Thursday, June 9, 2011

Responding to a comment

Yesterday, a reader posted the following comment on my Nick Markakis post:
Anonymous said...
No mention to his consistently changing approach at the plate?

Markakis has always had pressure on him to be the face of the Orioles, but the real question is: is he good enough to be the face of a good team?

With the stats he is producing now, no. But when he was doing good things consistently, then yes, he was. How do you get him back to that sense of continuity?
I do realize that Markakis tinkers with his batting stance frequently -- moving his hands and feet around, changing how upright he stands, etc. Cal Ripken used to do similar things. I would assume that most of that is a comfort thing. Maybe he's just doing something different simply for the sake of doing something different. For the most part, Markakis's swing -- the end result -- still looks the same. Again, he's still hitting a lot of line drives, but he just isn't a power hitter. Maybe he wants to be one and is working hard to get there; if so, I commend him for putting in the work. But he's essentially a gap-to-gap hitter who's going to hit a lot of singles and doubles. The Markakis who walks a lot and hits a ton of doubles has value, but the current Markakis isn't getting the job done. And he knows that.

In his 2008 season, yes, Markakis was outstanding. But it's also possible that that's the best he'll ever play. He hasn't come close to replicating those numbers, and he may never get back to that level.

I don't know if he's good enough to be the face of the Orioles. Honestly, I'm not really sure exactly what that means. All I know is that the problem with the O's is that they lack overall talent, and I do believe they're in the process of rectifying that problem. The issue with Markakis right now is that he wasn't supposed to be something that the franchise had to worry about, at least for the duration of his current contract. Hopefully he gets things going.

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