People questioned him. People in the game, people with the Orioles, even people in the media privately wondered what the heck was wrong with Brian Roberts.
How come the second baseman was taking so long to recover from post-concussion symptoms? When was he going to play again? Did he even want to play anymore?
Roberts heard the whispers. And for 13 months as he struggled to get well, he could do nothing about them.
"It's terrible. You don't have a cast on. You didn't have surgery. Even in your darkest moments sometimes, people can look at you and think you're fine," Roberts says.
Roberts, 35, finally is fine now, enjoying an excellent spring with the Orioles. He made a triumphant return from post-concussion symptoms last June 12, but his comeback was interrupted three weeks later when he suffered a season-ending torn labrum in his right hip. That injury required surgery, as did a sports hernia in December.
In between the two operations - sometime last autumn, more than two year...