The Orioles began spring training this week looking ahead to a new season, but some offseason residue remains before the slate is wiped completely clean. Nick Markakis also began spring training this week. It’s bad enough seeing him in a different uniform. Then, he started in by talking about the Orioles.
Fans were shocked when the O’s front office allowed the much-loved Markakis to depart for Atlanta, and he seemed just as bummed in a full-page Baltimore Sun ad. This week, Markakis confirmed what seemed clear: that he wanted to stay in Baltimore. At the time, the O’s said they were concerned about surgery the outfielder would need on a bulging disc in his neck, and the four-year contract he was after.
The neck procedure is now over, and Markakis is at Atlanta Braves player. But he’s still not happy with the Orioles.
“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.”
The comments are reverberating in the Orioles clubhouse. Adam Jones, who was Markakis’ good friend and longtime outfield partner, said he was “glad” the usually-softspoken Markakis spoke up, according to CBS Sports. But he prodded the front office to “man up and say” that Markakis’ neck was the real reason he left the team.
“Let’s say it when everybody wants to know then and now. It always comes out later,” Jones said, according to The Sun.
For fans still reeling at the loss of Markakis, just remember that the team should take the field on Opening Day up a Wieters, Machado and Davis.
Plus they’ve got this guy:
— Andrew McKay (@apmckay) February 25, 2015
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