Here are some news and notes from the press conference today with Andy McPhail and Nick Markakis regarding his signing of a 6 year deal with the team.
-The signing of Markakis was priority number one for this team in the off season according to Andy McPhail. Signing Nick locks up one of their young premiere players and hopefully sends a sign that they are committed to getting better.
– Nick recently got married and his expecting his first child very soon and is excited about the security that this deal brings him and his family. Markakis has a house here in Baltimore and will start to live here full time very soon and soon will be doing a lot of community work and starting a foundation.
– While speaking of the money, Markakis was quick to point out that it was more about the direction that the team is headed in than it was about the amount of money that they offered him. He said he has had no complaints about any move that Andy McPhail has made since he has been with the Orioles.
– Markakis talked about how he has learned a lot from guys like Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada, Aubrey Huff, Kevin Millar, and Melvin Mora, during his time here and wants to become more of a leader on this baseball team moving forward.
-With the addition of Felix Pie and already having Adam Jones in center field, Markakis feels like they stack up as well or better than any other outfield in baseball with the amount of ground they can cover in the outfield. This will be huge to have with a younger pitching staff that it appears the Orioles will have.
-Markakis was asked about Brian Roberts and his situation with the team, to which Nick said him and Brian speak a lot, but not hardly at all about his situation. Nick did point out that he is hopeful that Brian will be with the team and thinks that he is the best lead off hitter in baseball.
– Andy McPhail said it appears that Aubrey Huff will be the everyday first baseman for this team. He did acknowledge that guys like Ryan Freel and Chris Goemz are guys they could move around to play a couple of positions, with first base probably included in that mix. Of course this makes me sad, because that means probably the end of Kevin Millar in Baltimore. However on the bright side maybe there will be discounted Millar memorabilia at fan fest.