The 1999 draft mostly will be remembered for the Orioles' failures, but they did snag Brian Roberts with a supplemental pick. He broke into the majors in 2001, getting his first hit off current teammate Steve Trachsel, and was named Most Valuable Oriole four years later. Roberts spent his final college season at South Carolina after transferring from North Carolina, where his father was head coach. He signed a two-year extension last week.
Which pitcher served up your first major league hit, and what do you remember about it? -- Trachsel. I lined out to center my first turn. My second time, it was a 1-2 count and I got a base hit. Right-center. It was a cool moment. There aren't a whole lot of hits you remember all the time. That will always be one. I don't know if I've told him yet. I'm waiting for the right moment.
What's the difference between living in North Carolina and South Carolina? -- There are subtle differences, I guess. For me, it was weird just because I grew up in Chapel Hill. I was there my whole life. I grew up with that college atmosphere, and the SEC was a little different. It was a little different feel. Columbia was bigger than Chapel Hill. It's the capital of the state, so it was a lot bigger city, but still with a college feel to it.
Was it hard being the coach's son sometimes? -- Yeah, of course. There's advantages. I probably would have never had the chance to go play there if my dad hadn't been the coach, but you also deal with people thinking that's the only reason you're there, you're getting special treatment, all those sorts of things. It's a complicated situation.
What did you say to umpire Mark Wegner to get your first ejection last year? -- I went in and looked at the video on a pitch and came out and told him how far outside it was. (He laughs.) And Mark's a good guy. We both apologized later on, but I was frustrated.
Is it true you're a huge "American Idol" fan? -- I like watching it. Gibby (Jay Gibbons) got me into it. I probably never would have started watching it if it wasn't for him. He likes girl stuff like that. It's cool, though. It's interesting. Simon's funny. And sometimes they have really talented people on there who probably never would have been discovered if it hadn't been for that. I think it's a cool opportunity for people.