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Roberts plunked...walks off...maybe for good

Brian Roberts was hit on the left shin by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Litsch in the bottom of the sixth inning and limped off the field to a loud ovation. Clearly, the crowd recognized the possibility that fans were seeing the last appearance by Roberts in an Orioles uniform.

Manager Dave Trembley acted this weekend as if Roberts' return for 2009 was not in doubt, but Andy MacPhail was less committal during his Saturday news conference. He seems less inclined to deal Roberts than he was last winter, but said it would be irresponsible not to listen to all offers.

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I think the Orioles will sign him to an extension in the next few months. They already are desperate for a decent starting shortstop. Can't imagine Andy wants to try and fill two critical middle infield positions.

Roberts finishes the season batting .296 with 107 runs, 51 doubles, 8 triples, nine homers, 56 RBI and 40 stolen bases. He ranks second in the league in doubles, third in the league in runs, fourth in stolen bases, fourth in triples. He also ranked in the top 10 in walks and on-base percentage.

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