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August 31, 2010

Markakis joins Hall of Fame company

We already mentioned that Nick Markakis’ first-inning double was his 40th of the season, which makes him the only Oriole in modern history to have four consecutive seasons of 40 or more doubles.

That in itself is impressive. But the Orioles’ PR staff did some digging. And Markakis’ milestone is even more incredible when compared to overall baseball history.

It is tied for the third longest such streak for an outfielder since 1900.

The other three who have had at least four consecutive seasons of 40 or more doubles are Hall of Famers.

St. Louis’ Joe “Ducky” Medwick had seven straight from 1933-39; Detroit’s Harry Heilmann did it five straight (1923-27) and Tris Speaker also did it four straight (1920-23). So the last time it was done was before the United States entered World War II.

When told what company he was in, Nick the Motormouth said, “That’s pretty good.”

Yeah, pretty good.

Here was his overall quote on the milestone:

“It's definitely something to be excited about. You just got to keep plugging away and go about your business. When you go out there and play hard every day ... you're going to have your struggles, but it's always good to get something like that.”

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 11:05 PM | | Comments (20)


And the Camden crowd goes wild, chanting, "Nick the Stick, Nick the Stick, Nick the Stick!!!!!"

Nick's batting average is okay; his home run and RBI numbers are a bit disappointing. But he still seems to be a productive hitter, and I guess this explains it.

I don't think he'll ever be the Eddie Murray-type superstar who can carry the team on his back. But if the Birds can add a player or two like that to the lineup (plus a top-line starter), then players like Markakis, Jones, and Scott are certainly good enough to round out a championship caliber team.

I think by the end of next year Nick will be clearly the least offensively productive of the O's outfielders. Frankly, most top notch right fielders don't hit all of those doubles, because a lot of Nick's doubles, should be home runs. Nick needs to pump some iron, or somthing this off season to get his home runs up. Quite frankly, his batting average is not good enough to offset his depressing power numbers. I really think the O's should be looking to upgrade this position next year too, if Nick doesn't do something to increase his power.

I agree that Nick isn't going to be an Eddie Murray-type player. But he could easily be a Ken Singleton type player, and if I recall, no one ever really complained about KS... Nick is not our power answer, and the Os' general lack of a Tier I power-type magnifies his lack of production in that category, and so the gripers and perfectionists complain. I think a .300, 18-20 HR, 80-100 RBI season is where Nick will settle in when he has protection behind and better OBP ahead.

These posts are so sad. We were just told that Nicko is the first player since 1939 to have 4 consecutive 40 double seasons and you all are complaining that he isn't hitting home runs? Seriously? This guy is an elite player. One of the best in the league. Maybe we could celebrate that for a little while and go out and get a 1B with a big stick to take care of the 40 HR slot. Then we'd have a middle of the order hitting lots of doubles and lots of home runs. And yeah, NM is down in the HR category this season but he typically hits 15-20 HRs. Not too shabby for a guy hitting 2nd or 3rd in the lineup.

When told what company he was in, Nick actually said, “uh, you know... that’s pretty good... you know”?

So important to add a big bat in the lineup this offseason and get some protection for our younger bats. We have some talent, but like a good portfolio - you can't be long on just one type of asset to maximize your returns. Lets see if AM/PA have the courage to pull the trigger and put the ghosts of Belle, Bonilla and other high priced free agents behind them. This fan base certainly deserves it and I'm sure the business case could be written to show the return with incremental attendance.

It is not appropiate to attempt to marginalize everyone who criticizes and doesn't agree with you as a griper. Also sports teams don't win championships by settling for mediocrity, and it is not an admirable goal. Nick Markakis' offensive production this year relative to other right fielders around the league is average at best. I hope this is an off year for him, and I believe he got married last year perhaps this has something to do with it. I just hope that this drop off in power is not the beginning of a trend for him. There seems to be a bit of a hands off aura about Nick Markakis. No player is above criticism. He has spoken out about other players on the team, and rightfully so, however his own production this year has been poor, and I don't see the big deal about doubles when he has been failing in a lot of rbi situations, and his power numbers are so low.

I'm getting sick and tired of all these people criticizing Nick Markakis. I'd rather take Nick Markakis's great work ethic, who doesn't complain, comes in and does his job over prima donnas such as Manny Ramirez, Milton Bradley, and Hanley Ramirez to name a few. Yes, his numbers are down this year. I'm actually not surprised. Here's a little math for you people: 4 months of misery + No leadoff hitter Brian Roberts + Bad Coaching + Low OBP players around him = very low numbers. Nick Markakis kinda reminds me of Cal Ripken. The only difference is he doesn't have The Streak.

If all of the negative posters on this page could be as mediocre as Markakis, maybe they could make several million dollars a year too.
He did what he could (a lot) with the poor pitch selection he had due to lack of protection in the line-up. You never pitch to the other teams best hitter unless you have to.
Ask Buck what he thinks.

No. People who don't appreciate Markakis are gripers. Period.

This guy is a defensive anchor...a solid hitter and a top drawer ball player. No - he is not a pure power hitter. So what. And yes...his RBIs are down...perhaps that's because Brian Roberts was injured and no one was getting on base ahead of him all season.

Yes - let's grow and sign a pure power hitter. Maybe Matter Wieters will be this guy...Maybe Josh Bell will be this guy, Maybe the O's will be able sign someone.

But there is NO reason to snipe at Markakis.

You mean the negative posters like the negative posters that complained about Trembly. the rah rah posters were the clueless ones. Okay lets not criticize the golden boy. I suggests you do just what was suggested and ask Buck what he thinks. I guarantee you he doesn't think there are any players on the team that are not fair game for criticism. Nick is a ball player the same as Adam Jones who has been roundly criticized this year, and who is outproducing your golden- All American boy Nick.
Players that are above criticism is what really eats away at the fabric of a team. I'll criticize anyone that looks like they aren't doing their job well including Nick, whos power numbers are very poor this year. It seems Jones, Wigginton, and Scott are still hitting their homers, and before long Pie will most likely have as many homers as Nick with only ~25% as many AB's. I just want a productive right fielder not a hero to worship.

And another thing. Nick Markakis will be an elite player when his production makes him an elite player, not your opinion. Elite players go to the HOF. Nick' numbers are not nearly good enough to get him in the HOF, at least not this year. Besides, you knee-jerk Pollyanna types are making it sound like I just hate Nick Markakis. This is not the case. I am simply pointing uut that his power numbers are down, and if he had a bit more power some of those doubles would be home runs. If he is half the guy his defenders claim that he is; he will put in the work and turn some of those doubles into homers next year. When I look at Nick Markakis, I do not see a powerfully built guy. He should put more work in the weight room period. Please no one tell me about his work ethic. If you aren't a member of the Orioles you have no clue about his work ethic. Hey I am not a professional athlete, but if you look at me you know that I do put my work in in the weight room. There is no reason that it shouldn't be just as obvious with Nick, moreso. The bottom line is that Nick's numbers put him in the lower third of right fielders for power. There is no argueing, this it is just a fact. If Nick returns to 18-20 HR's and 100 rbi next year, great. But I don't want to hear about doubles when the guy is obviously having a down year offensively. Enough of the Pollyanna, mindless cheerleading.

Markakis is a finger pointer who ran to the owner when times were tough. I agree whole heartedly with Wayne. 8 Hrs
and hes pointing fingers at his teamates.

How could you possible know the conversation with the owner went, Ted?

I'm sorry Wayne, I personally don't know how much work you put in the weight room. Forgive me, should I know who Wayne Hicks is? And how do you know if he's hitting the weight room or not? Do you have a special access to the clubhouse? Do you and NM go to the same gym? If you do, I envy you. I wonder what you think about Brian Roberts.

I do get your opinion, Wayne. My take is, this year has been tough to everyone including the fans. And I beleive this year has deeply afftected NM espcially his buddy BRob on the DL. You can see his numbers yourself. He was hitting 18-23 HR like you wanted. I'll let Buck run the show. If one year from now, NM still produces the same numbers then I'll jump on your wagon.

Markakis is not a superstar player, he never will be, and he will never make it to the Hall of Fame. He is not nearly productive enough to anchor a good team, but he is a solid hitter who provides nice (not great) defense, and he has been very healthy throughout his career. This year has been a major disappointment in terms of Markakis' production. 8 home runs and a .420 slugging % to go along with only 6 stolen bases in the beginning of September are pathetic numbers for a Right Fielder. He has no right to criticize his teammates, considering his lack of production, and he has been laughable at the plate compared to Luke Scott this season. I don't expect him to put up the numbers he had in 2008 (which will probably end up being the best season of his career), but I expect him to regularly produce at a level equivalent to his 2007 season, when he had good power and good speed on the base paths. Furthermore, Markakis has been a disappointment in terms of his stolen base numbers. He should be stealing at least 15 bases per season (he stole 18 in 2007). Please stop with the Markakis worship, because no player (and certainly not a player with a 6 year/$66 million contract) should be immune to criticism.

I meant to say "...are pathetic numbers for a Right Fielder with Markakis' skill set." Also, 2007 was my favorite Markakis season because of his HR and SB numbers, but most stat-rats would claim that he was better in 2008 due to a slightly better BA, slightly better Slugging %, and a better OBP.

I was not at lunch with Nicky poo poo and Angelos. His acknowledged
purpose for having the meeting was to identify problems and fix them. My inference, which is totally consistent with his comments following the meeting, is that the problems are his teamates, and what is right with the team is him. Do you seriously think he told Angelos that he is reason for the teams lack of performance? Righto. He has knocked his own teamates in this very paper in black and white. I dont support players that dump blame on teamates. Any true competitor looks at himself and how he can improve. I hope Nick grows up one day and realizes that knocking teamates in the press or running past the manager to the owner is as low as it gets in a team environment.

Sorry, guys, but your research is incomplete. Wade Boggs had 7 straight 40-double seasons for the Red Sox from 1985-91.

The Orioles' PR staff and your bloggers need to dig deeper. Todd Helton had 5 straight seasons of 40-plus doubles (2033-2007) and Wade Boggs had 7 straight seasons of 40-plus doubles (1985-1991).


It was for outfielders.

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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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