Nick Markakis reported to Braves spring training Tuesday, the final veteran to file in before Wednesday’s mandated arrival date.
Markakis, who re-signed with the team last month, briefly spoke with the media upon his arrival. Here’s an overview of the topics covered:
How was the offseason?
Quick. The older you get the quicker it goes.
On being back with the Braves after months of uncertainty:
I’m happy, my family is happy and that’s all that really matters to me. I’m happy to be with this organization and these guys, and I’m looking for an exciting year and working with these guys.
Freddie Freeman and others feel this team is better than last year. Would you agree?
Absolutely. We virtually have the same team with a couple other additions. We’re looking to do what we did last year and go even further.
Do you have a preference for where to hit in the lineup?
I just come here, look at the board and do my job. Where I am, that’s skip’s (manager Brian Snitker) job, and we all trust it. We just do what we’re told.
On the addition of Josh Donaldson:
When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best pure players in the game. Even when he was in Oakland, I had the opportunity to play against him. Then when he went to Toronto I had opportunities to play against him, too. He’s a hell of a ballplayer. Hopefully he can get past those injuries he’s had nagging these past couple years and help us out tremendously. He’s going to. We’re excited to have him.
On playing 162 games last year, but getting more rest in 2019:
I’d come close to doing it before, but had never done it. I had the opportunity to do it. So you can check that off the list of accomplishments. I’m up for whatever. I know they want to back off the workload for guys this year, hopefully that benefits us and the team. We’ll see where it goes.
On the grind of a 162-game season:
When you get halfway through it’s about repetition. It’s tough. We’re the only sport that plays this many games. But that’s what you prepare for in the offseason. That’s what you work all winter for. I’m up for anything.
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