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Brian Michael Roberts (born October 9, 1977, in Durham, North Carolina), nicknamed B-Rob, is a switch hitting second baseman who plays for the Baltimore Orioles in the American League. He has spent his entire professional career with the Orioles organization and made his Major League debut in 2001.
Roberts lived in Salinas, CA, as his father was the baseball coach at Palma. He graduated from Chapel Hill High School. During his freshman year in 1997 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Roberts hit .427, with 102 hits, 24 doubles, 47 SB and was named to the NCBWA Second Team and the Collegiate Baseball Third Team. His sophomore year, he hit .353, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 21 doubles, 63 SB and was named to the NCBWA 1st Team, The Sporting News 2nd Team and the Collegiate Baseball 2nd Team.
Mike Roberts, Brian's father and head coach at UNC, was fired by UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour after the 1998 season, and Brian transferred to play for coach Ray Tanner at the University of South Carolina. Roberts started at shortstop for the Gamecocks and was named the best defensive college player by Baseball America. Playing in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), he batted .353, hit 12 home runs, and collected 36 RBI. He still owns the school and SEC record for stolen bases in a season with 67. He again was named an All-America and was a member of the All-SEC team.
|1999||Delmarva Shorebirds||Low A||47||.240|
|2000||Frederick Keys||High A||48||.301|
|2006||Bowie Baysox (Rehab Assignment)||AA||2||.200|
Breaking into the MajorsEdit
In 2002 he played 38 games with the Orioles and batted .227. He stole 22 bases on 26 attempts. He also played 78 games with the Orioles AAA affiliate in Rochester.
In 2003 he started for AAA Ottawa, playing 44 games and hitting .315. In late May he was called up for injured second baseman Jerry Hairston, Jr. He hit his first Major League grand slam in his second game (and his first in any sort of professional play) in the 9th inning against the Anaheim Angels to win that game. He finished with a .270 average in 112 games and stole 23 bases on 29 attempts (tied for eighth in American League).
The Orioles started spring training in 2004 with both Hairston and Roberts on the roster. Hairston fractured his finger in the first game, however, and Roberts became the opening day starter. After Hairston returned from the disabled list, he was moved to right field, leaving Roberts at second base. In August Roberts batted .347 with ten doubles in 107 at-bats. During the second week of August, Roberts was named the American League Player of the Week for hitting .531 over a span of six games. He finished 2004 with a .273 average, collecting 175 hits in 159 games. He also hit 50 doubles, which led the American League and was third-best in the majors. His 50 doubles also broke the Orioles single-season record for doubles (originally set by Cal Ripken, Jr.) and the single-season AL record for doubles by a switch hitters.
Prior to the 2005 season, Jerry Hairston, Jr. was traded to the Chicago Cubs (along with Oriole prospects Mike Fontenot and David Crouthers) for Sammy Sosa, thereby cementing Roberts' position as the Orioles' starting second baseman.
In 2005, Roberts rewarded Orioles management for their faith in him by beginning the season red-hot, leading the AL in batting average for the first several months of the season. In addition, he showed an incredible increase in power; prior to the 2005 season, he had only 12 career home runs, but by late June, he had already outmatched that total. Fans awarded Roberts explosive offensive first half by voting him the starting second baseman in the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was Roberts' first appearance in the All-Star game. As the season wore on Roberts slumped heavily and the Orioles were no longer as dominant.
On September 20, 2005, Roberts dislocated his elbow in a game against the New York Yankees. The injury occurred in a collision with New York's Bubba Crosby at first base in the bottom of the second inning. The injury prevented Roberts from playing the rest of the season.
Roberts rebounded from his 2005 injury with a strong 2006 campaign. He played in 138 games scoring 85 runs with 55 RBI. He stole 36 bases in 43 attempts and finished the season with a .286 average, hitting seven home runs in the last two months of the season. He spent the early part of May on the 15-day DL.
Roberts played in over 150 games for the Orioles. Along with teammate Nick Markakis, he finished in the AL top 10 for at-bats, batting .290 with a .377 OBP on the way to his second All-Star berth. His 50 stolen bases, a career high, was tied with Carl Crawford for the AL lead; Roberts also set career marks in hits and walks.
On June 24 Roberts went 3 for 5 against the Cubs in a 7-5 victory. His third hit of the game was his 1,000 career base hit.
On September 30, 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that during a June 6, 2006, federal raid, former relief pitcher Jason Grimsley named Roberts as a user of anabolic steroids. The Times reported that Roberts was one of five names blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court. However, on October 3, 2006, the Washington Post reported that San Francisco United States attorney Kevin Ryan said that the Los Angeles Times report contained "significant inaccuracies." On December 20, 2007, the actual names in the Grimsley search warrant affidavit were revealed to the public. Roberts, Jay Gibbons, Andy Petitte and Roger Clemens were not actually named in the report and Miguel Tejada was named only for having a conversation about amphetamines. Roberts, along with the other four players named, denounced the story. Roberts was subsequently named in George Mitchell's report on performance enhancing drugs. According to page 158 of the Mitchell Report, Roberts lived with then-teammate Larry Bigbie in David Segui's house near the end of the 2001 season. Bigbie and Segui were regular steroid users; while they were using the performance enhancing drugs and Brian was present, he asserted that he did not participate. According to Bigbie's testimony, Roberts told him in 2004 that he had injected himself with steroids "once or twice" in 2003. 
On December 17, 2007, Brian Roberts released a statement in which he admits to using steroids on a single occasion.
"I would like to address the allegations that were made against me in the Mitchell Report. I will begin by saying that I have worked very hard to develop a good reputation both on and off the field. I have always taken pride in being a man of integrity and values. I know that by being a professional athlete, I am held to a very high standard. I never have and never will take that for granted. However, I am also human and I have made mistakes.
"In 2003, when I took one shot of steroids, I immediately realized that this was not what I stood for or anything that I wanted to continue doing. I never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drugs prior to or since that single incident. I can honestly say before God, myself, my family and all of my fans that steroids or any performance-enhancing drugs have never had any effect on what I have worked so hard to accomplish in the game of baseball. I am very sorry and I deeply regret ever making that terrible decision. My only hope and prayer is that the Orioles, my family, friends and fans that have supported me so faithfully will forgive me."
- List of Baltimore Orioles Opening Day Starting Lineups
- List of Major League Baseball stolen base champions
- List of Major League Baseball doubles champions
- List of Major League Baseball players named in the Mitchell Report
- ↑ Pugmire, Lance. "Clemens Is Named in Drug Affidavit", Los Angeles Times, 2006-10-01. Retrieved on 2006-10-01.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "U.S. Attorney Says Report Alleging Drug Use Contains 'Inaccuracies'", Washington Post, 2006-10-03, p. E02. Retrieved on 2006-10-04.
- ↑ "Grimsley affidavit unsealed", Baltimore Sun, 2007-12-20, p. ?. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
- ↑ Baltimore Sun. Roberts, Tejada named in Mitchell report (2007-12-13). Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ Roberts admits he used steroids. Baltimore Sun. Retrieved on 18 December, 2007.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Brian Roberts Web Site Baltimore Orioles Second Baseman
|American League Player of the Month|
|American League Stolen Base Champion|
(with Carl Crawford)