Through the first month of the 2014 season, it looked as if the New York Yankees had made a serious error in judgement. They had signed the oft-injured Brian Roberts, most recently of the Baltimore Orioles to a 1-year, $3 million dollar deal in an attempt to make up for some of the lost production that left the Bronx when Robinson Cano signed with Seattle. For most of the season, Roberts had been hitting at or below the .200 mark, and his range at second appeared to be similar to that of his double play partner, Derek Jeter. Roberts admits he was expecting too much of himself, too soon in the season, trying to replace Cano rather than just being Brian Roberts:
I think ti was more self-inflicted than anything,” Roberts said. “You try hard, I think. I’ve always said it’s got to be hard for guys to switch teams all the time. I was always so comfortable. It was kind of like riding a bike every year. You know everybody’s face, everybody’s name in the locker room. Walking into the locker room, (you knew) everybody that worked there. I mean, you know, when you’re doing something new for the first time, it’s something different.
The small investment the Yankees initially made paid off last night in Anaheim. After the Yankees had fought back to tie the game at 2, then to take the lead 3-2, just to watch reliever Shawn Kelley cough it up yet again, the Yankees were reeling. With two outs in the inning, Roberts drove an Ernesto Frieri pitch into the right field stands and into the night, giving the Yankees a 4-3 lead, which would become the winning score. Roberts is finally relaxed at the plate–evident by his recent hot streak, 7-for-14 and raising his average from .156 to .250.
Roberts realizes that he isn’t Robinson Cano, and that nobody expects him to be. All anyone expects and wants to see, is Brian Roberts be the best HE can be.