Originally written September 10, 2012 on Pro Sports Daily:
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Not enough power. Not a prototypical No. 3 hitter. Not enough speed to be a leadoff batter. However, Nick Markakis has plenty of qualities that have proved irreplaceable for the Baltimore Orioles. In an organization and city where playing every day means something -- see: Ripken, Cal -- Markakis has carried the torch, playing in 160-plus games in four of his first six big-league seasons. He never had a broken bone before this season. Come Tuesday, he'll have undergone his third surgery in a year. Markakis is due to undergo an operation on his broken left thumb, and he'll likely only be able to play again this year if the Orioles make a deep run in the postseason. Markakis is the longest-tenured Oriole on the active roster, debuting in 2006. This season is his first flirtation with contention as a major-leaguer. Manager Buck Showalter doesn't play favorites, but he's a fan. And he admires what Markakis -- or "Nicky," as the skipper affectionately r...
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