It’s been six (6) long years. But finally, Nicholas William Markakis (Future Hall of Famer), received the American league Gold Glove Award for fielding excellence in right field. He only had to go the whole season without being charged with an error. That’s right a 1.000 fielding percentage, 325 chances, 14 assists, 3 double plays and you might as well throw in the 3 games at first base (without an error). Quite frankly, I do not know if a perfect fielding percentage has ever happened before with approximately that many chances by an outfielder. The young man is a baseball machine and in my book, the backbone of the Baltimore Orioles.
Finally, I’m back to blogging. Had a little down time there, way to busy and WNST in transition with the website (as you have noticed). Awful lot of bad sports news has transpired, but also some good news has been inter-twined. And for once that good news is coming from the Orioles. A new GM (hey he built the Bosox in the early 2000’s) and they are going back to the cartoon bird on the uniforms. The orthonogically correct bird did nothing for us. Came close, but no glory. O’s needed a change and it happened. Grant it, it wasn’t the major change that we are hoping for (Cal Jr. – Owner), but it was positive change.
The best news to me though was Mr. Nick and the Gold Glove. If you have some time, go to my personal blog and head “Back in Time” – (Huey Lewis and the News). Back to November 15, 2009 – “Markakis Spurned Again”, it’s a good read, I was ……..let’s say passionate. Maybe MLB is trying to bring back some credibility to the award. At least this year they awarded per outfield position as opposed to the outfield in general. At least Jeter and Ichiro did not win again (previously fixed). I still believe the voting is tainted and I do not buy the voting cast members of managers and coaches. Heck, just look at thier track record. This year it was to cut and dry. This year they got it right. This year the best right fielder in baseball won the award. He has been the best for at least the past 5 years. His numbers and his standard of play reflect that.
Along with Markakis, the O’s catcher Matt Weiters, was also awarded a Gold Glove – another correct recognition. Now where the “voters in question” blew it, was with JJ Hardy. Erick Aybar (LA Angels) won it the award at shortstop, good player but not the best fielding SS this past year. Aybar – 142 games, 13 errors, .980 fielding pct. JJ Hardy – 130 games, 6 errors, .990 fielding pct. The Orioles had 3 gold glovers. Let’s not get greedy. Just mentioning those three names and knowing they will be back next season is encouraging enough.
For people that know baseball. For people that follow the Birds. For people that have ever played the outfield. We know one of our Oriole stars finally recieved what has been long overdue. A Nick Markakis moment I’ll never forget and one my daughter will never forget. We were up in Frederick and on a whim went to a Keys game. I saw this young ball player out in right field and I said to my daughter – “Look at that #21 out there, he is going to be a star. Just by the way he carrys himself and approaches the game. He is “Old School”. You don’t see that much anymore.” Then later during the game my daughter turned to me and said, “and he’s a good hitter”. Congrats Future Hall of Famer. Congrats Matt (on the field manager) Weiters. Thanks for the positives amongst all the negative. Go O’s!