Thursday, December 4, 2014
Nick Markakis, 2009 Topps Allen and Ginter Mini #31
This might sound like sour grapes, but I'm just trying to examine the pros and cons of life without Nick Markakis in orange and black. On the "con" side, the O's are already a team with deficiences in on-base percentage, and jettisoning a guy with a .358 career OBP isn't exactly going to help matters. At the moment, the Orioles don't have firm starters on the outfield corners or at designated hitter. They'll have to find some workable combination of Steve Pearce, Alejandro de Aza, David Lough, and maybe eventually Dariel Alvarez, a 26-year-old Cuban outfielder who had an impressive 2014 at Bowie and Norfolk. There aren't many attractive options on the free agent market, since it's hard to see Duquette throwing money at Melky Cabrera after taking a hardline stance on Nelson Cruz and Markakis.
Of course, the Orioles' 2003 first-round pick is leaving a void off of the field as well. By all reports, Nick is also well liked in the clubhouse, and his charitable contributions in the Baltimore area will also be missed. It sucks that he's gone, but it could be worse. Can you imagine being an Athletics fan? I'd be afraid to form any kind of attachment to any of their players.