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Brian Michael Roberts (born October 9, 1977, in Durham, North Carolina) is a Major League Baseball All Star second baseman, nicknamed B-Rob. He made his Major League debut in Template:By and has spent his entire professional career with the Orioles organization.

BiographyEdit

College baseball careerEdit

Roberts lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as his father was the baseball coach at UNC. He graduated from Chapel Hill High School. During his freshman year in 1997 at 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.

His 63 stolen bases were more than any player in college baseball that year. He became the first Tar Heel to be named ACC player of the year, and was a first team All-America.

Mike Roberts, Brian's father and coach at UNC, was fired by athletic director Dick Baddour after the 1998 season. After the firing, Brian opted to transfer to play for coach Ray Tanner at the University of South Carolina. Roberts started at shortstop for the South Carolina 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.

Minor League baseball careerEdit

Roberts was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the 1999 MLB draft. He played Single A baseball with Delmarva in Template:By where he appeared in 47 games and hit .240.

In Template:By he started with the Gulf Coast League Orioles, hitting .310 in nine games. He also played 48 games with Single A Club Frederick hitting .301.

Roberts also spent time with the Rochester Red Wings and Ottawa Lynx.

Major League Baseball careerEdit

Breaking into the Majors (2001-02)Edit

He made his Major League debut in Template:By and played 75 games for Baltimore, batting .253. He also played for AAA Rochester and AA Bowie that year.

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.

2003Edit

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).

2004Edit

The Orioles started spring training in Template:By with both Hairston and Roberts on the roster. Hairston fractured his finger in spring training, 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 switch hitters.

2005Edit

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 as the Orioles slipped in the standings.

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.

2006Edit

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.

2007Edit

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. He was rumored in trade talks in the offseason to the Chicago Cubs, but nothing occurred.

2008Edit

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. He collected the 250th double of his career on July 28 against the New York Yankees. On September 21, 2008 Roberts grounded into the final out in the history of Old Yankee Stadium.

2009Edit

File:Brian Roberts.jpg

In January 2009, Brian Roberts married long time girlfriend Diana Chiafair.

The Orioles and Brian Roberts agreed to a contract extension on February 20, 2009. The contract secures Roberts through the 2014 season.[1]

Following an injury to Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Roberts was added to Team USA's roster for the World Baseball Classic. Roberts batted .438 with one home run, two runs batted in and one stolen base in four games as the United States lost in the semifinals to Japan.

On August 4, in a game against the Detroit Tigers, Brian hit his 300th career double in the first inning off of Jarrod Washburn. On September 15, Brian Roberts broke his own Orioles franchise record by hitting his 52nd double of the season. According to Spencer Fordin, "the two-time All-Star became one of four players all-time - along with Hall of Famers Tris Speaker, Paul Waner, and Stan Musial -- to amass three 50-double seasons in his career." [2]

On September 29, Brian hit his 56th double of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays, setting the all-time single season mark for doubles in a season by a switch-hitter. His 56 doubles led the majors in 2009.[3]

On October 3, Brian was named "Most Valuable Oriole" for 2009 and awarded an engraved lead trophy for his accomplishments.

2010Edit

Roberts missed much of training camp with a herniated disc in his lower back. He recovered in time for Opening Day, but started the season 2-14 before suffering an abdominal strain stealing second base and being forced onto the 15-day disabled list, effective as of April 10. On July 12, Roberts starting to play in rehab games without having a setback. It is the first time he has been on the field since April 10. On July 23, Roberts returned to the Orioles' lead off spot for the first time since April 9.

Steroid allegationsEdit

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.[4] 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."[5] 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.[6] Roberts, along with the other four players named, denounced the story.[5] 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.[7]

On December 17, 2007, Brian Roberts released a statement in which he admits to using steroids on a single occasion.

“In 2003, when I took one shot of steroids,” he said. “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.”

Roberts further stated that he had no ill-will against former Oriole Larry Bigbie whose testimony to the Mitchell Committee was responsible for his inclusion in the report.[8]


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