Looking changeup

Q&A Brian Roberts, Orioles

December 03, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN REPORTER

Since the Orioles' season ended, second baseman Brian Roberts has taken a couple of trips, worked extensively on his golf game and recently starting preparing for 2008. The team's lone All-Star spoke with The Sun last week.

How much have you kept track of the team this offseason, and are you eager to see what comes out of the winter meetings?

It obviously hasn't been real hard to keep up with what's gone on. We haven't done a whole lot yet. Some of the things that have gone on, you kind of raise your eyebrows to see what other teams are doing or are willing to do. I've heard rumors of what we may be trying to do. I'm looking forward to see what happens.

Many of your veteran teammates are being mentioned in trade talks. Are you surprised that your name hasn't been mentioned more, and do you expect to start the season as an Oriole?

At this point, I expect to be back. I haven't heard any reason to think otherwise. ... I also understand that our organization has been kind of stuck for a long time now, and it doesn't seem like anything that we've done has helped us improve. At some point, drastic changes will probably be made. It looks like it could be this year.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has said he would like the team to get younger and cheaper. Are you willing to be a part of a rebuilding process?

Young players at the major league level, they don't usually translate into lots and lots of wins. I think the people in charge will weigh that option of do we have a better chance of winning for a long period of time doing that or do we build around the people that we have. That's not my call. But do I want to be a part of a total tear-down and rebuild? I don't know if that was necessarily what I had in mind a couple of years ago. We'll see how it plays out.

You chose last offseason to eschew a multiyear deal and sign only a one-year extension because you wanted to see the direction of the team. Did what happened this past season make you glad you kept your options open?

I did think that we were going in the right direction with our pitching ... but certainly if you take [Erik] Bedard out of the mix or take some of those other pieces away, that definitely changes the landscape of the team. I did give up a year of my free agency because I really believed that either this past year, this coming year or next year, we would have a chance to compete at a very high level. Obviously, the next month or two will certainly give us a better indication where we're headed.

As much as you enjoy playing with Miguel Tejada, is there a part of you that thinks it would be best for Tejada to get a change of scenery?

For me personally, no. Miggi has meant a lot to me in my career. ... We've had some talks obviously, but he's never said, "I want to get out of here. I need to go somewhere else." Yeah, I think at times it bothers him that his name constantly comes up [in trades], and I think it bothers him at times that people always put blame on him. ... Miggi is the least of our worries.

Kevin Millar and Aubrey Huff have drawn the ire of Orioles fans this offseason - Millar with his throwing out the first pitch before a Red Sox game and Huff with his comments on a radio show. Did you have a problem with their actions?

That's an individual's decision. The Red Sox called [Millar], and he got permission from the Orioles. When he goes out and plays the Red Sox, I've certainly never seen him not try to win. And Aubrey, we're all men, we all make our own decisions. Would I have done what Aubrey did? No, probably not. But would Aubrey do some of the stuff I do? Probably not. You have to worry about yourself.

The Mitchell report is expected to be released this month. Do players discuss it and wonder what's going to be in the report?

I think that all of us are tired of the whole ordeal of it. We don't really pay a whole lot of attention. We in [the majors] have done what we feel like we need to do.


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