The Baltimore Orioles are taking a unique approach to solving one of their biggest problems. Chris “Crush” Davis has been the exact opposite of that. The proud new record holder sits at 49 consecutive At Bats without a hit, a streak dating back to September of last year.
“We have to go big or go home,” says hitting coach Don Long. “With 92 million dollars still owed to Chris, we have to squeeze SOMETHING out of him.” The answer, Long says, is literally go big. VERY big.
Think back to the days of yesteryear when you would gather at the local park for some wiffleball. Remember the bat? No not the skinny yellow one. The big red one. Big Bertha. It seems far-fetched, but the Orioles are determined: Bring Big Bertha to Camden Yards.
There is precedent for this action. In 2015, then-Marlins pitcher Justin Nicolino was struggling to put a bunt down. The Marlins solution? Give him a bigger bat. A MUCH bigger bat. The jumbo bat, with the word MARLINS on the barrel, was given to him during warm-ups prior to a game against the Dodgers. The bat, coming in at over 4 feet long, gave him an unprecedented advantage.
“Prior to using the bat, I had just one hit. I finished with ONE hit in the 2015 season. The following season, I had doubled that number,” said an ecstatic Nicolino, happy someone remembered he existed. “Crush is a big guy, I have no doubt he will be able to handle the bat. I think this is an excellent idea.”
The O’s face a problem, however. Current MLB rules do not allow for a bat that big to be used in game. In a press conference announcing the decision, manager Brandon Hyde had the following to say: “This is merely an obstacle that we must overcome, and it is one we are positive we can overcome. Chris is a unique situation. We are confident we can convince the League to make a unique exception for a unique case.”
Davis, when asked about the idea, thought it was excellent. “This is the right step to take to help me get my swing back. You guys saw what it did for that guy in Miami. They tell me it brought his hit count up by 100%”. When asked about whether a larger bat might hinder his swing more, Chris laughed it off. “It can’t get worse right? The record is already mine.”
So now it’s a waiting game. The entire Baltimore organization waits anxiously to get an answer from the League. Chris will swing the larger bat in practice, but hopes he will be able to bring it with him the next time he steps up to the plate in game.
This reporter reached out to Major League Baseball looking for comment. They have chosen to not speak on the matter.