“Oh man, there’s a lot of them, I think, beginning with early in my career, battling through a lot of doubt in a lot of people’s minds whether I could actually be a productive major league player. And then getting to a point where I was that kind of player, I think that was one of the early [standout] moments. And then certainly being able to represent the city, the Orioles, the organization in a couple of All-Star games -- that was very memorable for me and my family, and hopefully the fans enjoyed that. In 2012, to see everything that we had been through for so long, to see the park and the atmosphere the way it was, that is something I will never, ever forget. I wish I had been on the field and playing and experiencing it. But just going out for the introductions, I had chills. It was just a very memorable experience. And then I think there were a lot of opportunities to interact with the fans through our charity endeavors and all the people that supported what my wife and I tried to do in the community, Brian’s Bash (annual charity event) and things like that. I think those are the most important things. Hopefully, you leave a lasting and positive impact on the people around you, the people you came in contact with on a daily basis.”
You say you have no regrets, but given your previously stated goals, how difficult is it for you knowing that you won’t play in a playoff game for the Orioles?
“Yeah, it’s disappointing, of course. That’s the reason why, when it came to the point where I was close to free agency [in 2010], that I wanted to stay in Baltimore and I wanted to be there. I really believed we were headed in the right direction and the organization was going to make it happen. And it did. The only unfortunate part was I wasn’t able to play in it. I don’t actually look at it in the fact that I didn’t get to play in a playoff game. Because I was still part of that team, and I feel like I was still a part of an organization that helped make that happen. So I don’t think I necessarily look at it as I’ve never played in a playoff game. But I’ve also always said whether I win a World Series ring or play in a playoff game or anything else, it’s not going to define my career. I’ve enjoyed every second of my career, and I don’t think that should ever define anyone’s career. There are other things that go into whether you were successful in your career.”
What are your thoughts about coming back to Camden Yards in pinstripes for the first time on July 11-13? What will that be like?
“It’s going to be very weird. To walk down the hallway and walk past the home clubhouse and go to the visitor’s side and come out that tunnel, it’s something I’ve never thought about a whole lot until now. I think I’ve only been to the visiting locker room one time in 13 years. I’m not even sure I know what it looks like, to tell you the truth. But I sure hope it will be a positive experience. That the fans know that every day I walked onto the field as an Oriole I gave everything I had, including the days I wasn’t on the field. Even on the days I wasn’t able to play and I was hurt, if I was in Sarasota, I was giving everything I had to get back on the field. And there’s nothing more I loved to do than walking out on the field at Camden Yards and playing nine innings. So I hope it will be a positive experience, and I hope the fans understand it was part of the baseball business, and if Brian Roberts chose another organization, it was part of the way things were laid out. And that’s OK, I think, for both sides.”
Have you put on a Yankees uniform yet?
"No, I haven’t. I haven’t seen anything yet or put anything on yet. That’s going to be a unique experience."
Is there disappointment that you didn’t stay with one team all of your career, something you have stated in the past was a goal?
“I don’t think I ever shied away from the fact that I thought that was a very special thing to be able to do. There are not a whole lot of players that can say they played 13 or 14 years in the league and all in one city with one team, one organization. But it’s not like I was going to retire if I felt like I still wanted to play the game of baseball and felt like I could still play the game, if that wasn’t going to be the case [of staying with one team]. I am sure in some ways it is hard and it is something I was hoping I’d be able to do. But, at the same time, I honestly don’t think it’s going to take away from the fact that, in a lot of ways, Brian Roberts will always be an Oriole.”
How are you physically right now?
“I feel like I am in a good place. I think that coming back into last year, I felt like I was in a good place going through spring training. And through the whole spring training I was extremely excited about getting out there and playing a lot and hopefully getting back to contributing and helping the team win. And then, unfortunately, three games into the season it took a little twist (when he injured his right hamstring). But when I came back, though it took me a little bit to get going, in the last part of the year I felt like I started to really feel confident in my abilities again. And I felt like I was doing good work to where I could continue my career in terms of really looking closely at, ‘Were my skills there and if I could still play.’ And I felt like they were. The thing for me is that I was excited to go back out and get an opportunity to play every day if [the Yankees] want me to and getting back to playing at a high level.”
On a personal note, how is fatherhood (his first child, son Jax, is about six months old)?
“It’s been amazing. It’s coming up on six months and it’s a lot of fun. It has been everything I could hope for and more. For all the people, all the fans, that have walked that journey with us and seen us go through the process, we appreciate their support more than anything. And Jax is doing great.”
Anything else to sum up your time in Baltimore?
“I hope that I got my point across. I wanted to make sure that I said thank you to the fans for all of their support. Just the amount of e-mails to our web ite and the letters and the wishes we have gotten have made this process even easier for us. Because the last thing I want is to walk away from there and leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouths. I want people to know I appreciate everything that I have had in Baltimore. It’s been my wife’s and my home. We’ve sunk ourselves into that city, on the field and off, and I just hope that everyone knows how much we appreciate their support in return.”