Nick Markakis arrived at Atlanta Braves camp on Wednesday and spoke more openly than I ever heard him speak in his nine years in Baltimore.
In regards to leaving the Orioles organization, here’s what Markakis told Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
[quote_box_center]”Don’t believe a word they say,” Markakis told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “It was all because of my neck. They can say what they want to make them look good. It’s all B.S.”[/quote_box_center]
That’s certainly a different tone than what we’re used to hearing from the soft spoken right fielder. It’s also quite the opposite of what we read in his farewell letter in the Baltimore Sun.
Markakis thanked the city, O’s fans, Peter Angelos and Buck Showalter in his two page ad. Notably absent was GM Dan Duquette.
Everyone, myself included, expected Markakis to be right back in right field at Camden Yards in 2015, but from a baseball stand point, not matching the Braves four-year, $44 million offer was the right decision. That contract has been universally viewed as one of the worst moves of the offseason.
And besides that, just over a year ago, Markakis alluded to taking a home town discount to remain in Baltimore:
[quote_box_center]”I tell people all the time, I’ve made a good bit of money already. It’s not about the money, it’s about being somewhere, wanting to be somewhere, being comfortable and taking pride in being with that team and that organization. I think the motivation for me this year is being healthy, feeling strong and going out there and helping this team win a World Series.”[/quote_box_center]