Orioles ready to talk if Ripken wants job

Updated: April 20, 2010, 12:04 AM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

Cal Ripken Jr. has not offered himself to the Baltimore Orioles as a prospective employee, team owner Peter Angelos said Saturday, adding that if Ripken wants to be part of the organization, he'd be happy to sit down and talk with the Hall of Famer about a job.

Angelos
Angelos
Ripken
Ripken

Angelos was responding to a FoxSports.com story that he turned down the opportunity to hire Ripken, who spent all 21 of his major league seasons with the Orioles.

"Quite simply, Cal Ripken did not offer to become part of the Oriole organization in any secondary position, such as manager or as an assistant to [team president] Andy MacPhail, or in some kind of support role of MacPhail," Angelos said. "If he wants to make such a proposal, I'd like to hear about it."

Ripken and the Orioles are collaborating on a youth baseball academy in Sarasota, Fla., and in the midst of a discussion about that subject, there was talk about having Ripken serve in some capacity in spring training.

That did not lead to a job for Ripken with the Orioles, but Angelos indicated repeatedly Saturday morning that he'd like to talk to Ripken about whatever ideas he has.

"I see Cal often, and I consider him a friend," Angelos said. "From a standpoint of rejecting Cal Ripken, that's an impossibility. If this [story] is coming from him, I'd like to sit down and talk to him."

Within the FoxSports.com story, a source is cited as indicating that Angelos told Ripken, in a private conversation, that he did not want to hire him because Ripken would get credit if the Orioles' fortunes on the field turned.

"That's absurd," Angelos said. "Even if someone harbored such thoughts, I think common sense would tell you that they wouldn't be crass enough to express that."

Ripken, quoted in a statement obtained by MLB.com on Monday, said he has discussed "many subjects" with Angelos and MacPhail over time and, "ultimately, our discussions have turned to baseball, the Orioles and me. I have enjoyed those talks very much, and, yes, the subject has been broached about me potentially joining the organization. I look forward to those talks continuing."

Ripken played in an MLB-record 2,632 straight games for the Orioles as a shortstop and third baseman. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Orioles are mired in a nine-game losing streak after a loss Saturday at Oakland, falling to 1-11. They have not made the postseason since 1997.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine