A scout's take

mlb week


On Nick Markakis, Orioles' 22-year-old outfielder

Defense -- "He's got a bona fide right-field arm, but they should give him a shot in center field. If you put him in center rather than left or right you don't have to worry about him hitting more than 20 to 25 homers. He runs well and can cover ground in center. They put him in center one game this spring and I said to myself, `It's about time.'"

Hitting -- "He has a little trouble with balls that are inside on him. He's had trouble turning his top hand, but he muscles the ball very well to left field and he puts it in play. I think he could be an average to above-average hitter, .280, in that vicinity. He needs a little more plate discipline."

Intangibles -- "The first time I saw him last season he didn't hustle; the second time he did. He's something along the lines of [Boston's] Trot Nixon, but he runs better and he throws better."

Note: "A scout's take" features the opinion of one major league scout on a particular player each week. A revolving roundtable of scouts is used. Because of tampering issues, the scouts will remain anonymous.

Say what?

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on his life's philosophy

"I know people say that God says when someone slaps your face, turn the other cheek. No, no. You slap my cheek, I will kick your [butt]."

Numbing number


That's how many rookies the Florida Marlins used in their Opening Day lineup. Elias Sports Bureau researched back to 1900 - the accepted start of the modern era - and couldn't find that many rookies in another Opening Day lineup.

What's up?

Nats ready for home opener

For the second time in their two-year history, the Washington Nationals were forced to open the season on the road. Their home opener at RFK Stadium is Tuesday at 1:05 p.m., when the New York Mets come to town for a three-game series. The Nationals play just nine home games in April. The Orioles hit the road for four games against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays before returning to Camden Yards to host Vladimir Guerrero and the Los Angeles Angels starting Friday.

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