www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-te.sp.ripkenside06sep06,0,1182334.story

baltimoresun.com

If Orioles go on market, Ripken has an interest

By Jeff Barker

Sun reporter

September 6, 2006

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Cal Ripken Jr. says he would consider purchasing the Orioles if owner Peter G. Angelos put the club up for sale.

"I think I could have value to a group, an ownership group," the former Orioles star said in an interview. "I like Mr. Angelos, and I don't know what's going to happen to his club, but if it were for sale, it would be interesting to explore."

Ripken was careful to speak in hypotheticals because the team is not for sale. He said he considers Angelos "brilliant" and "a friend."

Fans have often suggested Ripken, who retired as a player in 2001, as an Orioles owner or executive.

"People ask about it all the time," said Jay Moskowitz, spokesman for Ripken Baseball, which handles the former shortstop's business and charitable enterprises. "Some of the letters I get are: 'We went to the IronBirds game, and it was great. Now can Cal buy the Orioles?'"

Ripken owns the minor league Aberdeen IronBirds, an Orioles affiliate, with his brother Bill.

Asked about the possibility of Ripken owning the big club, Angelos replied: "Everybody wants to know about selling the club."

But Angelos also said he'd enjoy having Ripken own the Orioles, if the time was right.

"If such a day came and he was the person playing that role, I would say you couldn't find a better guy," the owner said.

Ripken has expressed interest not only in investing in a big league club but also in running its baseball operations.

"I'm fascinated by the minor league development system and the scouting system, and how that plays with the big league system and big league decisions," Ripken said.

Ripken has said that while he was paid handsomely in his playing days, he wouldn't have the money to buy a team himself but could participate with a group.

Angelos, an attorney, bought the club in 1993. A deal Angelos struck with Major League Baseball over the Nationals' arrival in Washington guarantees the owner at least $365 million if he chooses to sell.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com