Orioles: Roberts healthy
I'll be posting my look back on FanFest in just a few minutes, but thought I would use this opportunity to give readers from outside the Web site a chance to click on my latest column right here.
I talked to Brian Roberts (along with a dozen other media members) and was happy to hear how great he has felt the past month or so. He was feeling the effects of that late-season concussion for a long time, but the fog finally has cleared and he's aching to get back out on the field.
That's great news for the Orioles, but -- to be fair and accurate -- his back situation will remain a question mark, just because it's a back injury. That doesn't mean it's inevitable he'll continue to have problems, however.
If you want my personal perspective, and what choice do you really have right now, I had a severe disk herniation during the mid-1980s that left me unable to even walk for several days. Though surgery was recommended, I chose to rehab it with an intense exercise and strengthening program. It took about a year to become completely pain-free, but I have never had a recurrence.
Of course, I'm not going to be playing second base for the Orioles every day for the next eight months, but I played full-court basketball two or three times a week for the next decade without incident and nobody was ever going to confuse me with a health and conditioning nut like Brian Roberts.
I'm going to go out on a limb and predict he plays at least 130 games, and I'm keeping the number low because the Orioles have guys who can spell him at second base and they'll be careful not to overwork him.