Why should the Orioles hold on to Brian Roberts? I can give you at least 50 reasons.
The second baseman has a club-record 51 doubles, two behind the Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia's major league-leading total. This season, he has already set the single-season major league record for doubles by a switch hitter, breaking his record of 50, set in 2004.
It's nothing new. Roberts has had opponents seeing double for the past five seasons, in four of which he had 40-plus two-baggers. Since 2004, he is the only player in the majors to have two 50-double seasons. And while we're on the number 50, let's talk about the fact that Roberts stole 50 bases last season.
But enough of all the double talk and number-crunching. Baseball is a business, and Roberts is a valuable asset to the franchise. If Nick Markakis isn't most fans' favorite Oriole, then Roberts surely is. He is very active in the community, and he also helps the club make an impact in a hard-to-reach demographic: teenage girls. The guy attracts teeny-boppers to the ballpark much as the Jonas Brothers do to concert halls. Every franchise needs a face of the team, and the Orioles could do much worse than having Roberts' mug on billboards. A hard-nosed player with a good glove and sound fundamentals, he embodies the Oriole Way. The Orioles are rebuilding, but they still need a core of position players to build around. At 30, Roberts probably has several productive years left. With a number of holes to plug, why add second base to the list? And why have to go out and find another leadoff man, especially one capable of filling Roberts' shoes?