In an interview on CSNChicago's Sports Talk Live this past August, 53-year-old Hall of Fame infielder Cal Ripken, who had hinted of interest in getting back into baseball, was asked if he would be interested in managing the Washington Nationals if asked since 70-year-old Nats' skipper Davey Johnson was going to retire after two-plus years managing the Nationals in the nation's capital. "I've been asked to interview for many managing jobs and I never said yes," the veteran of 21 seasons in the Baltimore Orioles' infield said, "because I never was serious about it and I thought it would be wrong to go through that process. I haven't been asked, you know, by them."
"If they asked, would you say, 'Yes?'" the host asked.
"I think I would be more curious at this stage of my life than I have been," Ripken said.
"So that's kind of a yes?"
"That's kind of a 'maybe,'" Ripken responded, with a laugh.
Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell was asked for his take on the Nationals' search for their sixth manager in a September 23rd chat with readers with New York Yankees' manager Joe Girardi's name brought up by the reader who asked. "Rizzo has a high opinion of Girardi," the WaPost reporter noted, "At least he did three days ago. I'd also like to know whether Cal Ripken would really consider a managing job."
When a reader in Mr. Boswell's latest chat wondered why someone like Ripken, who has never managed at any level of the game, should even be considered as Davey Johnson's successor, the WaPost reporter politely explained, after upbraiding the reader, why he thought Ripken might make a good skipper:
"Ripken was raised by a manager, played as if he were a manager in uniform, was always the leader of the Orioles, or else was the leader in tandem with Eddie Murray and probably knows as much about baseball at the granular and the theoretical level as anybody in the sport in the last 50 years. Few, if any, get along better with other players, press or fans. [Jayson] Werth and Ryan Zimmerman, among others, grew up with him as a hero. He's as nice as he needs to be when nice is called for. He's as much a hard-ass as he needs to be when that's the order of the day. He's got good judgment but also has enough temper."
Werth told Mr. Boswell's colleague, Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore, this weekend that Ripken would be his choice as the Nationals' next manager. "'He would be my No. 1 choice,'" Werth said, before adding that in-house option Randy Knorr, "... makes more sense than anybody."
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman wrote today that he asked Ripken again if he was interested in the position in D.C., and Ripken, "... suggested in a hypothetical sense that he'd listen if approached about a managing job. But he didn't say he was definitely interested. Not quite, anyway." What did he say? All the former Orioles' infielder would say was that he was interested in getting back into baseball:
"Ripken said the speculation really took off after he told someone 'I'm getting an itch' to get back in the game. But this time Ripken added, 'I don't know where or how.'"
When Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo was asked about the possibility of bringing Ripken in as the manager after Davey Johnson in August, he told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier that to manage a major league team, "... you need to be 100% committed and it's very time-consuming and all-encompassing and it's 24/7 and Cal hasn't made any overtures that he's prepared to jump into the baseball life." Any rumors connecting the Nats and Ripken, however, Rizzo said, were just that, "rumors and speculation."
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