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Zrebiec: Peace and quiet for O's Roberts

It was kind of weird going to the winter meetings and not having to chase down any Brian Roberts trade rumors. It had become a rite of the offseason to hear about all the teams interested in the two-time All-Star second baseman and the Roberts trades that were reportedly imminent. But all that mercifully ended in February when Roberts signed a four-year extension with the only major league team that he's ever known.

I spoke to Roberts the other day and got his reaction to the Kevin Millwood trade. He's been busy in Arizona, working out and playing a lot of golf and I sensed that he's thoroughly enjoyed not being pestered with the daily trade rumors.

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"It's a little helpful," Roberts said. "It's nice for once not to have to deal with it and know where you are going to be and not having to be on call. My wife and I love Baltimore. I'm excited that hopefully in the next year or two, we can get this going in the right direction."As for his reaction to the Millwood trade, Roberts was pleased that the Orioles were able to land a veteran starter .

"He was never high on my list of guys that I wanted to face," Roberts said of Millwood. "He is a big guy. I don't think he throws as hard as used to, but he's learned how to pitch more. He' someone you feel like you're going to get six or seven innings out of every time he takes the mound.

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"They put a lot of burden on [Jeremy] Guthrie last year to go out there and be that guy to lead the young guys. I think that was a burden that was too heavy for him and Kevin has been in that role before. I think he's gone through that whole cycle of being mentored by some of those great guys in Atlanta. I think he's learned from that and probably passed that on to a lot of young guys."

- Jeff Zrebiec

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