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August 12, 2011

Brian's Bash canceled; Matusz on track for Tuesday's start in Oakland

The sixth-annual Brian’s Baseball Bash, a fundraiser for the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital hosted by Brian Roberts and scheduled for Aug.28, has been canceled because of the veteran second baseman’s injury status.

“Due to my ongoing rehabilitation and after conferring with family and medical staff, unfortunately the decision has been made to cancel this year’s annual Brian’s Baseball Bash,” said Roberts who hasn’t played since May 16 after sustaining a concussion. “This event has grown tremendously over the past five years and is truly special to my wife Diana and me, and that makes this decision a difficult one. My focus will be to improve my health so I can get back on the field as soon as possible, and return to supporting some of the Baltimore community initiatives we have developed and contribute to.”

It is uncertain if Roberts will play again this season as he’s still experiencing some concussion symptoms. He hasn’t been cleared to see game action.

Those who have purchased admission for the fundraiser, which would have been held at Dave & Buster’s in Arundel Mills Mall, can obtain full refunds by calling Krista Ellis at (410) 328-6064 or emailing her at

In other Oriole news, it's expected that Brian Matusz will be promoted to start Tuesday in Oakland in place of Chris Tillman. Matusz threw a complete-game shutout for Triple-A Norfolk yesterday. The Orioles haven’t completely finalized their pitching plans but Matusz is tentatively on schedule to make that start and his return to the big leagues.

Right-handed reliever Willie Eyre, whom the Orioles signed as a minor-league free agent on Aug. 3, will be promoted to the big leagues today and take Tillman’s roster spot. Jake Arrieta, who is having elbow surgery today in California, will move to the 60-day disabled list to open up a 40-man spot for Eyre.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 11:49 AM | | Comments (38)


In my opinion, Brian should have made the trip for the charity event. Sometimes you have to listen to the doctors, etc and say "What the 'Heck' ". It would have been a fine achievement - and he's defintely overdue for an achievement this year - especially considering his paycheck.

That's it for me. I've given him the benefit of the doubt all year but come on, this is ridiculous. There's no way this "concussion" would prevent him from hosting this event. He played hard for us all these years but I think the money has ruined him. BTW, he didn't even hit his head or chin on the play that put him out. Time to cut bait with him, this has gone too far. I've personally had 3 concussions and there's no way I would be cancelling things I had planned 3 months later. This is a scam.

If he's still having headaches, going to Dave & Busters would be about the worst thing he could do.

Can anyone explain how simply showing up for a charity function would have delayed his recovery in the slightest?

You would think that after 2 years of taking $10 mil a year of fans' money and delivering very little on the field, Roberts would have been more, not less, likely to give something back, especially something so simple as just showing up.

Then again, Roberts doesn't appear to feel any obligation to show up for anything these days. Just keep cashing those checks, B-Rob...

is it too much to think another Oriole could step in as "host" for him this year? apparantly

Barry just made a good point. One of the other guys should fill in, I know they've always been good at showing up for it in the past...sounds like BRob just tanked the whole damn thing.

How far he's fallen that we're all questioning his integrity now.

I can't believe all the Brian hate. It's disgusting. Because he plays for a team you like or because he's a public figure, you feel qualified and justified in judging his recovery? BS.

How might hosting or showing up at the event have hurt his recovery? We have no clue because we have no clue what he's really going through - apparently doctors may not have a great idea either. Maybe it would be the travel. Maybe it would be the stress. Maybe it would be the duration of the event.

If you seriously think he has chosen to cancel this because he just didn't feel like doing it - because he's spoiled or washed up - then I would assume you had no experience with the Brian Roberts that was so involved in area charities over the last few years. And I am sure The Sun's staff would support that.

"Then again, Roberts doesn't appear to feel any obligation to show up for anything these days. Just keep cashing those checks, B-Rob..."

And I'm sure he has direct deposit so he doesn't even have to run out to cash the checks. Do you think we might look for a 2nd baseman this year? Heaven forbid we actually let Ryan Adams or Blake Davis make a go of it. Let's just keep trotting out Andino who is a legit UTILITY player and forget the guys in the wings. Maybe we'll just let Andino play 2nd until Izturis is ready to come back in a couple weeks. That's the master plan.

Brian roberts hasn't been the same since he got married. I truly think all the losing he and nick have experienced with the orioles has taken it's tole on both of them . When they both got married they lost there incentive to play this game like before. Neither one of them have been anywhere near the same player. Different priorites, Brian has literally stolen money from this team the last 2 years. If the truth be told if doesn't even want to play this game again. He always reminded me of eddie haskell on leave it to beaver, put on a good show around Mrs and Mr cleaver but was a jerk when nobody was around. Funny how things work out Both him and Nick were the golden boy's and pet players of Peter A and they both completely have stolen money to the tune of 100 million from him.

Ruin the arms - buy the bums. Seriously. I still think Showalter has a smart baseball mind and I really hope he raises hell during the Winter Meetings after MacPhail is (hopefully) let go. Enough is enough already. Matusz isn't ready yet.

I agree with Dan on BRob. Give the guy a break while he struggles to save his baseball career. A lot of pro athletes never recover from concussions. I hope BRob does not turn out to be one of them.

On Matusz, I would leave him at Norfolk for now. Let him fully reestablish himself there (sorry I don't think one shutout start is enough) before bringing him back up.

That is a strange pronouncement from Roberts and I have to think there is more to it. We shall see, I have met him when I did charity work and his heart is in the right place.

I think it is a big mistake to bring Matusz back up right now, and I predict he will get shelled right back to Norfolk. Not a very bold prediction, either.

Brian is a stand-up guy and is genuinely committed to the charities he's involved with. I know this from working with him & his wife directly.

All of you cyber-haters are ridiculous...How do your charitable contributions stack-up to B-Rob's the past 10 years? Enough said.

I can't believe the hate being expressed. What gives you the right to judge someone????? How do you know what his medical condition is? Have you discussed the matter with his doctor? I sincerely doubt it. Perhaps he is not cleared for travel by his doctor.

Don't let ignorance of facts stop you. Why based an opinion on facts????

I'm guessing the fact that they sold about 3 tickets to Brian's Head Bash is the real reason for the cancellation.

Fragile body + big pay day + reckless base running + steroids is bad mix that doomed his career.

Brian gives back to the community and is (hard to recall) a crucial part of the Orioles' offense. The team being without him atop the order has suffered all the way around until the switch of Hardy to that spot. But BRob scored plenty of runs and if you look at the empty RBI totals of those who would bat behind him, you'll see that's not opinion. What is opinion however is that Brian's body may not work all the way together, both physically and between the ears, in ways that it has before. Remember that he is an admitted steroid user and most often, when athletes stop using 'roids the usual results are a slower recovery-and Brian was never a fast healer, and a serious reduction in performance. I've got to give Roberts credit, in 2010 he played 'over his head' as I saw him and really gave his all to a very bad and underachieving team, which is really all a fan can ask. But the end of the season where he concussed himself and re-injured himself again with a headfirst slide was the beginning of the end, and sometimes it comes quickly. I think Brian knows that he's not an All-Star in any way when he comes back and that is a hurdle he has yet to mentally clear. Head injuries stay for a long while if not forever, and there is nobody who can say with full confidence that once they've experienced one that they're fully over it. This season he has shown so many signs that his injury is very serious, and , having met him on more than one occasion I know if he had to cancel this event it's just another sign that he's out of sync physically or the brain/body connection is really coming along slowly. I like BRob and hope he doesn't risk long term health and stability with his senses to rush any recovery for this wreck of a team. If his health returns in the next few months and he can be a player I'll see that as a bonus but I've all but counted him out for the team's future plans. Part if me hopes I'm wrong and he'll bat .280 with 35 steals next season

Before you bash Roberts' character, consider this possibility: Advance ticket sales were sluggish at best and canceling was a better business decision than going forward. I don't know if either of those things is true, but the scenario does make sense. Roberts has barely played in the past two years, thereby lowering his profile. He hasn't appeared in public in weeks for any reason, save the PSAs that were obviously taped months ago. That's got to impact advance sales.

Funny that someone made the comment about Brian and Nick. Nick has a personal charity (Right Side Foundation) that has held a 5k run/walk for the past couple of years. I missed it unfortunately last year, but was looking forward to it this entire year. Not one posting on the website. Not one update. I even asked about it on the FB page. Nothing. And while I'm no doctor, I will say that little bit of information from Roberts sounds fishy. Concussion symptoms this long after are probably post-concussion syndrome, and I'd be worried that they might be permanent (as a former medic, we saw this occur at times in the Army).

Very sad about brian. Understand how his werious brain injury could prompt him to pull back from the bash. Life is fragile, and youth is impulsive. There is the lesson. I hate it but im still supporting him. We are not related. Best.
Of luck brob. Thank you for the thrills.

Matusz should be called up to Bmore to host "Brian's Bash" then get sent down to continue working in AAA.

I am surprised at all the hate Brian Roberts is getting heaved his way. I think the post about ticket sales being sluggish hit the nail on the head and makes most sense. While this event is wonderful in its' inception and purpose, I always felt it was over-priced in this economy. Brian was able, through the force of his good-will to push it over the goal-post.

Without him directly involved, I think Brian's Bash was going to turn into Brain's Fewer Friends Than Expected Bash.

Geez, give him a break. God forbid a baseball player should get married and have their priorities change.

Tickets were sluggish due to the uncertainty of the event... PERIOD!

Brian could have asked any number of players to step in for him this year, and it would have been a success. What player would have refused? Hopefully, players would have rallied around the cause.


I've been to every one and this event is NOT about Brob. It's about the kids. YOU HEAR THAT PEOPLE? It's NOT about Brian's career. It's NOT about giving Brian a break..... IT'S ABOUT THE KIDS.

Who doesn't get that?

Now.... it is commendable that Brian has been involved to this point. But now that it's a YEARLY EVENT, the organization and the KIDS count on it.

And you simply CANCEL? That's it?

You couldn't get Buck, Jones, Weiters and the boys to proxy for you this one time? I bet Cal, Palmer and others would have even come out as well.....

This is TERRIBLE. This is BUSH.......

This is....


I am sick and tired of the fans of this town defending players to the ultimate. There is no doubt that brian roberts is a good guy who gives lots of his time and money to charity.People there are tons of athletes on every team that does the same thing.Lets not forget brian roberts was a steriod user that cheated his profession just like bonds, clemaons, etc etc. He said he only did it one time but don't bet the house on that. You can't pick and choose who you hate and who you like among the players that took steriods. That is the trouble in this town, we give players way to much leeway, instead of judging them for what they do between the lines. Brian Roberts and Nick M have both under achieved greatly the last 2 years and yet they are still put up on pedestals in this town.

Maybe he cancelled so he wouldn't have to answer questions from some of the idiots posting here who are clueless about his medical condition!

If you have ever had a concussion (I have) you know that you have to be extremely careful. This is a neurological injury. Even exposure to flashing lights and loud noise can set your recovery back a mile.

That being said, I don't expect him back in the lineup this season, and with his injury-proneness I seriously wonder if he has any future on the field.

I have wondered for some time if we are getting all the facts about Roberts' health? This retired MD finds the entire Roberts' health scenario over the last few years most strange.

BooHoo Brian...there's plenty of GIs serving in Afghanistan right now that suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries and returned to duty far quicker for a hell of lot less money. The difference between them and Brian? Out of sense of duty they want to. Take a trip to Walter Reed or Bethesda if you're worried about charity. i have a hard time feeling sorry for these cheating Prima Donas. Especially when they suck. Give back the $10M or get your a$$ on the field and suck it up or retire

Wayne you are the worst type of person..... But I don't agree with Matusz should not come up.... But that is all I have to we should have bergy play...

Sorry for Brob i hope he can get better he needs to stop everything and just hang out for 2 months...

B-Rob needs to change his name to "B-Robbin'." He's robbin' the hell out of the O's.

Tired of the "...does good in the community...what have you haters done?"

Give me $60 million bucks, a six month vacation, I'll donate 10% of my pay, go to Dave and Busters wearing clown shoes and a thong....migrane or not.

How can people be doubting Brian Robert's health? This is a fellow who has proven to be of fine character and played the game hard. If his doctors feel he should not participate in the charity event, he should heed their warnings. NOBODY WHO DOESN'T HAVE INSIDE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS CASE HAS ANY BASIS TO DOUBT THEIR PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT. While the Orioles needs are far deeper than missing Brian, he needs to get well and then he and the team need to determine what his baseball capabilities are.

We all leave our email address when submitting a comment, so for anyone who wants to bash Brian for cancelling, I'd suggest offering your own services in the way of volunteer work--planning, setting up, etc--to help save the event.

B-Robbin' the Orioles out of millions of dollars.

All I can say you guys are the worst fans in pro-sport, period!!!

You people are morons. Do you have any idea how dangerous concussions are, especially if you are still having symptoms (i.e. headaches) this late in your recovery. A place like Dave and Busters is the worst possible place for someone suffering concussion symptoms because of the noise and lights. Also, for those of you saying he should just get back on the field, did you know that if you suffer a second concussion while still having symptoms from the first one you can die? I don't care how much he is making, he should not be out there the rest of this season.

How did this concussion problem start? I may be wrong, but I seem to remember Brian hitting HIMSELF in the head with the bat after making an out.

I will not judge the concussion problems he has now, those things can be tricky, but I can judge two things:

1. How they started. It he hit himself, it was a really stupid move and we all are paying for it.

2. Cancelling the charity event this late in the year is wrong. There were many ways he could have made it work. He can fly (he does now to see doctors). He could work something out with his friends (an assumption at this point) on the team/in the league/retired for others to help out to pull this thing off.

I am very dissappointed in his follow through on this. He could and should have done better and the concussion is not the reason...period. There is something else going on.

Brian and Nick don't play well anymore because they are married?

I've read alot of ridiculous comments on these blog pages, but this is the most ridiculous of them all.

Come back and comment when you have logic in that brain to use.


I'm a little disappointed other players haven't stepped up to sub in. It seems Brian Roberts' wife is the main organizer, so how come we don't have Guthrie, Markakis, and Wieters show up in his place.

People...don't judge B Rob's concussion issues...please...I promise you that none of us understand it. I have seen pro athletes that never fully recover from concussions.

For someone to suggest he "pop a couple of asprins" is ridiculous. I happen to be good friends with an NFL player who had a concussion in his career and then a re-injury a few weeks later. He still has memory problem, problems with becoming frustrated, etc...he isn't the same as he used to be.

It's sad to watch...but to say that B Rob is just being a sissy is crazy. He WANTS to get better. He WANTS to play baseball and I believe he is helping the kids regardless of the event being held...I have been told that rather than holding the event he has written a check to the hospital.

SO, for those of you saying he just abandoned the hospital kids...I am just shaking my head and I would like to know what YOU have done to help them???

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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