The Orioles introduced the new face of their franchise today at a press conference officially announcing Nick Markakis‘ new deal.
So much good news and hope came out of this thing that it’s hard to know where to start, but here’s the money quote:
“It was a fairly easy decision,” Markakis said of his extension. “Believe it or not, I read the paper. I like to keep up with the team [and] see what’s going on, and I think that had a big play into my decision. The money’s definitely good. It’s security. But you want to see the direction of where your team’s going. The way Andy’s been handling this, [and] since he’s been here, I don’t think I can complain with one move or one decision he’s made.”
Parse it out and here’s what he seems to be saying:
1. He cares about this team.
2. He believes in what Andy MacPhail has been doing.
3. He believes he’ll play for a winning team, and that team will be Baltimore.
What’s more, MacPhail made it abundantly clear that signing Markakis was his top offseason priority all along, and that “As an organization, this is an event we hope to try to duplicate and replicate many times over.”
Here’s the thing the
skeptics haters have to address in order to retain any credibility: you now have a choice to either believe Markakis and MacPhail, or call them liars. You either believe they understand the game and know what it takes to win, or you think today’s event was nothing more than theatre and that Nick only did it for the money.
The latter, of course, is a virtually unsupportable position. But I have a strange feeling that there are a lot of fans and former fans out there who feel that way anyway. Their loss. I’m stoked to watch Markakis go out this year and show the rest of us why we’ve stuck around.