PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis concealed an oblique injury while struggling last season, he told the New York Post on Sunday, before he angrily downplayed the decision Monday.
Davis told the newspaper he did not reveal the injury to the Mets because he did not want the team to think it was an excuse for being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.
He had been hitting .161 when the Mets dispatched him to the Pacific Coast League after a June 9 game.
"I thought about saying, 'Hey, I would like to take a couple of weeks off because I'm not feeling great,'" Davis told the newspaper. "But then the timing was bad and it was when I was getting sent down. It would have been a great time, but it looks bad and I just can't say that.
"It makes me look like a baby. It looks like I'm whining about how I [stunk]. I was terrible. Now it's over."
On Monday morning, Davis loudly chastised the Post reporter who wrote the story in front of teammates and other media. The first baseman then told reporters he had merely acknowledged having a nagging injury for a couple of months before the oblique eventually popped -- just as plenty of other players during the course of an MLB season have nagging injuries they do not report because they do not want to be pulled from the lineup.
Davis' season ultimately ended Aug. 31 in Washington, after he severely strained the right oblique while hitting a sacrifice fly. He hit .205 with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 317 at-bats in 2013.
He said Monday his poor performance was unrelated to the side muscle and he did not want to be made to seem like an excuse-maker. He added that he had no oblique symptoms in April and May.
"If you hurt something, like your oblique, and it pops, there's a time in between," Davis said. "It doesn't automatically go, 'Oh, I'm healthy and then I pop.' There's a time where something hurts. But you can't go, 'Oh, I feel a little something here. It's a little tight. It hurts a little bit.' I can't pull myself from the game.
"You made it look like an excuse," Davis added, directly addressing the article's author. "It's an excuse. It shouldn't have been a story anyway. ... It's just an overblown thing. Everyone has injuries and then they get hurt. So it was pointless to write an article. I sucked last year because I sucked. It's not because I had an injury. You always have injuries. And now it just looks bad."
The Mets attempted to trade Davis this offseason but did not get a satisfactory offer.
General manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins told the Post they were unaware of Davis' season-long injury. Davis acknowledged he never informed them and added that he did not feel the need to clear the air now with them.
"You can't tell people stuff because you won't play," Davis said Monday. "You always hurt. We always hurt. We play 162 games in how many days? You hurt all the time. Unless you can't physically go out and play, you can't say anything. So that's what we do. And you have injuries that last a little longer or they don't. Sometimes they never pop. I wish it didn't. But it did."