Markakis: Will he become B-Rob2?

January 19, 2009 | Drew Forrester

When you have the chance to guarantee yourself $66 million, almost every form of logic tells you to take it.

It’s akin to having a friend on the inside at the state Lottery who says to you, “I know the Lotto number for Wednesday night and you can have it and win the $66 million.”  Would you say, “Why don’t I wait until it gets to $130 million and then you give me those set of numbers so I can win twice as much?” 

No, if you had a brain, you’d take the $66 million and scoot off into the sunset.

That’s what Nick Markakis has done, agreeing on a 6-year, $66 million contract with the Orioles that guarantees that he’s a rich man forever – but doesn’t guarantee him that he’ll ever play a game in a Baltimore uniform that means something.

Brian Roberts has played 8 seasons in Baltimore and he’s a rich man as well.  But BRob has played nearly 1,000 games in his major league career and not one of them has ever been important. 

Markakis could face the same fate.

He could play in Baltimore for the next 6 seasons and never have an at-bat or a catch in the outfield that makes the difference between the team going to the playoffs or not.

Only time will tell if this is the right decision.

We all HOPE that Nick Markakis is the featured piece of a franchise that is going to make us as proud as the football franchise has in Baltimore over the last decade.  The city, the businesses downtown and the sports fans in general deserve a better product than they’ve been given during baseball season since 1998.

And, Nick Markakis deserves better too, particularly since he’s just given away his right to go play for a winning organization someday down the road by linking himself to Baltimore for the next six years.

Let’s hope Markakis doesn’t become BRob2.  

It’s a role few can play well, since everyone who puts on a major league jersey dreams of playing in the crisp, fall weather, with bulging crowds, bright lights and meaningful baseball games that create memories for the players, the franchise and the city they call home.

Roberts has a patent on playing games that don’t matter.  He’s played in nearly 1,000 of them.

It would be nice if Markakis becomes part of a new program here in Baltimore that includes winning and a re-stored enthusiam for baseball.

Five or six years from now, we’ll see if Markakis regrets the decision he made today.

I sure hope not.

It’s been hard enough having to watch Brian Roberts go through it all over the last eight years.

I can’t take much more of it.

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