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August 25, 2011

Markakis on dealing with the loss of Flanagan

Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis isn’t particularly comfortable talking to the media.

He does it. It’s his job. He’s a professional. But he’s not one to fill up a reporter’s notebook.

So it was mildly surprising that of all the people I talked to in the 24 hours after the suicide of former executive and Orioles great Mike Flanagan, Markakis’ comments were among the ones that stood out the most.

In a one-on-one interview away from cameras – where Markakis is most comfortable – he was asked about the difficulty of playing in Thursday’s game.

“We realized what happened, and we still got to stay focused. We still have to go out there and play baseball,” Markakis said. “It’s sad what happened, and we feel for the Flanagan family and the organization and everybody that knew him. But some things happen in life that you don’t know why.”

Markakis was the club’s first-round pick in 2003, when Flanagan and Jim Beattie shared GM duties. For Markakis’ whole career, Flanagan has been around the club.

You could tell Markakis was speaking from the heart when asked to put the tragedy in perspective.

“That’s the tough part. I have known Flanagan for as long as I have been here. You hear something like that, it’s devastating. It is tough to keep your focus,” he said. “But we know he is in a better place. We know he is watching over us and that’s pretty much all you can do. It happened, and he is in a better place now. He’s up there watching us. That’s for sure.”

Posted by Dan Connolly at 7:09 PM | | Comments (9)
        

Comments

Dan, I know it's fairly soon, but any discussions on ways to honour Flanny? Would the O's consider a patch on their jerseys like most teams do when a broadcaster or former player passes away?

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Ive been told there will be something like that, but specifics have not been announced yet. I would assume we will hear something soon.


...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: Orioles will probably release those plans tomorrow.

Flanny will be missed. Still can't believe it happened. He was a great Oriole, through thick and thin. Too bad his GM career wasn't as good as his playing career. He deserved better, but did the best with what he was dealt. He always reminded me of the good ole days. Great guy. I'll miss watching him on TV. He always kept a positive outlook, no matter how bad the O's sucked. My thoughts are with his family. The best honor these current O's can give him, is play with the love and dedication he brought to the organization day in and day out.

I read a story on ESPN by Tim K about Mike Flanagan .Mike took his own life.The following i are my thoughts .I love baseballI am sadden . Tim thanks for the stories.My late dad and I saw Mike pitch in Memorial Stadium.
It's so shocking maybe Mike forgot (for just a second) that baseball is a just a game and good or bad -after the game we will still love him.Mike we will always love you.

My suggestion: At the last Os game of the season at Camden Yards retire Mike's jersey number with a special ceremony. Guthrie should wear it til the very last game - he commented , fine with him. A final tribute to a great pitcher and fine gentleman. Rest in peace, Mike. Prayers for Alex and family.

Angelos ownership has destroyed a storied baseball franchise. To me this is the breaking point it all starts at the top. Sell the team and stop this curse.

I doubt many here are fans of Angelos but bringing him into this conversation is irresponsible and moronic.

chots...no disrespect to Flanny, but you don't retire someone's number just because he passes away. Cal Sr. and Hendricks did a lot for this organization, and as Dan reported in another article, their numbers have been unofficially set aside, but not retired. Flanagan's number should not be retired either.

A patch on the sleeve for the rest of the season, and maybe next, and possibly a memorial somewhere at the Yard would be the most appropriate moves.

If I could obtain one, I would wear a "Flanny" patch too.

Seems like the least I could do for someone that gave us Orioles fans so much.

Rest in Peace Flanny.

I recently e-mailed the orioles front office with a suggestion, did not get much of a response. My suggestion was for Jeremy Guthrie to put Flanny's name on the back of his jersey for the remainer of the season, then change his number next season, I think that would be a nice tribute to Flanny, can you run this suggestion by Jeremy?

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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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