Sunday, March 16, 2008

Markakis Having Fun or Being Reckless?

In his time in an Oriole uniform, Nick Markakis in light of his talent has been anything but a media hound. However, considering his meteoric rise in baseball and amongst Oriole fans, he may not be able to avoid the media anyone.

However, this morning, Markakis was profiled in the Baltimore Sun and it had nothing to do with baseball.

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebeic has an article in today's paper and it's got nothing to do with what he does on the field, but off of it.

Let's just say it's anything but boring; in fact, some might find what Markakis does in his free time to be somewhat reckless.

Here's a portion of the article:

Markakis, who barely spoke in the clubhouse two years ago as a rookie, has started a new craze among his teammates with his purchase of Heelys, athletic shoes that have wheels on the bottom. The shoes are usually worn by children, but that matters little to Markakis, who sports them to and from the stadium and rolls around on them in the clubhouse and in the players' parking lot.

"We visited him [last week] and we were walking next to him and all of a sudden, he goes gliding by us on the sidewalk," said Dennis Markakis, Nick's father. "We didn't even know he was wearing them. He's like a little kid, always having a good time."

Loewen and Jeremy Guthrie have bought Heelys, and Burres says he wants to as well. On a recent off day, Markakis spent much of the afternoon rolling through a local mall. He also enjoys doing it at the grocery store but recently was scolded while he was wheeling in and out of aisles at a local Wal-Mart.

When told that such behavior might be perceived as unusual for a 24-year-old who happens to be a pretty well-known baseball player, Markakis said: "People look at me weird, but the biggest thing is, I'm really laid back and I really don't care what people think. If it's fun, I like to do it. The little things to me are the most fun, the things that people don't think of."

He's a brave man with his tricks; most contracts have stipulations about risky behavior in writing.

Well, he's being a little reckless and god forbid something happen to him; however, I find it refreshing that he's been able to preserve a lot his personality and not be so overwhelmed by fame, money, and his career.

It's good to see he's still acting like he's in his 20's rather than a grizzled veteran superstar who's too immersed with his own image.

I, for one, would like to see more stories like this. This piece has really humanized him.

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