08/19/10 7:37 PM ET
Roberts' charity event just around the corner
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
The event will try to build on last year's success, which raised $200,000 for the University of Maryland Hospital for Children. Fans can mingle and get autographs from Roberts and other Orioles players while enjoying a night of games, food and a silent auction.
"It's been a humbling experience to have this going for five years now, raise the kind of money we've raised and to know that people were willing to give their time and hard-earned money to support a good cause," said Roberts, who will once again support UMHC's Pediatric Cardiopulmonary and Child Life Programs with the money raised.
Roberts said the idea came from his passion to help children and his own life-threatening experience with open-heart surgery when he was five.
"Being in the hospital, I can relate to what they are going through, what their families are going through [and] what my parents went through," Roberts said of UMHC's patients. "So I thought the two meshed as well as anything could mesh for me."
Tickets for this year's event are $200 for adults and $150 for children under 12 and it includes parking, a Dave and Buster's game card, dinner, dessert and cocktails in addition to the rare chance to interact with some of the Orioles. For more information, visit www.briansbaseballbash.org.
"A lot of [fundraising] events are catered toward adults," Roberts said. "I thought this was a great mix -- to be able to bring families, bring kids, where they can [do things like] shoot hoops with [Orioles pitcher] Jeremy Guthrie for two hours.
"There [are] not too many times when you are going to get 15, 20 baseball players on the same team, in the same spot."
Under Buck, O's outfield D is sterling
BALTIMORE -- One of the most encouraging things about manager Buck Showalter's short time at the helm has been the Orioles' outfield. The trio of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Felix Pie are all young, athletic talents, making balls that fall in for base hits few and far between.
"We've basically got three guys that are capable of playing center field in our outfield," Showalter said.
"With their arm strength and the things they do, we can match up with just about anybody defensively in the outfield with those three guys."
While Jones won a Gold Glove Award last season and Markakis -- who committed his first error in 1,481 innings Wednesday night -- is considered one of the game's premier right fielders, Pie's recent defensive surge hasn't gone unnoticed. Showalter raved about Pie's first-inning catch in foul territory Tuesday night, a play that retired Mariners leadoff man Ichiro Suzuki.
"You know the greatest thing? Did you see the look on Ichiro's face?" Showalter said of Pie's catch, which caused him to nearly topple over the railing. "That was worth the price of admission."
A natural center fielder, Pie hasn't had an effortless transition and is still adjusting to the nuances of left field, which occasionally results in slow jumps and poor reads on routine plays. But Showalter isn't worried about the excitable outfielder, who is only 25 years old, acclimating to the new position.
"[Center field is] probably the easiest place to play as far as reading the ball and seeing the ball, not necessarily covering ground, and a lot of people will tell you the toughest is left field," Showalter said. "I think you're seeing some of the plays that [Pie is] starting to make, he's starting to get more comfortable with the angles in left field."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.