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Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman differ on who should be the next Nats manager

Oct 11, 2013, 1:31 PM EDT

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

Thankfully, managers are chosen by a general manager and team owners and stuff and not by player referendum. Because if that were the case, it would be pretty awkward in Nats Land these days.  Sarah Kogod reports that Jayson Werth is pro-Cal Ripken as the next Washington manager while Ryan Zimmerman is behind bench coach Randy Knorr.

I really don’t get the Ripken love. He’s basically pulling the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thing, right? Wishing he was a manager and having people say it’s a good idea because he’s famous and was a good player while not having done the first thing that normally prepares one to be a manager like coach or work in the minor leagues or what have you? Maybe he’s a hell of a guy. Maybe he’d be a good manager. But being a good player is a totally different thing than being a good manager. Don Mattingly worked an apprenticeship under Joe Torre. Jim Leyland worked his way up. Farrell too.  I guess Mike Matheny took the fast track, but he was always talked about as a coach-type even when he played.

It’s not about paying dues, even. It’s about seeing the game from a different perspective than you would as an individual player. Ripken hasn’t really ever done that. And nothing about his color commentary this playoff season suggests that he has any deeper insight into the game than guys who have actually managed and coached. Maybe Ripken’s fame and superior abilities as a player is enough for Werth and other Ripken people. I just can’t see how that would, in and of itself, translate into a good manager.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:39 PM,0,3945199.story

    ” it sounds like Ripken is truly trying to be respectful of Baltimore and his place as one of the most revered players in Orioles history. He’s a lifelong Oriole, and even though Buck Showalter is entrenched at Orioles manager, the idea of Ripken heading south to manage the regional rival Nationals would irk some Orioles fans. It’s also clear he doesn’t want to ruffle feathers with Orioles principal owner Peter G. Angelos either.”

  2. gloccamorra - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    I agree players shouldn’t be choosing their own manager. Do infantry privates choose their general? Does a ship’s crew choose their captain? A manager should have read Machiavelli’s The Prince: It’s best for a ruler to be both loved and feared, but if he can’t be both, it’s better to be feared. It worked for Dick Williams!

    • NatsLady - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Does that apply to citizens not choosing their own senators? Mayors? Presidents?

      • gloccamorra - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        That’s now done for us by a resolution committee of the Illuminati and the Tri-Lateral Commission. We still have elections, but the resolution committee follows Stalin’s dictum, it’s not important who votes, but who counts the votes.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Well, not so much anymore, but you used to be able to pick who you wanted to serve under.

    • stex52 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Officers have frequently been chosen by vote in military units, particularly in militias. Check your Civil War history. It sure might add some fun to the clubhouse politics.

    • sumerduckman - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      Pirate crews from the eighteenth and early nineteenth century elected/picked their own captains. Most of them were successful….. for a while.

  3. NatsLady - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Werth wanted Charlie Manuel, too. Plus he said a lot of other funny things when the season was over, just to see if reporters would buy it… Lot of ’em did, too.

  4. emdash01 - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Werth also said he wanted to be player-manager, which would be kinda fun.

  5. rantalize - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Ripken was and is one of the greatest baseball minds of his generation. Anyone who has read any of his books, or read any interviews about the game or has been involved in any capacity with his baseball camps or programs thru Ripken Baseball can attest to that. I think many people have tried to use the argument that he is using his notoriety to jump start the track to managing but that’s just the casual fans assumption because they are not familiar with how great of a “baseball mind” this guy is. Just like how exceptional athletes don’t always follow the normal progression of development, managerial candidates should be no exception. It just so happens that he is a well respected and accomplished. Why should that be held against him?

  6. gerryb323 - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Robin Ventura.

    On second thought, forget I said anything…

  7. psunick - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    A.J. Hinch

  8. lphboston - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Any way we can kidnap Joe Maddon from the Rays?
    We need to repair the bullpen, and Maddon is the best in the game at that.

  9. louhudson23 - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Cal Ripken Jr.,was raised in the game by Cal Ripken Sr. ,one of the finest teachers and mentors in the game and a longtime coach and manager. Cal Sr. was a key element in the great Orioles system To say that Cal Jr. lacks the exposure to the game beyond his playing career is inaccurate,as he was literally raised in the game…. but he isn’t going to coach the Nationals…

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