When you lose someone close to your heart, you feel many emotions you can not understand. Many people associate this with the “seven stages of grieving a break up”, but most people associate this with interpersonal relationships when it can be applied to many situations. One thing I like to associate this philosophy with is the MLB off season, and in particular, when certain players leave a city they have been in forever.
You may have heard by now, and if you have not: how? Nick Markakis is going to the Atlanta Braves. No you are not hallucinating; this is actually happening. Many Orioles fans never envisioned this sort of thing to ever happen, and for good reason. Markakis had been through the low points of the Orioles’ franchise in his eight seasons in Baltimore and it felt like he would be the player that would never leave. As the off season kept going by, and the days past, Markakis remained unsigned, leading many around the league to think that this would be the end of an era.
With a fan favorite player leaving, you will experience many emotions and feelings. I am here to help you identify them in this seven stage scenario.
Stage One: Desperate For Answers
In this stage, you will be at your most irrational. You will begin to want to cry, but you will do everything to hold those tears back.
“Why did you do this Duquette?! WHY????”
Stage Two: Denial
In this stage, the tears will start to begin because you will soon have to accept the fact that he is gone.
“No! He can’t be gone! I just bought his jersey…he finally made the playoffs…he said he wanted to be here forever…”
Stage Three: Bargaining
In this stage, you try and reason with yourself other possible situations that could make this okay or think of scenarios to where he would come back.
“Well, Dan and Buck are smart guys; they will figure out what to do! They have to, right? RIGHT? It may not be too late!”
Stage Four: Relapse
In this stage, you will most likely find yourself watching some of Nick’s most memorable moments. This may include his three home run game, him celebrating the AL East Championship, or all of those great defensive plays.
“Watching just one of his highlights won’t hurt too much!” *three hours later* “WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?”
Stage Five: Anger
In this stage, you will be at your most angry. That anger can be towards Nick, Dan, Peter Angelos, or whoever.
“HOW COULD THE ORIOLES LET THIS HAPPEN? HE IS THE FAN FAVORITE! THE FACE OF THE FRANCHISE! HONEY, CANCEL THE SEASON TICKETS; THESE LOSERS DON’T DESERVE OUR MONEY!”
Stage Six: Initial Acceptance
In this stage, you start to believe that things turn out for the better.
“It is just a business decision. He felt like what he had to do was necessary for him and his family. He’ll love Atlanta and they’ll love him!”
Stage Seven: Redirecting Hope
In this stage, you will finally accept that he is gone and redirect your attention to what the team could do next.
“Nori Aoki and Melky Cabrera are still free agents who the Orioles have interest in! Steve Pearce could always platoon with another minor signing guy! Things will be okay with Dan and Buck.”
No matter how you grieve over this, I hope you will soon realize that Dan Duquette and his team know what they are doing. Two playoff appearances in three years earns some patience and willing to wait and see what they do.
In case Nick Markakis ever reads this, which he never will because he has better stuff to be doing than read blogs in the internet, I just want to wish him the best of luck in Atlanta. We all love you in Baltimore and will welcome you back with open arms when the Braves come to Baltimore in the 2015 season.
Outstanding piece, connor. Keep killing it, son.
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