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January 23, 2009

Orioles: Crowing about Markakis

crowley.jpgOrioles hitting coach Terry Crowley (left) has played a big role in the career of Nick Markakis, and he couldn't have been happier to hear the news that the club had locked Markakis into a long-term extension.

"Andy (MacPhail) is a great evaluator of talent,'' Crowley said by telephone last night, "but I've got to say, this one wasn't too hard. Nick is the cornerstone of the progress we're going to make.

"There's nothing he can't do. He can hit for power, hit for average, run, throw and catch the ball. He's absolutely the complete package. We're fortunate to have him for the next six or seven years."

It was Crowley who shepherded Markakis through the tough early months of his major league career. Nick eventually got his feet under him and finished his rookie season with a .291 average. He batted .300 or better in each of his next two seasons. Crow echoed MacPhail's comments during yesterday's news conference that Markakis still has a lot of upside and won't be spoiled by his early success or his big contract.

"I'm sure he'll be the same terrific guy,'' Crowley added. "He's just a great kid. One of the best teammates you could every have."

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Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:00 AM | | Comments (26)


Now if Ole Andrew would ever realize that a team needs pitching , we just might win 80 games in a season. Most teams look forward to participating in the post season. If you are and Oriole or fan, we only look forward to winning a game.

It is ashame it doesnt have to be this way. It will continue until the fans ban together and support new ownership.

If he continues to progress as he has the past three seasons and the O's can put some bats around him in the lineup for protection he could easily put up some big time numbers by the end of this contract. Most of all I think he fits the prototype of the sort of player O's fan can embrace. Even better I don't think he is driven by numbers, but ultimately wants to help make the O's a winner again. GO O's!! GO NICK!!

The best part of this signing is Nick (barring injuries) will only continue to improve and his game should reach an even higher level than where he is today.

Now we need BRob resigned and PITCHING. O's are still a long ways from being where we all want them to be but AM is doing a good job of restoring the entire organization.

Wow! The Markakis signing and the Oscar announcements on the same day Coincidence? I think not. Here are the five nominess for Best Picture, with an O's twist.

Milk-The story of Cal Ripken's attempt to revive the O's after being named manager in mid-season by making the players drink gallon after gallon of his favorite beverage. Spoiler alert: While the milk does wonders for the team's hitting, the pennant chase falls tragically short due to one missing major ingredient. Got pitching?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-Button, a career journeyman pitcher, is inexplicably given a five-year, $50 million contract by the O's, then tears his rotator cuff while buttoning his uniform before his first start. He then disappears into the FBI Witness Protection Program. Curious.

Frost/Nixon-A recreation of the landmark 1970s series of interviews in which the British journalist grills the ex-president on whether it was proper to have pardoned Frank Cashen (or was it Harry Dalton?) for trading Frank Robinson to the Dodgers.

Slumdog Millionaire-O's owner Peter Angelos attempts to raise money for free agents by becoming a slumlord in Baltimore City, only to be accused of corruption by Sheila Dixon. Hilarity ensues.

The Reader-The story of a genius reader of a certain Baltimore Sun baseball blog and how the sage advice from his posts is finally taken to heart by O's president Andy MacPhail, leading to joy and pennants for years to come.

And the winner is...

Am I correct to assume that Andy Mac has talked to the agent of every pitcher out there on the market?

Pete's reply: Over the course of the winter, I would think Andy or Wayne Krivsky would have talked to everyone at least once.

Nick figures to be a prominent face in Baltimore for a number of years. It is good to see that he wants to help get BRob on board. Now let's get some pitching to get us through this season. We can't just keep running kids out there to get shelled. They will just wind up scared to start. Looking forward to 2/14, pitchers and catchers report.

Think being Greek helped Nick pry that money away from Peter (The Less) Angelos?!

With the outfield set if Pie can develop as hoped, have you heard if the O's have considered moving Reimold to 1st for this AAA season? Or Montanez since he is more of a liability in the field?

Pete's reply: No, at the moment, Huff is the first baseman.

hey pete...are there any greek pitchers out there...p.a. seems to
favor the greeks

Funny stuff, Chris Joseph. As to the substance of the article, all O's fans are happy with the long term signing. It really is a shame though, that this was McFly's number 1 offseason priority.

Do you think that any of our AA or A pitching prospects will make it up for the season opener to shore up the rotation?

Pete's reply: Depends on who you classify as a AA pitcher -- the guys who were there last year or the ones who are expected to be at Bowie this year.

Great. One success story in Terry Crowley's 10-year tenure as hitting coach. What about all the other Orioles who constantly lack patience and discipline, swinging at first pitches after the opposing pitcher just walked the previous batter on 4 pitches, and who seem not to have any concept of situational hitting. Sorry, no reason for this guy (Crowley, that is) to be crowing about anything, in my opinion.

Pete , dare I say that Nick has such a sweet swing , that it is comparible to Billy Williams or even heaven forbid Ted Williams .

Pete's reply: Now, let's take a breath here...

God I just wanna read that we have signed some pitcher that has logging some kind of major leauge innings. I have heard rumors of Josh Fogg. I would even be happy with that. To me a year ago we were 12 players from contending ,we are alot closer now. We need to take a gamble and sigh one of the top pitchers that are still out there to a two year incentive type deal, and let out young talent come along like they are suppose to and not rush them.

if i know AM he may be waiting to see if his value falls in the next week. the dodger today (1/23) are talking to starting pitchers Randy Wolf, Jon Garland and Braden Looper. All quality starters which would be a solid number 3 guy in our rotation. If the Dodgers can have talks with all three of theses guys and several relievers, why can't we? I heard we are talking to Josh Fogg... but I'm still wondering if he's the right guy. Have you heard any news on Will Ohman? The Orioles could really use this guy's middle relief if our starters can't eat up innings. And how close are the Orioles and Ty Wigginton??

Pete's reply: I wish I had more info for you on those guys, but if I did, I would put it right up. I wouldn't make you beg for it.

I think Crow's biggest assignmenty will be to see if he can get Pie to hit. If he does that, we'll have a hell of an outfield.

Balto is lucky to have Nick and Joe Flacco. Both are great kids and their parents deserve a lot of creidt. The money means nothing to Nick and Flacco is moving back home in the off season. In a world where people obsess over materialism and money they are very refreshing.

I predict that after Andy follows Jack's advice and signs every free-agent pitcher to above-market prices this year and next, signs all the big bats that become available and the Orioles sweep the World Series in 2009-2010, he'll crab about Ole Pete's refusal to offer universal, stadium-wide free admission. Always gotta find something, don't you, bro?

Markakis is a great signing. Here's to a long and successful career in Baltimore. Maybe someday they will even develop some pitching and have a competitive team. Well, a boy can dream anyway.

It's great to see Nick resigned. I wish they had done the same with B. Rob last year at this time, so if they can't soon I hope they can get a few prospects for him at least at the trading deadline. Pete could you ask coach Crowley what he sees as the weaknesses in Pie's swing (lack of power and too many strikeouts there must be holes somewhere) and hopefully does he fell optimistic he can get these defects repaired so he can live up to his potential? Thanks and keep up the awesome work.

I love this signing but I really don't think Nick is too elated with AM's pitching moves in the off season(Hendricksen,Koji,Pauly...). I believe he was just being appreciative to AM with his comments. It sure would be great to get BRob signed also. It would also be great to get Wigginton on the team. But until we get some better quality starting pitching to go against the East (let alone the rest of the AL) it won't matter who we have in the line-up(e.g. 08 Yanks). I love the direction we are going with our youth, but this is going to be another tough 90 - 100 loss season. Boy, is it frustrating.

Andy says we have 3 centerfielders..It took Nick a year to learn to play right, now he is gold glove caliber...Pie is a center fielder, also lefthanded. All things equal, it is better to have the righthander (Jones) in left field, he does not have to spin around to throw the ball that has been hit down the line back to second or third base..The Cubbie bloggers say that Pie can fly...what kind of arm does he have and is it accurate. Does he get a good jump on the ball?..Jones gets a great jump on the ball,has a strong arm,albeit a scatterarm. Does either have experience in left?.U can see the ball off the bat in center, not in left. How do u think this will play out..Ego issues?

Pete's reply: That's a good question. I think they'll stick with Pie in left for the sake of continuity, but all things being equal, it would seem to be better from a throwing perspective if Pie was in center and Jones played left. I suppose you could also make the case that it's better to have the glove on the right hand in left field because the majority of pull hitters are right-handed and a left fielder is more likely to cheat to his right with a big-range center fielder out there, but I'll have to bounce that off Dave Trembley when I get a chance. Pie, to answer your other question, has -- by all accounts -- a plus arm.

Andy says we have 3 centerfielders..It took Nick a year to learn to play right, now he is gold glove caliber...Pie is a center fielder, also lefthanded. All things equal, it is better to have the righthander (Jones) in left field, he does not have to spin around to throw the ball that has been hit down the line back to second or third base..The Cubbie bloggers say that Pie can fly...what kind of arm does he have and is it accurate? Does he get a good jump on the ball?..Jones gets a great jump on the ball,has a strong arm,albeit a scatterarm. Does either have experience in left?.U can see the ball off the bat in center, not necessarily in left and the hooking/slicing action on the ball is more pronounced the closer it gets to the line. How do u think this will play out..Ego issues? Didn't Pie say with playing time he believed he could be a 'superstar'? Do all Dominican ballplayers have egos like Tejada? How will Jones react?

Hey Pete,
with the recent (and fairly late in the off-season) retirement of Jeff Kent from the Dodgers, any chance the O's-Dodgers talk B-Rob Trade? Last season I remember the Dodgers having some interest and I remember the O's having strong interest in Clayton Kershaw. Thoughts?? Also have you heard any rumors of the O's trying to trade for Daric Barton from the A's? Thanks Pete!!

Pete's reply: I have heard nothing about any Dodgers/Orioles talks involving Roberts and only have heard Barton's name mentioned in reader comments. Doesn't mean there have been discussions. Just that I don't know about any.

Terry Crowley had a few meaningful pinch hits during the late 70's early 80's. Why this guy is revered as a hitting coach is beyond me. I like Dave Trembley, but in my opinion, he made a mistake by not taking the opportunity to bring in a fresh voice as hitting instructor when he otherwise remade the coaching staff prior to 2008.
Terry Crowley is to the O's what Matt Cavanaugh was to the Ravens, and he should respectfully be relieved of his duties.

66 million bucks for Nick Markakis???
Man, I give up..
He's a good player...
He's not even Shane Victorino..
He's Johnny Callison maybe...
No, he's not and won't ever be Bobby Abreu..
I'm stumped here...
He's Hank Bauer! That's not bad..
But 66,000,000!???

Nick T.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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