What about the Washington Nationals job?
Today, all-time Baltimore Oriole great Cal Ripken, Jr. told Dan Patrick that he would “explore” the possibility in managing. In an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Ripken, Jr. reaffirmed previous reports of his interest. But Patrick began questioning the Iron Man about the position with the Washington Nationals.
Patrick stated that if Ripken, Jr. was truly interested in the position, he should be more aggressive in pursuing it. Ripken somewhat disagreed in saying “they have to want to talk to you”.
Yesterday, it was revealed that former Reds skipper Dusty Baker had interest in the Nats job.
Maybe the best argument against Ripken, Jr. managing the Nationals was presented by Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun:
…He’s [Ripken] a lifelong Oriole, and even though Buck Showalter is entrenched at Orioles manager, the idea of Ripken heading south to manager the regional rival Nationals would irk some Orioles fans.
So you can’t blame Ripken for waiting for the Nationals to come to him, regardless of how interested he truly is in the job. And if he is interested, the strategy could ultimately backfire. Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr seems to be the apparent frontrunner because it would be a more seamless transition from Johnson.
That logic is hard to dispute.
Granted, Ripken, Jr. has no MLB managerial experience, but that hasn’t stopped a few organizations from taking that leap of faith before. Of the 27 managers currently employed, there are more than a handful that are in their first ever MLB managerial stint. How about over one-third of current MLB skippers…
Bud Black – San Diego
Ron Gardenhire – Minnesota
Kirk Gibson – Arizona
Mike Matheny – St. Louis
Don Mattingly – Los Angeles (NL)
Bo Porter – Houston
Mike Redmond – Miami
Ron Roenicke – Milwaukee
Ryne Sandberg – Philadelphia
Mike Scioscia – Los Angeles (AL)
Robin Ventura – Chicago (AL)
Ron Washington – Texas
Walt Weiss – Colorado
Sandberg took over for Charlie Manuel and only recently had the “interim” tag removed. Porter, Redmond and Weiss just completed their first year. Ventura and Matheny capped off their second and Matheny’s Cards are still playing. There’s six within their first two years, if you want to consider the games Sandberg has managed to date as a real season.
Sure, you have varying degrees of success among this group. Some have led their teams to the playoffs. Only one World Series title here (Scioscia). Matheny and Mattingly will square off against one another with the winner having the opportunity to make it two. Washington was presented that chance in back-to-back seasons.
Would you want Cal taking over at the helm of your favorite team?
Catch the entire Ripken, Jr. interview with Patrick…