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December 17, 2013 at 6:00 am ET
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Brian Roberts of the New York Yankees

I guess I understand that Brian Roberts wanted to sign a contract. And I guess I understand that the Orioles weren’t sure they wanted him back. I mean, all signs points to the O’s giving the second base job to Ryan Flaherty.

But I don’t think I was ready for Roberts to sign with the Yankees. I’ve done my share of grumbling about Roberts and his weird injuries. He started 2013 with another fluke injury that required months of rehab. But he came back strong in July and actually contributed, particularly on defense.

Some internetty Orioles fans are comparing the Roberts signing to Mike Mussina’s defection to the Bronx.

Totes diffs, O’s fans. Mussina left in his prime. And he left because Peter G. Angelos, attorney at law, didn’t want to pay him. This is nothing like that. Roberts is a health risk in the twilight of his career. Hell, it might even be dusk for his playing days.

I made my peace and was ready to say goodbye to Roberts. But did he have to sign with the Yankees? Now I have to watch him try to beat the Orioles 19 times in 2014. I mean, that’s assuming he doesn’t blow out a groin or conk himself on the head during his contract-signing ceremony.

This has the feel of Jason-Giambi-with-Cleveland. Or Pete-Rose-with-the-Expos. Except those guys, after a long career with one team, barnstormed around the league, playing for anyone who’d pay them. Roberts came up with Baltimore and spent his career here. Looks like it’ll end somewhere else.

So, O’s fans, raise a glass to Brian Roberts. We suffered alongside him for a dozen seasons, most of which were terrible. He missed the really good times in Baltimore and we’re sorry for that. But time marches on. We wish him, if not exactly well, at least good health, happiness and no more concussions.

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