NEW YORK -- Ike Davis mostly played down the significance of his return to Citi Field for the first time since the Mets traded him to the Pirates last month, but in a pregame meeting with nearly two dozen members of the New York and Pittsburgh media, the hot-hitting first baseman made clear what he expected Monday afternoon.
"I'm assuming it's going to be a lot of boos," Davis said, a prediction that proved wrong. "But who knows?
"It's weird. I've never been to the other side."
Pittsburgh acquired Davis from the Mets on April 18 in a deal that helped both teams -- it added a quality bat to the middle of the Pirates lineup and allowed the Mets to put Lucas Duda at first base full time. Given the hoopla surrounding the pair before the trade, and Monday's series opener representing the first time Davis is back at his old home, it was a natural chance to take stock of the last five-plus weeks.
For Davis, the change has been nothing but positive. He tweaked his offensive approach -- he now bends his leg less than he did previously -- and is hitting .303 since joining the Pirates entering Monday. Davis' new teammates accepted him immediately, he said, and manager Clint Hurdle recently started slotting him in the No. 4 spot, where Davis is a .318 hitter this season.
He also has an easier time in public.
"Going to get coffee, I don't get hitting tips," Davis half-joked. "I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. But I don't need to think about my stance at 9 in the morning."
Yes, Davis explained, he really did get instruction from fans in the Big Apple.
"I probably should've listened to more of them," Davis said.
Hurdle was confident Davis didn't harbor any hard feelings against the Mets, and Davis backed that up.
"It all depends on the person, and most of those [feelings] are because people have rocks in their shoes still," Hurdle said. "I think he dumped his shoes out when he got here. We encouraged him to do that."
That the Mets picked Duda over him doesn't matter much to Davis.
"That's life," said Davis with a smile. "The Pirates like me."
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less