the work going into his offseason work, his preparation. And any new ideas or information that we can provide to him to help him out, we will do our best to do that. So that’s my hope.”

The most significant part of the quote, which I’m heating up this morning like a Thanksgiving leftover, is how Elias intends to be hands-on with Davis over the winter. Whether he’s going to have direct contact or assign someone to the task.

Perhaps it won’t be left to Davis to design a workout plan and the club won’t rely on his progress reports. No more confusion over exactly what’s happening back in Texas.

If I’m Davis, any idea is going to be embraced because I’ve clearly run out of ideas and can’t fix it alone. And the hitting coach, assuming that he’s a new hire, will need Davis to be receptive to the instruction and agree to make changes and stick with them.

Don’t get an immediate return? Don’t worry about it.

Trust the process.

Davis’ contract is going to take another huge chunk out of the payroll. The Orioles can’t undo it. They can only hope to start getting a return on it.

Elias can only sound supportive while looking for a solution.

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