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Markakis remembers Olympic experience

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Markakis remembers Olympic experience

NEW YORK Nick Markakis remembers it well. Eight years ago, he was in Athens. It was the first time Greece fielded an Olympic baseball team, and Markakis was there.With the blessing of Orioles owner Peter Angelos, Markakis missed the final month of the 2004 season to join the Greek Olympic team. Hed been the teams first-round draft pick the year before and left Delmarva a month early to train with the Greeks.Few of the names on the team are recognizable. Markakis was by far the most well-known, but longtime utility infielder Clay Bellinger and catchers Erik Pappas and George Kottaras, whos now with Oakland, were also on the team.In July 2004, Markakis played for the first time at Oriole Park when the Greek team played an exhibition game against Canada, and he even got to pitch.He probably wont pitch there again.Markakis had never been to Greece before, and hasnt been since, but his wife would like to visit.Eight years later in the middle of a playoff race, Markakis has only good things to say about his Olympic experience.Besides being in the big leagues, definitely the second best highlight of my career. It was awesome being in the Olympic Village, living there with the best athletes in the world, Markakis said.I play with some of the best athletes in this country. Being around the best athletes from all over the world, it was pretty special. I had an awesome time when I was there.Because Greece was the host country, it automatically qualified. Seven other teams, Japan, Canada, Cuba, the U.S., the Netherlands, Chinese Tapei and Italy joined the Greeks.
Greeces team was treated as a novelty, but it did win a game, beating Italy. They finished 1-6, but two of their losses were close ones: 5-4 to Cuba, which won the Gold Medal and 2-0 to Canada.The Greeks beat Italy 12-7 and Markakis hit a three-run home run.Markakis remembers that Japan took its team seriously, fielding a team with an estimated 95 million payroll.After three-and-a-half weeks in Greece, Markakis had a .346 average, six RBIs, 2 13 innings on the mound against Chinese Tapei and a lifetime of wonderful memories.They put together a baseball team, and Im glad that they did ask me. I had an unbelievable experience, Markakis said.I dont think I can take one negative thing from that trip. I loved every minutes of it.The Olympics are usually on in the clubhouse before the games, and Markakis watches with a knowing eye.The coolest part is that I can look on television and I know what theyre going through, Markakis said I know what theyre doing out there, what kind of experience theyre having. I know the concept and the setup they have out there. A lot of people dont have that.Baseball is no longer in the Olympics. Some believe the International Olympic Committee wanted a sport that was predominantly American out. Others think its because Major League Baseball wont interrupt its season as the NHL does to allow the best players to participate.Many baseball people dont miss the Olympics. They have the money-making World Baseball Classic, which features the best players in the game and is played in March with the cooperation of MLB.Markakis is sad other baseball players wont have his experience.
It sucks because there are a lot of opportunities for people to go there and play baseball and represent your country, Markakis said.I dont even know what they took it out. I couldnt even tell you why. There could have been opportunities for people to go and experience that, and now thats taken away from them.

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Orioles Roundup: Nunez impresses in loss to Yankees

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Orioles Roundup: Nunez impresses in loss to Yankees

The Orioles lost a nailbiter before falling to the Yankees 6-5 Thursday night.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

Dylan Bundy surrendered three runs in 5 2/3 innings Thursday in a no-decision against the Yankees. The bullpen was unable to manage after Bundy pitched a fair performance.

Renato Nunez went 2-for-3 and hit a three-run homer against the Yankees on Thursday. Nunez has improved mighily in year number two with the O's.

YANKEES:

Masahiro Tanaka held the Orioles to one run through six innings in his start Thursday.

Luke Voit homered and doubled Thursday as the Yankees slipped by the Orioles 6-5.

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Friday 5/24: Orioles at Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field
Saturday 5/25: Orioles at Rockies, 9:10 p.m., Coors Field

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Orioles Roundup: O's acquire Keon Broxton from Mets

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Orioles Roundup: O's acquire Keon Broxton from Mets

The Orioles made a flurry of moves before falling to the Yankees 7-5 Wednesday night.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

Baltimore acquired OF Keon Broxton from the Mets for international signing bonus slots. Broxton hit .143 in 34 games with New York this season before he was designated for assignment last week. The Orioles designated RHP Yefry Rodriguez for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Broxton. 

The Orioles transferred RHP Alex Cobb from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL, meaning he won't be back until late June at the earliest. Cobb has been out since April 27 with a lumbar strain. Baltimore also claimed RHP Chandler Shepherd off waivers for the Cubs and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. 

YANKEES:

Giancarlo Stanton has been pulled away from his rehab assignment with High-A Tampa and placed back on the 10-day injured list with left calf tightness. Per manager Aaron Boone, Stanton will be shut down for the next 7-10 days. 

Boone also told reporters Zach Britton was unavailable for Wednesday's game against his former team, and CC Sabathia could miss his next start due to knee trouble. 

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Thursday 5/23: Orioles vs. Yankees, 12:35 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Friday 5/24: Orioles at Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field
Saturday 5/25: Orioles at Rockies, 9:10 p.m., Coors Field