After Nick Markakis picked up the 1,500 hit of his career Sunday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter made an interesting statement.
“I hope everybody understands what we're watching here,” Showalter said. “We talk about some of those guys through the years that were solid Orioles; you've got to mention his name, hopefully, for many years.”
That last part, I think, was Showalter’s subtle way of telling the front office and ownership that he wants to retain Markakis, a pending free agent at the end of the season (Markakis and the Orioles have a mutual option for 2015, but those are almost never exercised by both sides).
What struck me, though, was what Showalter said right before that. That Markakis needs to be in the conversation when people talk about Orioles players throughout the years.
He has never been named an All-Star or been in a World Series. The only time the Orioles made the playoffs during Markakis’ first eight seasons in the majors, he couldn’t play because he had broken a thumb after being hit by a pitch from CC Sabathia in September 2012.
And when you think about great Orioles, you think of champions and All-Stars. That’s understandable.
But consider that only five other players have 1,500 hits with the Orioles: Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Brady Anderson and Boog Powell. That’s a pretty good list.
So my question to you today is: where does Markakis fit in the pantheon of Orioles players at this point in his career? Middle of the pack? Or is he rising toward the top with a bullet?
I understand that the answer is currently incomplete. Things will change if he, for instance, ends up with the New York Yankees next year. But think about it in present terms.
Daily Think Special: Where does Nick Markakis stand among Orioles of all-time?
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