In a week that was surprisingly packed with O's news, the best news of all arrived yesterday. Nick Markakis, shown here making a catch with his feet planted firmly on the ground, has ensured that both he and the team as a whole will be on solid footing for the next six years. In just three seasons in Baltimore, he's already staked a legitimate claim as the best right fielder in the American League. Now, he's signed a contract extension that buys out his arbitration years as well as three potential free agency years. The young star, who might well be the face of the Orioles, will continue in that capacity through at least 2014, his age thirty season.
I'm happy for Nick, who has a new wife, a baby on the way, and $66 million worth of security. I'm happy for the Birds, who can go forward in their rebuilding effort with a player to actually build around. And I'm especially happy for beaten-down, paranoid O's fans, who can take comfort knowing that this front office won't sit idly by and take young talent for granted. Hopefully, this means that the especially pessimistic fans who are already preparing to kiss Matt Wieters goodbye when he hits free agency in six years (seriously, these people DO exist) can button up for a little while.