Dave Roberts' career may be coming to an end. The man most famous for stealing the base against Mariano Rivera -- clearing the way for the Red Sox dramatic four-game comeback in the '04 ALCS -- has been released by the Giants. He turns 37 this season, and he's never received a full season's worth of at-bats.
Last season, Roberts fought through injuries and sporadic playing time, but still only managed five stolen bases -- due mostly to getting on base only 44 times. Heading into training camp this season, he was looking at being the Giants' fifth outfielder, but the Giants already have other ideas.
"I was honest with him," (GM Brian) Sabean said of Roberts. "I told him we're on a path to get younger and healthier. Right now that's not on his resume. I think the longer we went not doing something would have been an injustice to trying to find out about our own kids and giving him a chance to go somewhere else."
Sabean mentioned that he tried to shop Roberts for the entire offseason and -- not surprisingly -- found little to no interest. Also of note, Eugenio Velez now stands a great chance to make the team, as he can fill the void as the fifth outfielder in addition to being able to back up the middle infielders as well.
As for Roberts, he's made a nice little career out of a niche. He's amassed 243 stolen bases, despite being a sub-par hitter. I'm sure someone will give him a look in Spring Training soon, under a minor league contract. The fact of the matter, though, is that if he can't make the Giants right now, this economic climate doesn't appear favorable for an aging base-stealer.