The Orioles' Robert Andino is congratulated by teammate… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
After six days of not playing and not talking to the media, second baseman Brian Roberts met with reporters in manager Buck Showalter's office following Sunday's season finale and said he has been dealing with concussionlike symptoms that occurred after he hit himself in the helmet with a bat.
"I don't know 100 percent sure, but it was Monday night. In frustration [after a strikeout], I whacked myself on the head with my bat in the ninth. I had my helmet on," Roberts said. "It's something I've done a million times, but I still can't tell you for sure if that was it. But that's the only thing that I can point to because that night and the next morning, I just didn't feel good. So it's been going on since then."
The club's longest-tenured player seemed embarrassed by the revelation — and by missing more time in a season filled with maladies.
"I've never had concussionlike symptoms in my life; it's not fun. It's not something you want to go through every day, that's for sure," he said. "It's a lesson to myself, a lesson to the kids to not do that, no matter how frustrated you are."
Roberts expects to have a CT scan Monday to determine whether something else is causing the lightheadedness and pain.
"I just have some lack of balance and some headaches, and just stuff that hasn't been a whole lot of fun," Roberts said. "So, unfortunately, I haven't been able to obviously get out there and play, but we're still working on trying to get all the results and figure out what's going on."
Roberts ended his season with a .278 average, four homers and 12 stolen bases while totaling just 230 at-bats in 59 games. His year was marred by various injuries and ailments, including a herniated disk in his back that forced him to miss most of the first half.
"It's been one for the memory banks, but not for the best memory bank, I guess," Roberts, 32, said. "But there's been some good things, and just because things don't go exactly the way you want them to, it doesn't mean that it's all been a negative, a wash, because certainly since Buck's gotten here, we've done some great things, and I'll be ready to go [in] February 2011. It just hasn't been the best 2010."
Attendance low reached
As expected, the Orioles officially set a Camden Yards season-attendance low for the third consecutive year.
The 2010 final attendance for 80 home dates (Friday's doubleheader is counted as one admission) was 1,733,019. It's the lowest since 1988, when those Orioles, who lost a franchise-record 107 games, drew 1,660,738 to Memorial Stadium.
For the third straight year, the Orioles failed to hit 2 million after reaching or surpassing that mark for 19 consecutive seasons. The club began 2010 with a 2-16 start on its way to a 13th straight losing season.
"It's somewhat disappointing but certainly understandable," said Greg Bader, the club's director of communications. "The team got off to an extremely poor start, which greatly reduced advanced sales during the early months. We hope to improve on this year's figure as we head into 2011 with optimism and momentum."
The Orioles' record improved drastically after Showalter took over, but the attendance numbers actually dipped. That's likely a byproduct of a schedule with few draws — besides three games each with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox — in the final two months.
In 51 home games before Showalter took over Aug. 2, the Orioles drew an average of 22,262. In the 29 dates after he was hired, the average attendance was 20,610.
Impending coaching decisions
Showalter said he would be back in his office Monday to think about some of the decisions that need to be made this offseason. That includes what he will do with his six coaches. He said he would likely will inform his staff within the next few days who would be retained for 2011. He has a day in mind but won't reveal it publicly.
"In fairness to them, we're going to try to move as fast as we can with that," Showalter said. "I certainly have [a date] in mind that I'd like to move on. It depends on how comfortable I feel with it. It could be very quickly. The sooner the better, as far as I'm concerned. But we want to make good decisions, too."
Around the horn
Showalter will have both knees surgically repaired this offseason. The first surgery will be Oct. 12, and the second Oct. 24. Both will be performed by a Cowboys team surgeon in Dallas. … A decision as to when longtime umpires attendant Ernie Tyler will undergo surgery to remove a benign brain tumor has not been made. His son, Jimmy, said Tyler is doing well and remains in good spirits after being hospitalized Saturday. … In 57 games under Showalter, the Orioles' ERA was 3.54. In the previous 105 games, it was 5.18, highest in the American League. … Before Sunday's game, the Orioles honored third base umpire Jerry Crawford, who umpired his final regular-season contest in a 34-season career. The Camden Yards crowd gave him an ovation and, as a tribute to Crawford, Showalter brought out the pre-game lineup card — something he normally only does for the first game of each series.