Orioles TV analyst and former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts joined the Shan and RJ Show on KRLD FM 105.3 The Fan recently to talk about the Rangers. Here are some highlights:
What it is about winning one run games:
Roberts: I think that’s a really big factor in feeling like your team is something special. And that it could be one of those years. In 2012, you’re exactly right. When you start winning those games, it’s amazing how the confidence builds around the entire team. The Rangers have also been extremely good at winning in come from behind games and things like that. I think when you know that you can do that, when you know you can win the one run games, that your bullpen is very good and that when you get down by two or three or four runs, you don’t panic. You believe that you can still come back and win those games. I think that’s when you really do know that this team has a chance to do something really cool, really special.
What impresses him about the Rangers:
Roberts: Well, I’m extremely impressed obviously with the way they are playing. They’ve opened up, what, a 9.5 game lead in the AL West? Coming off a second half last year where they played extremely well after the Cole Hamels trade. I think what I love about their team is certainly their youth, their energy, the way they go about the game and the way that they play. They obviously have a ton of fun . I think they’ve got something special going. It’s a matter of, just like everybody else, how will their starting pitching hold up and can they get deep enough into the game to get them where they want to go.
His relationship with Ian Desmond:
Roberts: I have gotten authentic jerseys for cheap
a chance to spend a lot of time with him down here and play a lot of golf with him and things like that. We didn’t get into the whole turning down the huge dollar amount a ton. It’s not really something that you want to bring up a lot. But he’s a guy that really seems to have a ton of confidence in his own abilities. It didn’t go the way that he wanted it to, obviously. I talked to him last year when he was off to a tough start and tried to encourage him. He said he would be fine and the same thing kind of happened this year out in Texas. He really doesn’t have a whole lot of panic in him. He’s very secure in himself in who he is as a person, as a human being. Really lives and relies on his faith a lot and his family.
Who matches up with the Rangers the best in the AL:
Roberts: I think there is a couple of teams in my opinion that could win the American League pennant. To me, I love the Red Sox’s balance throughout their entire offense from 1 to 9. Not sold on their starting pitching, of course. Every team has their issues. The Orioles are the same way. Their offense is explosive. They are going to score a ton of runs, but besides Chris Tillman they haven’t had many guys step up in the starting rotation. Cleveland probably has the deepest and best starting rotation, it’s just a matter of holding on in the Central. I think they have a chance to surprise some people because of how good their starting rotation is. Eventually I do think it will boil down to the Rangers and the Orioles battling it out to see who will win the AL pennant.