Player Profiles: Nick Markakis

Nick Markakis
Nick Markakis running the bases

This is my first player profile on a Baltimore Orioles player.  Who better to do a profile on then the Orioles longest tendered current Oriole that is why I selected Nick Markakis.  Markakis was the selected by the Orioles in the first round of the 2001 MLB draft.  Markakis made his Major League debut in 2006 and never looked back.

Since Markakis was a rookie he has been very consistent and holds a career batting average of .292 prior to the 2014 season.  Markakis really has no weaknesses in his game as he is a very good player overall.
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Player Profiles: Dennis Pitta

450px-Dennis_Pitta_2011_stadium_practiceThe Baltimore Ravens have had two great tight ends in their history and both have something in common.  Both Dennis Pitta and Todd Heap are Mormon… I know off topic but there is your Ravens fun fact.  Now on to the profile.

Pitta was drafted by the Ravens in 2010 The season that I was lucky enough to cover for WBAL and 98 Rock.  Pitta was a fourth-round draft pick and the 114th overall pick in the 2010 draft.  Feel free to listen to this old recording of me interviewing Pitta at the bottom of the page.
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Ravens agree to terms with Pitta: Updated

450px-Dennis_Pitta_2011_stadium_practiceThe Baltimore Ravens and tight end Dennis Pitta have agreed to terms to a five-year deal today, the deal is reportedly worth around $32 million.  This is nothing but good news for the Ravens as Pitta is a key member of the offense and a safety blanket for Joe Flacco.

As I said in this post keeping Pitta needed to be the Ravens top priority this off season as he is a member they simply could not lose.
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Ravens release Leach and McClain

351px-Jameel_McClain_2011_stadium_practiceThe Baltimore Ravens announced today that they have released veteran players Jameel McClain and Vonta Leach.  This is clearly a salary cap move as cutting both players will save the Ravens a significant amount of cap space.

I can see both McClain and Leach being brought back at cheaper contracts.  McClain battled a spinal injury and missed a lot of action but still played well when he came back last season.  McClain is a good team leader but linebackers have been found easily for the Ravens.

Leach is a bit tougher to bring back, he saw little action late last season and at age 32 he is not a young player.  Leach was released last year as well but brought back on a cheaper contract.

Here is the Ravens press release on the moves.
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Cruz deal official Orioles DFA Jones

461px-20090406-DSC_1571_Nelson_CruzThe Baltimore Orioles have made the Nelson Cruz deal official as he has passed his physical.  To make room for Cruz on the 40-man roster the Orioles had to designate Chris Jones for assignment.  The Orioles acquired Jones last season for Luis Ayala.

The Orioles are also in talks to give JJ Hardy a contract extension.  More on that story as more information becomes available.

Here is the Orioles press release on Cruz.
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Ravens recent arrest are a bad start to the off season

96px-Ray_Rice_2012Ray Rice and Deonte Thompson have both been arrested this off season and it is causing them to bring negative attention to the Ravens.  Rice was arrested for assault and has been all over head lines.  Thompson was arrested with suspicion of marijuana position.

Rice and Thompson may both face suspensions, with Thompson’s suspension being a bit more predictable.  If Thompson fails a drug test for having marijuana in his system he will get a typical four-game suspension.  I have a feeling Thompson may get that anyway following reports.
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