Essentially, manager Terry Collins paraphrased “Field of Dreams” when he shared his message to Ike Davis: They will cheer when you hit.
“Ike knows it comes with the territory. Last year, the first half, he got booed. He started hitting homers, he started getting cheered,” Collins said in his Wednesday afternoon press conference when asked about Davis’ comments about Mets fans following the Mets’ 4-1 win over the Braves Tuesday night.
Davis told reporters he was “going with [a mentality of] I’m an away player now,” because “the crowd gets on me no matter what. I take a pitch and they boo. It doesn’t really matter.”
Even though he drove in the game-winning run with an RBI double in the sixth inning Tuesday, Davis is hitting .178 this season with five home runs and 20 RBIs. His last homer came in the Mets’ 11-6 loss to the Marlins on June 2.
“It’s just the nature of the game,” Collins said, while noting he had heard fans’ assessment of Davis’s play from those who sit behind and alongside the home dugout. “You can’t let their reaction add extra pressure. You still have to go up there and put a good at-bat, see the ball, put the barrel to it. When that starts happening, they’re going to start cheering.
“When you become a somewhat star like Ike Davis and you don’t play [well] ... one of the greatest players in the game gets booed. It happens.”
Like all coaches and managers, Collins espouses a micro view.
He expounded on it yesterday.
“What I want to do is win series,” Collins said when asked about the possibility of the Mets playing .600 for the remainder of the season. In June, Collins spoke about seeing where the Mets wind up if they were able to win 60 of their final 100 games.
“I want to win two out of three; I want to win three out of five; I want to win seven out of 10;” Collins said. “That’s what I want to do. If we can continue to do that, we’re going to get back in the [playoff] mix. I don’t want to put a goal you’re not going to reach until the middle or the end of September. I want to worry about the weekly [goals]. We’ve got two more games here. You know what? Let’s try to win both of them. Let’s get out of here with a good series. Let’s win the series. Let’s go into Washington. We [have] four games in Washington. Let’s win two, if not three. That’s the only way you’re going to get back in this thing.”
d'Arnaud on the mend
The Mets have made no secret they view Travis d’Arnaud as an important cog in the organization’s future.
But in Collins’ mind, until he progresses through the farm system, the catching prospect acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade remains in the distant horizon.
“No disrespect to Travis — he’s the future— but I [have] all I can do to make sure I get this stuff planned out,” Collins said when asked about timetable for d’Arnaud, who played in a rehab game with for the Gulf Coast Mets Wednesday.
d’Arnaud went 1-for-3 and caught five innings in his first game action after breaking his left foot in a game with Triple-A Las Vegas on April 17.
“When he’s in Triple-A, I’ll start watching a little closer,” Collins said.
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.