BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis' frustrations had finally boiled over.
"That was really kind of the breaking point," Davis said of what led to his public disagreement with Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, which was caught on camera during Baltimore's 14-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday. "I think it's pretty obvious the offensive struggles I've had for quite some time. I feel like night in and night out, I've done a real good job of still being there on defense and trying to pick guys up, and at that spot in the game, at that point in the series, that was kind of where it all ... like I said, I hit a breaking point."
Before the heated exchange, which occurred in the middle of the fifth inning during Baltimore's 10th consecutive home loss to the division-rival Yankees, the O's first baseman failed to scoop a throw from Jonathan Villar, allowing Aaron Judge to reach. The next batter, New York's Gio Urshela, hit a two-run homer to give the visitors a 6-1 lead.
"It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen when you have that much frustration, when you're constantly having to deal with failure, you're gonna have episodes where you just have to let it out," Davis said. "Unfortunately, it was in the dugout. I wish it hadn't been. I wish it had been underneath [in the tunnel to the clubhouse], but it happened, and I can't go back and change that."
Davis isn't the only one who wished things had played out differently.
"He came off the field really frustrated about his play, or whatever it was, and I got frustrated with how he was responding to his frustration and what happened," Hyde said. "I thought some things were inappropriate and I called him out on it. And I wish now that I would have pulled him down in the tunnel and not have everybody see that -- or see the end of it, you guys saw the end of what it was. But that was just me being reactionary to something I didn't think was right. And I've always kind of been somebody that's going to ... I don't know. I wish I would've handled it a little differently."
The rookie skipper lifted Davis for a pinch hitter immediately after their confrontation, and Davis said that he left the clubhouse before the final out, so as not to be a distraction to his teammates. The Orioles had an off day Thursday, which Davis spent regrouping with his wife and three young daughters.
"I just spent time with my family. That's really the only way that I know kind of how to escape, is just to be a dad, and be a husband," Davis said. "I enjoyed the time with them, but I look forward to coming back in there and getting back to work with these guys."
Davis' boss seemed to have a little more trouble tuning out the workplace drama.
"It's been a tough 48 hours, I'm gonna be 100% honest, or however many hours it's been," Hyde said. "I don't like reading about myself, and I don't like that being the spotlight, of that being what our club is about, which I think is the exact opposite. So that really bothered me. It stayed with me yesterday. Woke up today and was looking forward to seeing Chris, to be honest with you. Couldn't wait to talk to him about it. I thought we needed a breather yesterday, and woke up today, texted him, and couldn't wait to get to the ballpark to talk to him."
Upon returning to Camden Yards on Friday, the player and the manager spoke in person for the first time since Wednesday's incident.
"We sat down today and talked, I don't know, over an hour," Davis said. "That's just kind of when it all went down, I guess. We both knew that we had an off day. I think it was probably best that we did, just to kind of give us a little bit of time. I didn't think about it a whole lot. I tried not to. I think he was kind of in the same boat. When we're not here and we're not in uniform, we're not working, we're just regular human beings. I think he took a little time away from everything just to relax."
Davis, 33, said that he was confident his relationship with Hyde won't be damaged by recent events.
"I knew right after it happened that we were gonna be fine," he said. "It was just one of those things, and we are [fine]. Like I said, it happens over the course of a season, that as a young team going into the season and all the challenges that you're gonna face and everything that you're gonna have to try to overcome, there are gonna be nights where it's frustrating, and that's kind of really, for me, that's what happened. It all boiled over, and it wasn't just from that play. For me, it's been for the last couple weeks."
Davis' manager said he agrees that what happened Wednesday is a thing of the past. Though Davis wasn't in the starting lineup Friday against Houston Astros left-hander Wade Miley, he pinch hit in the seventh inning and was greeted with a warm reaction from the home crowd. Facing right-handed reliever Joe Smith, Davis struck out swinging. Davis stayed in the game and lined out to second base in the ninth inning, ending a 3-2 loss to the Astros.
Hyde said that Davis not starting against Miley was a planned decision that had nothing to do with what transpired earlier this week.
"We have a lot of respect for each other and we have a really strong relationship," Hyde said. "It's an incident that neither one of us feel good about, but after talking through it with him, and we talked at length about a bunch of things, feel really good about how it went and think we are going to be stronger because of it. I think the world of Chris, just an incredible guy. Just one of those things that happens at times in competitive environments. Frustrating situation and we feel good about moving forward from it."
General manager Mike Elias also spoke Friday and said that despite Wednesday's dugout disagreement, and despite Davis' struggles on the field, the Orioles are still committed to the 12-year veteran as they continue to rebuild.
"I hope he starts playing better," Elias said. "We'll continue to revisit our plan there, but he's on the team. We don't have any plans or expectations to alter that fact. He's under contract, and that's not something I take lightly. He's got a lot of talent. We're not going to walk away from the fact that he's talented and he's here for a while. We'll continue to talk to him. We'll continue to work with him during the season as best we can, and we'll see what the plans are over the offseason. I've been keeping in touch with him this year about his program. But this will continue."
A former fifth-round pick of the Texas Rangers, Davis came to Baltimore as part of a deadline trade in July 2011. He led the majors in homers in 2013 and 2015, then signed a seven-year, $161 million contract to remain with the Orioles in January 2016. Since then, his offensive production has tailed off significantly. Entering play Friday, Davis was hitting .182 and had struck out 111 times in 247 at-bats. Earlier this season, he set a major league record by going hitless in 54 consecutive at-bats, a streak that dated to September 2018.