Cal Ripken is a huge basketball fan. He was in downtown Baltimore Friday morning for a Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation event, which celebrates the beginning of the college basketball season and raises money for to help at-risk youth.
But, instead of basketball, naturally the talk turned to baseball and the speculation that surrounded Ripken the past few months, talk that he wants to be a major league manager.
Some reports linked Ripken with the Nationals job that’s gone to Matt Williams. Cincinnati has named its new manager while the Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners still have unfilled jobs. Ripken insists he’s not disappointed he hasn’t received an opportunity to interview for these jobs.
“No. No because I’ve saying the exact same thing, and it probably is a little bit media-created,” Ripken said.
“It’s different phases in your life and people ask me, ‘Do I want to get back in baseball? Do you feel the urge to get back into baseball?’ I just answer the question honestly,” Ripken said.
“Just by answering those questions, it seemed like speculation runs rampant. I have no strategy to be a manager.”
Ripken has been asked to interview for managing jobs in the past, but his children were younger then. They’re grown now, his youngest child Ryan is in college.
“All I’ve said is that at this phase in my life, I might consider it,” Ripken said. “I’m not lobbying. I’m not putting it out there to the media so somebody will call me. I’m just asking the question honestly because it’s happened before. I’d say it’s more media-created than anything.”
Ripken’s name was tossed around as a candidate for the Nationals job. There was nothing to it. Even though he’s had no official connection with the Orioles since he retired a dozen years ago, he doesn’t discount the possibility of working for another organization if the opportunity was a good one.
“I guess in an ideal sense, you’d want to see me in an Orioles uniform the whole time. I don’t think necessarily that way,” Ripken said. “I was a player, and I played here and I had a wonderful career, and I live here. I love the Orioles very much, but at the same time you thinking, ‘OK, in the next phase in your life, what does that offer to you?’
“I’ve been doing a lot of different things. I’ve been making a lot of different choices, and I’m happy with those choices. I’m not in it for hypotheticals. I kind live more in the real world and look at real opportunities, so I’m only saying that I’m smart enough to listen if opportunities come my way, because they have.”
A lot of the talk around Ripken occurred while he was expanding his broadcasting portfolio. In recent years, he’d been a studio analyst for TBS. This year, he called a handful of regular season games as well as the Dodgers-Braves Division Series and the NLCS.
He enjoyed his time working with Ernie Johnson and Ron Darling.
“I had a lot of fun this year. Last year was pretty nerve-wracking for me because they threw me in in September, and I had the Orioles-Yankees series. I was really familiar with the Orioles, so I had to make sure I wasn’t biased in the booth, but this year, I had a few experiences in the season,” Ripken said.
“Sitting down watching the games, it was good baseball, and I enjoyed it.”
During the NLCS, Ripken’s mother, Vi, was involved in another scary incident. A little over a year after being abducted, Vi Ripken was approached by a man who wanted to steal her car. She thwarted him by setting off her car alarm. He was arrested.
Still at large is the man who abducted her in July 2012.
“She’s doing miraculously well, unbelievably well,” Ripken said. “I don’t know if each and every one of us would think about the things she’d gone through whether we’d react in the same fashion. She’s remarkable. I am concerned, and at the same time, I take my concern from her. She swears that we’re more worried than she is. These things can happen in society, and they’re very traumatic when they do.”
In July, Ripken partnered with John Walsh, host of “America’s Most Wanted,” to help solve the abduction. Since then, There have been a lot of leads.
“We’ve taken a lot of precautions, but it seems to be bizarre that a similar thing can happen to your mom two times in a year,” Ripken said.
“Part of dealing with this personally, you get immersed into this whole investigation and let this run your life or you can kind of pull back and let the professionals do their job…They’ve very encouraged, so if they’re encouraged, I am.”