Brian Roberts sat down for a lengthy media briefing at 3:30 today to talk about his pending return to the Orioles starting lineup. He has been penciled into the leadoff spot and will play second base in his first major league action in more than a year, provided the rain relents.

"I'm just praying the rain goes away,'' he said. "It's been a year -- a test of patience -- sow hy not one more day?"

Roberts got hugs from his teammates as he got situated at his locker. He stood with his arm around teammate Robert Andino, who will step aside for his return to second base, but likely will continue to play very regularly as a super utilityman.

"I'm just excited to be here,'' he said. "It's certainly good to walk into the lockerroom and not just see the guys but actually feel like you're one of them again. For a long time, I didn't feel that way, and today I do."

Even though he has not seen major league action since May 16 of last year, Roberts said he will enter tonight's game with no apprehension. He spent three weeks on an injury rehabilitation assignment and got almost a spring's worth of at-bats. He also tested himself in every aspect of the game and said he's confident that he can do everything he needs to do to re-establish himself at this level and help the Orioles continue what has been an uplifting season so far.

"They've been playing so well, the last thing I want to do is come in and lose eight in a row,'' he said, "But hopefully, I can come in and add something to the team and just almost just blend in so that nobody knows I'm here, unless you do something good maybe.

"I'm so thankful for just getting the opportunity to run back out there one more time, For a long time I didn't think that was ever actually going to happen. God's been good through it all and I'm just grateful for that opportunity."