Chris Davis was in a world of hurt as a baseball player when he was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles at the 2011 trade deadline.
After a big splash of a debut in 2008 with the Texas Rangers, the Longview native when he hit 17 bombs and drove in 55 runs in 80 games things began to go downhill in a hurry for the always-friendly, massive adonis of a man who could also play some pretty killer first base.
It hit rock bottom in 2010, the year the Rangers broke through and won their first postseason series and first pennant, when Davis bounced back and forth between Arlington and Round Rock and hit .192 with a lone home run in 45 big-league games.
After he hit .250 through the first half, again bouncing back and forth, with the Rangers in 2011, general manager Jon Daniels pulled the trigger and dealt him to "Rangers East," the Baltimore Orioles, along with pitcher Tommy Hunter for shutdown reliever Koji Uehara.
Davis went on to hit .276 over the second half with Baltimore with two bombs and 13 RBIs in 31 games. Last season, as a full-time starter, Davis broke out with 33 homers and 85 RBIs while hitting .270 for the Orioles, who of course defeated the Rangers in the AL Wild Card Game.
Ironically, heading into Tuesday's game against his hometown Rangers, Davis has 33 homers and 85 RBIs, and it's July 9. Those numbers are staggering, for sure, but prior to Monday's series-opener, Rangers manager Ron Washington spoke on the deal that many are calling a major loss for the Rangers.
That's easy to do now, but people need to realize Davis was not going to do this in Texas and living with the pressure of playing in front of friends and family every night and being the local Texas boy who played his college baseball down the road in Corsicana.
“Right now, that guy is really, really, really swinging the bat,” Washington told reporters before the game. “I know who this Chris Davis is — that’s the Chris Davis that was in Triple-A, kicking ass. He didn’t show up until he came to Baltimore. He just finally figured it out.”
It wasn't all a loss for the Rangers, who fortified their bullpen in 2011 to make another run to the World Series that they lost in such heartbreaking fashion. If the Rangers had won that dramatic Game 6 in St. Louis there likely wouldn't be any second-guessing, and there still shouldn't be.
“We ended up going to the World Series, and it took Chris a couple years here to find himself,” Washington said. “This year, he found it. If we’d have kept him for six years, we’d have had that Chris Davis, but we needed to get the pieces [Baltimore] gave to us, and Chris Davis was in it. Baltimore won that one. We did, too, because ... Uehara did a good job for us too.”