Cal Ripken Jr. has traded one kind of pressure for another. He admits that the long negotiation that led to his signing a record contract to keep playing for the Orioles was distracting him on the field. Now the question is whether the pressure to start producing again like the Cal Ripken of last year will take another kind of toll.
There's lots more to accomplish this season and just enough time left to do it. With or without a pennant in October, the pleasure of watching the Cal Ripken of the past few years thriving again will send his fans home happy.