Baltimore Orioles: Cal Ripken for O’s Manager, 2016
By Mike Travers
Before Monday’s game, the Baltimore Orioles commemorated Cal Ripken’s streak of consecutive games played with an hour-long video and celebration — a moving tribute to one of the few true sports Gods in Charm City. It was a heavy pitcher of nostalgia that O’s fans hastily downed to help alleviate the pain of what turned out to be quite a messy August of baseball.
But it wasn’t just that. It may have been a glimpse into the future.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, as Cal fielded questions, a friend of mine remarked at how good #8 looked at the forefront of the white “MASN-HD” interview backdrop — a seat that has long been reserved for current skipper Buck Showalter.
He was right. Baseball’s Iron Man really did look good up there at the interview table. So good, in fact, that it only seemed fair to initiate this discussion: Could Cal Ripken manage the Baltimore Orioles in 2016?
Sure he COULD. But the O’s would never part ways with Buck Showalter, one of the best in the biz, just because some hometown hero decides he wants job.
I don’t think even the most feeble-minded of Orioles fans would advocate that. But who said anything about GETTING RID of Buck?
In this scenario, Coach Show is getting a shot at running the show — now from the front office.
There are a lot of moving parts to consider, headlined by the rumors surrounding current GM, Dan Duquette, who many fans believe is finishing up his final season in Baltimore. But regardless of what Duquette does or does not do, Buck Showalter could make a heck of a front office guy.
It would be easy to spend 1,000 words demonstrating the qualifications of Coach Buck, but I think it can best be simplified by saying this: He knows everything about baseball. Everything.
Now back to Cal. Cal has recently been in the news with rumors surrounding the Washington Nationals. With the Nats failing to meet their lofty 2015 expectations, there have been talks about Cal Ripken replacing current manager, Matt Williams — last year’s NL Manager of the Year. I, for one, don’t think it will happen.
More from Orioles News
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
But he is ready. Recently, on ESPN Radio 980, Cal spoke about the fact that he’s been approached multiple times with the prospect of managing, including serious talks with the Nationals in 2013.
Ripken may not have any experience as a manager, but it’s safe to say that he knows his way around a major league dugout. On top of his well-documented, 21-year Hall of Fame career, Cal’s father, Cal Sr., spent over ten years coaching and managing for the Baltimore Orioles.
With an unmatched feel for the game, Cal Ripken would have a lot to offer a young club like the Baltimore Orioles. He’s a guy who’s mastered gameday preparation and slump-breaking. Once a true field general at shortstop, Cal’s wisdom could be crucial to the, perhaps inevitable, transition of Manny Machado from third to short.
He’s a legendary baseball mind, and his 2,632 consecutive games crowned with a World Series ring all but scream “hire me.” Do I think Buck Showalter would welcome a move to the front office? I have no idea. But if he does decide to take that step in his career, I think it could be a huge benefit to the team. Baseball geniuses in both the dugout AND the warehouse? I could dig it.