Robinson impressed with Orioles' turnaround

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Hall of Famer Frank Robinson visited Orioles camp on Monday morning after being invited at the Owners' Meetings this winter by executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. Robinson was invited down last year by manager Buck Showalter and addressed the team in the clubhouse Monday morning.

Robinson, who works for Major League Baseball as executive vice president of baseball development, was sporting his orange polo and said there was no specific message in his talk.

"The one thing I tried to get across is it's a team game, not individuals," Robinson said. "If the team has success, everybody has success. If you don't, and the team doesn't play well, and you don't function well, and you wind up in seventh or eighth place, whatever, I don't care what you've done as an individual, it's not going to feel the same, it's not going to taste the same, and you're not going to be the same."

Robinson, a former World Series MVP who had his uniform number retired by the Orioles, said he doesn't keep that close of an eye on his former club because he's supposed to be neutral. But the 78-year-old has brought the orange polo back out of his closet as a way to show support.

"They've really come a long way," he said. "I told them, the last 13 years, I've had this shirt in my closet, and I didn't wear it. The last couple of years, I broke it out and wear it now because I'm very proud of what this team did.

"I'm very proud of this team. They brought back the pride in the Orioles. They brought back a lot of good times for us old timers, and it's just great to see."

Robinson said he feels like the organization has turned a corner under Duquette and Showalter and is pleased at the role some of the franchise's great players have had in recent years.

"I feel good about that," Robinson said. "I feel like they are now starting to include and reach out to players of the past -- and I like that. I'm very honored that they asked me to come here and talk to the players."

I think this ballclub is starting to realize that [importance of having guys from the past around] and do that. I talked to the Angelos' about that years ago about including the previous players from the past, to come and just be a part of this organization.

"One thing I'd like to see, maybe the next step, they bring some of the guys in as special instructors in Spring Training, just to get them around the players. Talk to them, be around them, let them see them. ... I told them, 'I saw my blood is not orange like Tommy's is blue, but I'm certainly an Oriole through and through.' This is the place I had the greatest team success and the greatest individual success of my career right here. And it wasn't just what happened on the field. It was a great relationship and feeling with the city and organization, and I was very proud of that."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for 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.