It took the Baltimore Orioles no time at all to realize that Nick Markakis was a good one. The 195-pound, 6'2" right fielder made his Major League debut in 2006 by launching a 400-foot homer in his first at bat. This sensational beginning foreshadowed things to come. After hitting over .330 for three consecutive months.338 in June, .403 in July and .354 with 10 homers in AugustMarkakis just missed winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. On Aug. 22, the young slugger put on a show for Camden Yards fans, going 3-for-4 with three home runs in a 6-3 O's victory. In the upcoming season, Markakis is looking to establish himself as one of the best outfielders in the game. Below, he tells us how he preps to do just that.
STACK: Take us through your game-day routine, starting with when you wake up.
Markakis: I pretty much wake up like any normal person. I try to get my legs underneath me and get some foodnothing out of the ordinary. I like to lounge around and play video games until it's time to go to the park. If it's a home game, I like to get there around one or two.
What do you try to keep consistent in your day-to-day routine?
Markakis: I put my uniform on the same way every day. I can't tell you how though, because it's a secret [laughs]. No, I put my sliders on, then my socks and then my long john all-weather pants. Then I throw on my undershirt and head to the training room to put on some heat to get my body going. I am a big baby powder person; I put it all over. I started doing it in high school and continued through college.
Do you like any special music or food before a game?
Markakis: No, that's not a big deal to me. Whatever's in the clubhouse is fine.
Since your three-homerun game last August, have you tried to do things the same?
Markakis: It's kind of hard to repeat something like that, because it doesn't happen very often. But I just try to keep that same approach heading into each game. It was just one of those days where I was in the zone.
Does your game prep depend on who's on the mound that day?
Markakis: In the clubhouse, there is a video of each pitcher, so I go in and watch it to get ready for the particular guy.
Is there anyone you get excited to hit against?
Markakis: I'm looking forward to our opening game in Minnesota against Johan Santana.
What's the environment like in the clubhouse before a game?
Markakis: We're all just in there, hanging out and screwing around. We probably have one of the most laid back clubhouses. We have a bunch of good guys on the team, and we enjoy hanging around each other. It helps us have fun and play relaxed.
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