Ripken Jr. talks managing with Dan Patrick
The whole idea of Cal Ripken, Jr. being a candidate for the Nationals' managerial position is not only an interesting debate for D.C. sports fans, but it is an unavoidable subject for the Hall of Fame shortstop these days.
While most candidates are enjoying their offseasons out of the limelight, Ripken is in a visible position being part of the playoff broadcast team for TBS. He's constantly talking about the game in interviews and continually presenting opportunities for the subject to come up.
This morning he joined Dan Patrick's radio show to discuss the MLB playoffs, and naturally he was asked once again about managing. Ripken gave an answer similar to the one he's been repeating to other outlets lately, saying of course he will listen if the overtures are made.
"I'm not lobbying. I'm not throwing my name out there. Everyone is asking me, 'are you getting the itch to come back?'"
He also left the door open that he wouldn't necessarily be interested.
"I don't know if I would take it, but I'm smart enough to say I would listen."
He also thinks his background would make him a good manager.
"Being a good baseball guy. You need to know how it works, how it all comes together."
Ripken went on to talk about how his late father, Cal, Sr., would support him if as he was a former MLB manager. The former Orioles shortstop also talked about baseball knowledge being paramount to the position, perhaps more than experience. He even said he would have no problem giving a player a day off, given his record streak for consecutive games played.
Then, towards the end of their interview, Cal finally dropped something rather interesting. Patrick started asking him about the best young players in the game and who he would build a franchise around.
Ripken said he would start with Kershaw, but as far as position players he would have to look at Mike Trout, Manny Machado and… Bryce Harper.
"Trout seems to be putting up the big numbers, I like the potential of Harper though," he said.
Patrck then asked Ripken if he could help Harper reach that potential.
"I could. I'm sure I could," he said laughing at the question.