Ripken says the 'juices get flowing' when he thinks about the possibility of managing
By Scott Allen
The Washington Post|
Aug 21, 2015 | 1:33 AM
In September 2013, Jayson Werth named Cal Ripken Jr. as his No. 1 choice to replace the retiring Davey Johnson as Washington Nationals manager. Before Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo officially introduced Matt Williams as Johnson's successor that November, Rizzo said he and Ripken "had a mutual decision that it wasn't the right time" for the Orioles legend and Hall of Famer to become a manager.
Ripken has been asked about his interest in managing several times since then, including Thursday during an interview with ESPN 980's Thom Loverro and Kevin Sheehan on "The Sports Fix."
"I'm always better off saying I'm happy doing what I'm doing right now and then it puts an end to all the conversation," said Ripken, who owns minor league teams and is the president of Ripken Baseball Inc. "It's been interesting where there's been some interest and some talks, and quite frankly the juices get flowing when you start to think about the prospects of it, because it's what I know. … I don't know whether there's some hope. I'll be 55 this month. If you look at the stages of your life, that's not old by any standards, so there's an opening for a lot of things left in my life and maybe that's one of them."
Sheehan asked Ripken just how close he was to getting the Nationals' managerial job.
"We had some serious discussions about it and never really got down to the point of choice and those sorts of things," Ripken said. "I think the world of Mike Rizzo. I think he's done a fantastic job. I like how he thinks, I like how he talks. If you're looking at a potential position, who wouldn't want their first managing job with a team built the way it was built? It was interesting discussions. With many things in life, it's about timing, and so you have other considerations. I would say timing was an issue there, but it was fun talking about it."
Sheehan asked Ripken a similar question in January 2014.
"Certainly there was an exploration and some conversation about it very early," Ripken said then. "I came down to a couple Nationals games for different reasons, and the conversation between me and Mike Rizzo, he jokingly said he's got to replace a manager. So I said, who's your candidates? And he said, well how about you? And so we kind of explored it on a surface level, but it never got to a serious consideration."
Serious discussions apparently didn't lead to serious consideration. Ripken expressed optimism that both the Nationals and Orioles will make the postseason, as he did during an earlier appearance with The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan.
He was also asked what advice he might give Robert Griffin III, and young athletes in general, for dealing with the media.
"You always have to be careful," Ripken said. "I guess in the minor leagues, when I came through, I was a bit of a hothead. I would get frustrated, I had a bad sort of rapport with the umpires going through there, but I wasn't scrutinized, there was no talk of that. And nowadays, everything you do is scrutinized. No matter where you do it, it's instantly out there, so you have to really think about the ramifications of your actions."