Brian Roberts is nothing but problems for the Baltimore Orioles and a heartache to the fans. Yet here we go again with another whirlwind preseason of hope and soon to be another head-first slide that leads to disappointment.
Though don’t think I forgot about 2005-9, there was no better lead off hitter than Brian Roberts (.283 Avg, .354 OBP, 30 SB in 2009). The man would take a walk after a 10 pitch at bat, and steal his way all the way over to third. He was our game changer, but since that last year that earned him “The Most Valuable Oriole”, Brian has only played 59, 39, and 17 games in the last three seasons.
Every year there is a rumor of a Brian Roberts return, but it always ends with another injury and let down. Don’t get me wrong, I love B-Rob but I think the Orioles are long past the days of Roberts being a face of the franchise. Roberts is 35 years old, and certainly hasn’t returned his part of his 40 million dollar contract extension he signed in 2009. As much as he and the Orioles organization claim that he will be healthy for Opening Day, I’m not buying it. He has yet to prove in the last 3 years that can stay healthy, let alone produce, but that didn’t stop him from claiming that he is the best option at second base on the team.
In an interview for the Baltimore Sun B-Rob said, “ I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone, but I still feel like I’m our best option…”. If I were Alexi Casillas or Ryan Flaherty I’d be chuckling right now. Brian, you haven’t been able to play a full season in the last three years and you honestly think you’re the clubs best option? Maybe that is a little harsh and he deserves some credit for still believing in himself, but like I said before, the Orioles have long moved past the Brian Roberts era. They need some stability at second base. A day-in and day-out kind of player, not a wish and a prayer. Yet, today I heard that Casillas was taking ground balls at short, while Brian was alone at second. This whole saga needs to end. Thankfully this is the last year of his contract. Then again, I have to hold back a little from my tongue lashing to consider that maybe the old Brian Roberts will return? Maybe…but not likely.