When Bip Roberts signed with the A's on June 23, they became the fourth team he had played for in 12 months. If history is any indication, he should soon wear out his welcome in Oakland too.
Roberts started the 1997 season with the Royals and was picked up at the trading deadline by the Indians, who let him go at the end of the season, whereupon he signed with the Tigers. When Cleveland tried to deal outfielder Geronimo Berroa to Detroit this season and the Tigers offered Roberts in return, the Indians said no way. The Tigers then shopped him elsewhere to no avail and designated him for assignment in June before trading him to Oakland.
On the A's recent visit to Detroit, Roberts lamented that none of the Tigers' young players took any of his advice during his stay in the Motor City. Detroit manager Buddy Bell, whose team can use all the help it can get, assessed his complaint and admitted that maybe he should have handled things differently. "There's one thing I should have done," said Bell. "I should have put up a sign in the clubhouse saying, 'Don't pay any attention to Bip Roberts' "