As he awaits the arrival of his first child, Markakis continues to blossom into one of the best players in the American League. His personal grooming habits, in contrast, deteriorate daily.
I got a shot of Markakis (on the left) chatting with hitting coach Terry Crowley (who was lucky he was in bleepin' baseball, Earl Weaver once said) before Monday afternoon's game with the Red Sox. As Sports Hernia once said, it appears as if the once shorn-to-the-scalp Markakis is trying to emulate a fellow great Greek god — Pete Sampras. (See below)
Markakis, who signed a six-year, $66-million contract in the off-season (you Biblical numerologists have fun with those figures), is awaiting a delivery from his wife, Christina. She is expected to give birth sometime during the World Baseball Classic (which is why he's not playing in it) and Markakis seems to have lost all will to shave or get a haircut.
Down the right-field line, I heard manager Dave Trembley lovingly but viciously picking on Markakis, likening him to Dustin Hoffman's Ratso Rizzo character from "Midnight Cowboy."
"It's only going to get worse," Markakis said, implying the responsibilities of caring for his pregnant wife will wipe out any grooming time once the littlest Markakis comes into this world — with a full head of hair, no doubt.