There’s a lot of “suck” in the world today.
Crime and riots and war and disasters and oppression and intolerance and Ebola and famine and corruption and apathy and terrorism and racism and, as John Lennon once said, this-ism and that-ism. Just a whole load of flat-out evil.
It makes my heart hurt.
I don’t write about that. So many people write about it much better than I could.
I just write about simple things. Like baseball.
I suppose you expect me to write today about how it sucks that Nick Markakis – old reliable, life-time Oriole, working man, no flash, do your job and do it well, Nick Markakis – signed last night with the Atlanta Braves.
But, it’s just a game.
I sometimes use baseball like I use Yoga … as a little blanket fort to hide under.
Nothing really bad ever happens in baseball. Oh sure, the occasional PED thing. Some cheating. Bad calls. Some broken bones. John Lackey.
But, it’s just a game.
Nothing bad ever really happens in Yoga either. Except for this damn groin pull that’s been going on four months now. But, really … not so bad.
When it comes to doing business deals with friends (rarely a good idea), a friend once said, “Buddies are buddies and business is business.”
And, in baseball, “Business is business.”
And, that part of the game sucks for fans who have enough difficult “business is business” in our own world and look to baseball to be somehow above that.
It’s not above that.
Nick Markakis was drafted by the Orioles in 2003.
And, depending on who you listen to this morning, the Orioles shoo’d Nick away because their persnickety medical team was antsy over a neck issue … or Nick jumped to make a few million more and a longer contract.
Were the Orioles disloyal and cheap? Was Nick disloyal and greedy?
Maybe. I dunno.
There was a time when Cal Ripken played every game … every single day. Year in and year out, he played. Drafted an Oriole. Played as an Oriole. Retired as an Oriole.
But, that doesn’t happen much any more.
For any of us, really.
I changed jobs and careers.
Who doesn’t change jobs or put on a new uniform from time to time?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American has been with their current employer 4.6 years.
Nick was with the Orioles 11 years. We’re much flightier than he is.
I change things from time to time.
But not everything.
These things won’t change for me:
1) Cheese should never be served as dessert.
2) R.E.M. is the greatest band of all time.
3) The Baltimore Orioles are, win or lose, Nick or no Nick, my team.
When Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina left in 2000 to sign with the Yankees, I was devastated. I’m still pretty steamed about the Orioles letting him walk, although not at “Moose” (who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame).
I’m pretty sore about this Markakis thing, too. I’m gonna miss Old Reliable in Right.
And, I wonder how Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is going to cover his position – plus the now-empty left and right fields – next season.
Sure, the Oriole Twitterers are apoplectic today. (Yay, I got to use “apoplectic”!) And, the Braves Twitterers seem resigned in a “Really? We signed who, why … wait, how much?” sort of way. (Relax, Braves Fans … he’ll be fine.)
There is so much more in the world to be truly sad about than a baseball guy changing teams.
It doesn’t suck. Not really.
(But, boy, I’m gonna miss you, Nick.)
Well said. Except for that bit about R.E.M.
That whole mutual loyalty thing never was universal, but it’s sure less common than it was. (Darn kids, get offa my lawn.) But life goes on, baseball goes on, and fandom is forever. No matter how many stupid things our teams do–and they do a lot of them–we’ll still be here rooting for them.
Cherish Adam Jones, and see who winds up flanking him. It won’t be Nick, but who knows, it might be someone even more lovable.
Well, I sure hope someone winds up “flanking” Adam. You never know — the Orioles might think they can save some dough and just make Adam run the entire outfield!
As for R.E.M. … well, they’re outta Georgia, too, so maybe the Braves aren’t so bad!
No, no, you’ve got that backward. Because R.E.M. is also from Georgia, they suffer by contamination. (Remember the rule: you can’t root for the Braves because of Ted Turner billing them as “America’s Team”.)
Some folks love Atlanta, but I wouldn’t trade Baltimore for it. So, farewell Nick and hello whoever comes out on the right field grass of Camden Yards next season! One question: do you agree that cheesecake is an acceptable dessert?
As long as it is made with cream cheese — which is pretty much a bogus cheese — we’re good. But, cheese plate? Not dessert. A bowl of cottage cheese with pineapple in it? Not dessert. Cheddar cheese melted on apple pie? Definitely NOT dessert. :)
I think I’d make money if I bet you never lived in Wisconsin:)
I drove through Wisconsin once. :)
Cheddar cheese melted on apple pie isn’t dessert, agreed. (It’s actually breakfast.)
Oh no, it’s an abomination at any hour of the day. I’m pretty sure “a slice of cheddar melted over a pie made of apple” is specifically banned by God in Leviticus. It’s just wrong.
Hmm. Maybe it’s covered under that thing about not mixing dairy and meat? Apples are meat, right? (If you are what you eat, and cattle eat apples, then cattle *are* apples. Commutatively then, apples are cattle. QED.)
And, for the record, I’m not fond of cheddar cheese on apple pie, but I don’t think it’s an offense worthy of stoning.
Love your post. Such a good writer!
Sorry about the loss. The game is full of these cheap moves. MLB knows we have endless patience for their “business is business” approach our favorite game.
Awww, thanks Bruce.
My heart is always ends up a little broken and stepped on during the off-season. Stupid baseball business.
You know, the Giants were sniffing around Markakis last week … and I could have been good with that. Randy and I decided that Buster Posey and Nick would have become BFFs!
If the Giants ever send Buster away, I may have to give up the game. At least the Giants. Of course, its entirely possible that fans will turn on Buster or anyone for that matter. Boos were heard last year when he slumped. Unbelievable! Inexcusable.
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Must be a hard one to let go of; a player like Markakis going about his game quietly and what an arm! I always liked him and still do. Kind of a new time for Orioles with all their players leaving. Enjoy the change. Showalter still in command and that’s a good thing I think.
The Orioles may only have one outfielder, but they’ve kept all six of their starting pitchers … want one?
Don’t just go tossing pitchers away. Maybe it’s time to give a six man rotation a serious try. ;-)
The Brewers are maybe in a similar position as Orioles with good starting pitching but an offense that disappeared in September, but then again, now the Cubs with Lester and resigning Hammel…maybe Brewers and Orioles will do some trade talking. There is a fourth outfielder-Gerardo Parra.
It says that this is the “British version” of Nightswimming. I guess it is probably similar to the U.S. version but the water is colder, I imagine.
Everybody hurts when a favourite player leaves. In hindsight, calling myself “48panda” on here was possibly a mistake. People might think I am a Red Sox fan now. Oh dear.
“Nightswimming” … British video … much artier! (And, you’re probably right … much colder.)
So, I guess this means you’re not following Panda to Boston? (At least you don’t have to see Panda play against the Giants during the regular season next year … unless there’s a World Series for both of them.)
My heart is broken, but, on the bright side, I got a swell Nick Markakis Orioles jersey marked down on clearance to $14. I bet you might be able to stock up on Sandoval Giants gear! Merry Christmas to us! :)
As an Atlanta Braves fan who loved to learn to love the Orioles when I lived in Maryland in the 1980’s, my habit of “keeping an eye on” the Orioles assured me that the contract with Markakis was great for the Braves, assuming no complications from his surgery. Some Braves fans are still reeling from the trade of Heyward to the Cardinals and don’t appreciate yet that they have gained a more reliable two-time Gold Glove winner to replace the supremely talented two-time Gold Glove winner they had who sometimes forgot how to hit. Good blog.
Take good care of him, Braves Fans! :)
I always worry when someone says neck surgery is no big deal. As a massage therapist and Yoga instructor I see “no big deal” neck surgeries on my table and in my classroom every day … and they are often turn out to be very big deals. I hope that Nick heals up quick and gives you some great seasons — he’s a great player and a great, upstanding give-back-to-the-community person.
The Orioles have very picky medical teams, and they are probably still a bit wounded from a “no big deal” neck surgery on Nolan Reimold a couple seasons ago that continued to nag at him for years. That said, the O’s let him go about a year ago, and he’s available again, and the O’s are talking to him.
I’m keeping my Orioles Markakis jersey at the ready — maybe he’ll be back in Birdland some day!
Thanks so much for stopping by … I love hearing from other baseball fans and love to have fans of all teams represented here. :)
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