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June 24, 2010

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."

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 7:21 PM | | Comments (16)


The ANSWER IS: the bunt of Weiters was the wrong move. If it was right then TEJADA should have just bunted w/ 2 on and none out and needing 2 to tie.

Markakis' comments last week and now this news are the best 2 things I have heard about the O's in a long time.

Thank you Nick. I could not be happier about this and it is about time someone took a step like this.

I wonder if Markakis will now be traded before year end for two career minor league players to be named later....

Kudos to Nick for stepping up and trying to force some change here. It's about time somebody did, and I'm happy to see someone on this team isn't content to just collect their check.

One has to wonder what the implication of this is for MacPhail. First, Nick's initial comments not only called out the day to day performance of his teammates (as was the focus in the papers), but also questioned the direction of the organization overall and indeed the validity of Andy's sacred "plan." Second, you don't read about Nick going to the President of Baseball Operations, the man who presumably has the power to make the things that need to happen happen. No, he went straight to the owner, which calls into question MacPhail's power on this team and his respect among the players. Of course he has to sound like he was in favor of the meeting after the fact or else he risks appearing completely powerless, but one has to wonder what MacPhail is thinking about Nick going to the owner with what needs to happen when MacPhail already has a "plan" in place.

Maybe Nick decided this isn't going to be a suicide pact...

Jeff Z's reply: Nick has talked to MacPhail about things before. But he has never had an extended conversation with Angelos. That's why I deemed this a little bigger deal.

This is so funny. Is there anyone who believes that Angelos is going to listen to Markakis when he won't listen to his manager, GM, fans, or the press, is living in fantasy land. Everything will remain the same.

Why couldn't Angelos decline to comment on what was said in the meeting? Why is every subject so tight-lipped and sealed confidential in the Os organization? Nobody's making any cutting edge moves that other teams haven't caught onto yet. The worse team in baseball and Owner and GM make the worse moves of any franchise and everything they do is such a big secret !!

I'm tired of all the secrets in the warehouse. The fans aren't allowed know that team is in talks with a Ceasar Izturis, Jake Fox, Julio Lugo?? Do decisions like these call for National Security? They don't want anyone to know anything about what they're thinking. Does from any other ML team really have the warehouse bugged to steal the Orioles personnel ideas? Doubt it.
Yankees have no problem letting the world know what their intentions are, no matter how big the player.

B/c of Peter Angelos, I don't really care about the Orioles anymore. I no longer get upset when they lose. Instead, I save my money and energy for the Ravens. Until Angelos no longer owns the team and MLB enforces a salary cap, I will no longer waste my money and time with the Orioles. They don't deserve it.

Now, I may be old-fashioned, but how about Nick for Player-Manager?

What the heck were those two Greek's doing eating in Little Italy?? There are some outstanding Greek restaurants in Greek Town on Eastern Avenue. I hope their families give them the business for that mistake. Otherwise, glad to see Markakis getting the attention of Angelos. Good luck to Nick in getting Peter to open up his wallet.

we good now we got jake fox, that was the answer now get a a**kisser to manage like wedge and we are set!but the thi ng that made me sick was we went to hall of fame game in cooperstown on fathers day and of course there were no orioles anounced untill paul blar , them my family could not belive this man who played fior the orioles 90% of his career came out in a yankess uniform , what the heck gives blaire you were one of our faverites , but as bad as things are you just added insult to injury , someone please comment on this .

Was it Sabatinos or Chiaparelli's? White or Red? :)

Jeff Z's reply: Neither, heard it was one of the back tables of Della Note or however you spell it but I couldn't get that confirmed so I left it out.

"Frankly, I wish Peter spent more time around the team,"

Frankly, O's fans wish the current owner was as committed to winning as the fans are.

Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.

Nick is Greek - Angelos is Greek. Maybe that's why Angelos likes Nick so much. Bottom line - nothing from the warehouse has worked for 12 years so why not have these 2 talk - maybe the bad owner will listen to a good player if there is heart to heart involved. Weiters Bunting??? One thing that has to change is this organization putting so little value on a manager - pay up if you want to play in the American League East. Letting Valentine get away is criminal.

Thanks for this article, Jeff. Jim Duqette has some interesting things to say about the O's on his XM radio program. He basically implies there is no discipline or structure in the clubhouse, that the players still rule the place and do whatever they like without consequences. He said there were three players off the top of his head that were terrible influences as far as taking the game seriously, not just collecting a paycheck, and if the O's got rid of them right now they would be the better for it. Along with reports of the infighting that still goes on between player development and scouting, it doesn't seem like MacPhail has really taken control of this organization top to bottom. What is so wrong with the organization that it's been three years with a supposedly strong leader with authority, yet the same old garbage goes on in various parts of the baseball operation? Sounds like an opportunity for an in-depth piece of investigative journalism to me...

Lunch date with the devil.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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