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No teams have contacted Cal Ripken Jr. about managing

Oct 9, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

Legendary Orioles player Ripken, Jr. listens to tributes prior to unveiling of statue in Baltimore Reuters

Last week Cal Ripken Jr. made it pretty clear that he’s interested in becoming a manager, which led to some speculation in Chicago about his candidacy for the Cubs job, and now the Hall of Famer is being linked to the Nationals opening. Well, sort of.

Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth has said he’d support Ripken as the replacement for Davey Johnson, so Rich Eisen asked Ripken about that on his podcast and Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post has the details:

I have said that at some point I’d like to come back to baseball. And most recently, I said that I’m starting to get an itch to do that. But I’d have to look hard at any opportunity, and so far, I haven’t been asked to do anything. So it’s very flattering that people think of me that way, and I have thought about how cool it would be to manage.

And even Donny Mattingly got me thinking about this a little bit more. He said there’s nothing like being a player, and coaching is pretty good because you help other people do what it is that they do. But managing is the closest thing to being a player. And I’ve always thought that, anyway, internally. Now I’m starting to think about that a little bit more. So far I’ve got nothing new to report, but that’s been the consistency, that I’ve made those statements. And I am getting a feeling that maybe I’d like to get back in.

I speculated last week that Ripken’s total lack of experience coaching or managing would keep teams from considering him a legitimate candidate and based on his quote it sounds like that’s the case, although it obviously only takes one phone call for that to change.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    I love the media. “At some point I’d like to get back into baseball. I have thought it’d be cool to manage.” = “I want to manage the Cubs or Nationals next year.”

    • forsch31 - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      Kinda funny, then, that the quote you pulled from Ripken was supplied by said media.

  2. jfk69 - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    No problem Cal. Just as soon as we find another team that gets a cash infusion of 2 billion like LA. Then we can afford to let you learn on the job like Donny.

    • yahmule - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      Danny’s learning pace is so gradual as to be glacial.

      • forsch31 - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        Ladies and gentleman…the actual Dan Mattingly:×300.jpg

  3. jfk69 - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Should I hire an ex manager as your bench coach? Or would you be humble enough to take that position first.
    Wait I just got 2 billion in a cable deal. Let me buy some really good players to help you over the hump.
    I would suggest your old team in Baltimore. But Buck is way to paranoid.

  4. Carl Hancock - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Because a lack of coaching experience prevented Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura from being hired as managers. If a team thinks he has the right mind set, knowledge of the game as a whole and would do a good job then someone will give him a shot. Times have changed. The old guard of guys like Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, etc. Is gone. In years past I’d say no way but now? It’s certainly possible if he’s serious… and patient… that he’d get an opportunity sometime down the road. The only questions I would have is does he have what it takes? Mike Matheny didn’t have any coaching experience but he was one of the best defensive catchers in the game during his career. He, like Yadier Molina, was like having a coach on the field behind the plate. He called the pitches, positioned the defense and controlled the flow of the game from a pitching standpoint. Those are all skills that contribute to him being a successful major league manager today. Ripken is a Hall of Fame player but it doesn’t mean he has those specific skills. Also, how strange would it be to see a single team Hall of Famer manage a team other than the O’s? It’s a bit like seeing Bib Gibson coach the Mets and Braves. It just felt wrong.

    • paperlions - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Right, but the organizations that have made these kinds of moves have a different idea of what a manager’s responsibilities are as well. The manager is supposed to, as best as he can, implement the organizational approach to baseball. Mandates come from the FO via scouting or analytical departments about things like batting order, defensive alignments, platoons, bull pen usage, etc. The manager is there to implement those mandates and to best use the information he is provided, not to implement his own ideas (although, of course, the manager is one of the voices that can contribute to the organizational philosophy). Is that the kind of thing Cal would be okay doing?

      • forsch31 - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        However, the Cardinals do not operate with those kinds of mandates from the front office. As reported and discussed frequently by Goold, the front office supplies Matheny with information, but they leave the decision-making and player use up to him.

      • paperlions - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        Right, and if he chooses to ignore the provided information he’ll be gone.

        The Cardinals made it clear they wanted a leader in the club house, and that they would craft that guy into the kind of manager they wanted.

        There were marked differences in some of Matheny’s habits from year one to year two. In 2012, the Cardinals were among the league leaders in sac bunts by non-pitchers with 33, but in 2013 that number was only 17 (15 was the fewest in MLB).

        The Cardinals attempted 127 SB (71% success rate) in 2012 but only 66 (67% success rate) in 2013.

        There is approximately a 0% chance that those changes are not because the FO provided information to indicated that giving away outs by getting thrown out stealing too much and by bunting too much reduced the number of runs a team scores. If Matheny doesn’t make changes based on what the information suggests is sound strategy….then he’s gone. So, yeah, he is free to make decisions…but if they are the wrong ones, they’ll find someone to make the right ones.

      • forsch31 - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        “Right, and if he chooses to ignore the provided information he’ll be gone.”

        Then he would have been gone before this year.

        From day one, Matheny always said he had a lot to learn about game-to-game management, and he has learned and applied it. That is not a sign of a FO ordering to him to do everything their way. He still makes out the lineup cards his way, he still makes the roster decisions (which is why Carpenter is playing second and Boggs still pitched), and he still deploys the bullpen and his defense the way he wants.

        The Cardinals’ GM always wanted Matheny to be the team’s manager, in fact coaxing him back into baseball and into the Cardinals’ system as a traveling instructor, because their philosophy about how a team should be run is pretty much the same. There is no real division between the two, but there are still disagreements (such as how much to use Boggs). But Mozeliak has made it a point to stay out of the locker room and not interfere with the manager on the day-to-day running of the team.

        Don’t mistake Matheny applying lessons from his learning curve as being a puppet for the front office.

      • paperlions - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:46 PM


        “They made it clear that this is a leadership position and that what they were looking for to fill the role is a leader. Yes, there are the baseball things and the knowledge of baseball, but we talked a lot about the characteristics that are necessary to be a leader at this level and a leader of that clubhouse.”

        The Cardinals want to more closely integrate their next manager into a top-down organizational chain of command and philosophy. Since being named general manager in October 2007, Mozeliak has tried to create a more linear chain of command that brings the major-league clubhouse in line with the front office and player development.

  5. stoutfiles - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    If Ripken wants to get into managing, then he needs to start from the bottom like everyone else. Find a manager job in the minors and prove you have what it takes. If you’re serious about managing and have what it takes, you’ll be in the majors in no time.

  6. jm91rs - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    I may be underestimating the job, but I think managing is more about managing the egos of millionaires and understanding the nuances of baseball than it is about getting experience in some other level.
    There’s no doubt Cal knows baseball, there’s no doubt he knows what it’s like being a manager as his father was a manager for a year and a coach for many more. If he has the personality to manage the egos I think he could do just fine. I’m just surprised a guy that made over $70M in his life would even want to manage.

  7. coloradogolfcoupons - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    “so far, I haven’t been asked to do anything.”

    Join the club, Cal. Nobody has asked me to manage either. Even though I could out-manage Ron Washington from a coffin.

  8. crackersnap - Oct 9, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    I read where the Angels have openings at third base and hitting coaches. Giving Mike Scioscia a reason to be looking over his shoulder might be a good motivator, while all along claiming publicly that you are “granting Ripken a chance to be mentored by one the game’s best.”

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