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.”