Markakis, Angelos meet
Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis met with team owner Peter Angelos for about an hour and a half this afternoon at a Little Italy restaurant to discuss the direction of the team.
Markakis acknowledged that he called Angelos to set up the meeting. It was the first in-depth conversation between the team's highest-paid player and the Orioles owner, who met for the first time last Opening Day when Angelos dropped by the clubhouse.
"I wanted to give him my input and tell him the things I thought we lacked and needed, and what we needed to change," Markakis said. "He's completely open to anything. He was listening, and he was a lot easier to talk to than I anticipated. You know me, sometimes you’ll have a better conversation with the wall than talking to me. But it went a lot better and it was a lot smoother than I thought it was going to go. If I can strike up a conversation and talk to a guy like him who owns the team, I think it is a good situation."
Markakis, whose comments in an article in The Sun last week about the direction of the team and the club's offensive approach got Angelos' attention, also wanted to tell the owner he is committed to the franchise and serious about his role as one of the team's leaders.
"I want to see this organization going the right way," Markakis said. "When you can get things turned around and in the right direction, this will be one of the best places in baseball to play. As players, as an organization, I think we owe it to fans and the people that are here to make that next step to show that we are willing and we do want to compete. We know we’re in the toughest division in baseball, we know what we are up against. Right now, our backs are against the wall. All our top prospects in the minor leagues are here. I think it’s unfair to put them in that situation where they feel like they have to go out there and do too much, and I think it’s showing. We need to address that and go from there."
Angelos declined to say what was discussed but said he appreciated Markakis' wanting to meet with him.
"He's an exceptional young man, first-rate all the way," Angelos said. "Baltimore is lucky to have him and his fine young family."
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said he felt the meeting was a good thing.
"Frankly, I wish Peter spent more time around the team," he said. 'I think it's a good idea. I know Peter likes Nick, and I'm sure he was moved by his comments last week."