"When you have the opportunity to play for such a storied franchise and an org that is always going to give you the chance to win a World Series every year," Roberts said, "it doesn't take a whole lot [to convince you to play for them]. You know, as a kid, I think so many of us probably dream of putting on that uniform at some point."
Roberts, who spent 13 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles prior to signing with the Yankees this offseason, made some fans in Baltimore gag with those comments.
Playing in close competition with the Bronx Bombers in the American League East for many years, Orioles fans have prided themselves on hating the team from New York.
But, now, should they hate Roberts for his comments?
Roberts has had an uphill battle since injuring himself in 2010, missing 99 games. Since then, Roberts has missed more games (445) than he has played (192). He found himself under scrutiny from fans in Baltimore who questioned his will to play, as it took him more than two seasons to recover from a serious head injury that led to daily concussion symptoms that not only inhibited him as a player but also made his everyday life a struggle.
Now, Roberts finds himself on a new team where he may be depended on to replace the best second baseman in the entire league, in front of fans who are well aware of his injury rap sheet.
By referring to playing as a Yankee as a dream come true, Roberts is simply being a man of good PR, not one trying to stick one last dagger in the back of the fans he played more than a decade in front of.
In fact, it is what many players say upon agreeing to a deal with the Yankees. Tanaka will say it shortly, Jacoby Ellsbury said it after signing his deal, and many others have before them. What else is there to say about a franchise with 27 World Series titles and retired numbers belonging to the likes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig?
It is also something Baltimore fans would like to hear come from one of their free-agent signings, and they often do. You know, those comments about the desire to restore the Orioles to how they were in the late-'60s and early-'70s.Brian Roberts is practicing good PR, trying to gain support of the fans who know of his injury record and can be cutthroat (and are, more times than not). So loosen your grips, Orioles faithful, B-Rob is starting to turn blue.
Tim Anderson is a writer for Eutaw Street Report and sometimes a contributor to The Hall of Very Good. You may know him from catching home runs in the bleachers at Camden Yards, which included one in three consecutive games in 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @TimmyWade94.
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