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.
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.)