Diner Question: Should the Orioles bring back Cal Ripken Jr.? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Diner Question: Should the Orioles bring back Cal Ripken Jr.?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

At the diner, we’d love a visit from any Orioles, past and present. Oriole fans already know their way.

In July, the Orioles announced that Brooks Robinson and Eddie Murray would rejoin the team as special advisers, but there hasn’t been any word about a role with the team for Cal Ripken Jr.

For many years following his retirement, Robinson served as a commentator on television broadcasts. Murray had a four-year stint as a coach from 1998-2001.

However, Ripken has never had an official role with the team. His portfolio includes owning the Aberdeen IronBirds, the Orioles Short-Season A team, as well as a corporate spokesman.

In the past, Ripken has said that if he were to return to baseball in a full-time role, it would be an executive capacity. Although there’s been chatter over the years about Ripken managing, that doesn’t seem a likely path.

Ripken is close friends with Murray and Brady Anderson, the team’s vice president for baseball operations who may be assuming a larger role in the organization.

This week’s Diner Question: Is now the time for the Orioles to bring on Cal Ripken Jr. in a significant role? If so, what should that role be?

61 Comments

61 Comments

  1. boss61

    September 20, 2018 at 8:14 am

    No. The O’s need the best baseball professionals and visionaries, regardless of personal pedigree. I believe that Brooks and Eddie serve the role of nostalgia-meisters, sufficiently.

    • Ekim

      September 20, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      boss… you nailed it!

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Boss and Ekim, I can see many fans both agree and disagree. Interesting discussion.

  2. Creatively09

    September 20, 2018 at 8:15 am

    There was a time, about 10 years ago, when I could see it. Now, not so much. Ripken has been out of the inner circles of MLB for so long, I just don’t see what he brings to the table that the club needs. It’s not like putting him in the warehouse is something that will get the fans to start coming back to the stadium, and he’s not putting a uniform back on, so what’s the point. Would I be happy to see him back in the organization? Well, yes, of course, but I just don’t see the purpose or usefulness of it. The club needs a strong, proven leader to get this club back on the right track.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Creatively, there is a lot of support for your opinion from the early commenters and many who disagree later on.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 20, 2018 at 8:40 am

    I’m certainly in no position to intelligently answer that question … but no, I think not. I’ve never met nor talked with the man, but from interviews I’ve seen, his statue in the flag court seems to have a more dynamic personality.

    I’m only answering in hopes that I might get that big piece of imaginary lemon meringue pie I see sitting behind the glass at the imaginary counter?

    • Creatively09

      September 20, 2018 at 8:58 am

      Lemon meringue is a good choice, since the diner has been all out of whipped cream pies for a while now.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 20, 2018 at 12:46 pm

        Very creatively said my friend….took me a few seconds, but I got the reference. Very funny.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      Boog, Cal is a fascinating man, and I think his personality is a strong and commanding one.

      As for the pie, I’ve made special orders for you and creatively.

  4. PCampanaris

    September 20, 2018 at 8:47 am

    WHY!

  5. garyintheloo

    September 20, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I agree with all of the comments above as we don’t need figure heads and Ripken doesn’t need a job. If he wants to hang around that’s fine but we need moves for the future not the past. Boog is right about that lemon meringue!

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Gary, I promise we’ll never be without lemon meringue again.

  6. chico salmon

    September 20, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Not only “no” to Cal, but Brady Anderson and ex-players, in general. They were players, not baseball executives with decision making responsibility. If you want to bring back Bordick, Surhoff, etc to work with players in spring training, that’s fine. Brooks and Eddie as community ambassadors, sure. But no ex-players in the front office.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Jerry DiPoto in Seattle seems to have done a fine job, Chico.

      • Jbigle1

        September 20, 2018 at 4:25 pm

        I’d counter that with Dave Stewart’s debacle in Arizona. I don’t think being a player should exclude you from the role but it was just too easy.

  7. bigdaddydk

    September 20, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I’m not sure what purpose bring Cal back would serve. He’s been a minor league team owner, but simply financing a team doesn’t indicate that he has MLB executive skills. Plus, Cal is a legend. He would be, if things didn’t go well, nearly impossible to get rid of too. At this point, the team needs bona fide baseball people, not former players with tremendous popularity. So, I’m decidedly in the No camp here. We need less distraction and controversy in the Warehouse, not more.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Many fans seem to agree with you, big daddy. Many disagree, too.

      • bigdaddydk

        September 21, 2018 at 8:19 am

        That’s the beauty of discourse. We all see it different ways. I can understand why people would like Cal involved. I just don’t see him as anything more than a PR figure. If he would come in and cut his teeth in management like any other person entering the field, then I’d have no problem with it. I don’t think he’s willing to do that, and I don’t think he’s ready for a high level leadership position in the front office.

  8. deqalt

    September 20, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I am really surprised at these first comments. I absolutely think bringing Cal into the organization would be big. Cal has the work ethic to do whatever it takes to succeed. He is respected around the league like no other ex-player. I am not a fan of players taking over exec positions, but I think Cal is among those rare breeds. Orioles franchise is broken. They can’t develop pitchers. The defense has suffered as well. I can’t think of anyone who can help bring this franchise back to the basics. He would not take a position with the team unless he had power and would not fail. That being said I don’t know that there is a job available for him. He wants to run the show and Brady Anderson is in his way.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Deqalt and steveo, I was surprised by the number of fans who didn’t want Cal to be a part of the Orioles as well.

  9. [email protected]

    September 20, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Desalt- I could not agree with you more. The O’s have lost their way and I also believe that they need leadership that would bring back the “Orioles Way”. I cannot tell you how many decent pitching performances this year have gone for naught because of shoddy defense, missing the cut off man, etc. the “Orioles Way”, which was championed by Earl Weaver and Cal Sr is where this franchise needs to go. Good pitching, solid defense and timely hitting- all of these should be taught at the lowest levels of the organization and reinforced all the way to the major league level. Who better to lead that effort than Cal Jr?

    • chico salmon

      September 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      I’m sorry, but enough with the “Oriole Way”. Unless you want to continue to cater to a fan base in their 60’s, stop referring to that. Hire a younger GM, a younger manager and put the emphasis on building something, not more relics from the past (the Oriole Way, Cal Ripken as team president). Start a new “way”.

  10. Orial

    September 20, 2018 at 10:37 am

    I’m gonna differ from everybody else. First of all I’m against any former Oriole as mgr,I’m against the phrase “the Oriole Way”(it’s dead in the water). BUT I somehow think having Cal return as VP would give the organization a shot in the arm and raise it’s respectability/credibilty around baseball( no more laughing stock). A team of Cal,Dan Duquette,Brady(whatever the hell he does) and the modern/proactive Angelos Sons might not be so bad. Mandatory though that they take that money saved on the field and put into development,scouting, HIRE,HIRE,HIRE!

    • deqalt

      September 20, 2018 at 11:22 am

      Amen Orial!!! This franchise has been looked upon as a joke too long. Now with international money being spent and bring Cal on would help

      • Jbigle1

        September 20, 2018 at 4:28 pm

        I don’t think duke is looked as a joke around baseball. I can’t see how Cal would propel that. The jays wanted duke to be their guy a few years back but we weren’t going to let him go. The lack of intl scouting certainly can’t be put on him.

        • Orial

          September 20, 2018 at 5:06 pm

          I meant the O’s as being a joke NOT Duquette.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      Orial, it would be interesting to see what kind of an impact Ripken would have on the team.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Jbigle, your comments on Duquette are certainly well worth considering.

  11. bv22

    September 20, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Bringing him back as a special adviser, scout of some sort, or even a roving instructor from spring training on through the end of the minor league season would be super beneficial to this club. He has been involved in baseball on the field in some capacity his whole life so having him around as a roving instructor wouldn’t be such a bad idea. When he was shortstop, he used to be the one who would position everyone on the field and occasionally tell a pitcher how to pitch to a batter, so he obviously had the skill set back then to perform some sort of scouting on opposing players and could definitely do it again if needed. He could contribute as a special adviser to the club with all of his knowledge of baseball in general obtained from his life spent in and around the sport. In regards to him being a GM, he couldn’t be any worse than the two Duquettes, Thrift, or the Flanagan/Beattie duo, could he?

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 5:04 pm

      Bv, I have no idea what kind of position the Orioles might offer him.

  12. DevoTion

    September 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Personally I think Cal could be a good fit for the bench coach position, he has tons of knowledge in the game and there wouldn’t be any pressure on him or the front office if the team doesn’t succeed. No one ever blames the bench coach.

    • Bancells Moustache

      September 20, 2018 at 11:47 am

      I could see that but, come on, he’s Cal Ripken Jr. His image is 50 feet high on the Centerfield scoreboard. A guy like that doesn’t make a very good assistant.

      • Jbigle1

        September 20, 2018 at 4:30 pm

        I don’t think Cal wants to sit on the bench in any role all season. Certainly not as a bench coach. Playing 162 games a year across the US is quite different than sitting up in your office in Baltimore calling the shots

      • DevoTion

        September 20, 2018 at 5:53 pm

        I thought about the long grind of a season for him, but lots of other guys do it so why couldn’t Cal

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Devo and Bancells, these are interesting ideas,

  13. Bancells Moustache

    September 20, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Has he ever left? He pops up during commercial breaks, he has a statue and murals all over the stadium. Hell, just the sight of the warehouse brings back memories of 2131. It’s the house that Cal built. His ghost haunts every brick in that building, so this is a bit like asking if they should bring George Washington back to Mount Vernon. I don’t see how having him in a role like Murray or Brooks makes that any different.

    One of the saddest sights from the 2016 season was Cal’s 2131 anniversary game against Tampa. I was at that game. Not a whole lot of other people were. Place was half empty. And bear in mind this is September 2016, with the Birds fighting for a playoff spot. Nobody there. So much for needing the team to be competitive to sell seats…

    As for an Executive capacity, the man has been out of the game for a long time. Go ask Isaiah Thomas how much being a legendary player gets you in a front office role. Plus, it’s a bit of a dirty little secret, but the worst years of the Orioles in the 80’s took place when the Ripken family had a stranglehold on the on-field product.

    • deqalt

      September 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Did you really just compare Cal Ripken to Isiah “accused of sexual harrasment” Thomas?

      • Bancells Moustache

        September 20, 2018 at 1:10 pm

        Prior to that it was Isaiah “Complete unmitigated disaster of a GM’ Thomas, so yeah.

  14. Bancells Moustache

    September 20, 2018 at 11:50 am

    One other note; Ripken’s baseball camps and training for youth ballplayers are some of the finest in the country. Hate to see that get interrupted, as I believe his work in that capacity is infinitely more important to the game of baseball than him giving pointers to DJ Stewart in Sarasota.

  15. Ekim

    September 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Maybe… as owner?

  16. Sisco Kid

    September 20, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    A bit off topic, but I think the bringing back old players to manage things seems to be working elsewhere (see Cora and Boone in Boston and NY). Popular younger guys who used to wear the uniform. So what if our next manager was Brian Roberts? I’m not saying it should happen, I’m just saying I definitely wouldn’t be against it.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      I think Brian, who has small children, would not be interested in a fulltime job.

  17. Bltrvnfan

    September 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    With the state of the Orioles now I say no. Let’s say he comes here either as a manager or GM and they team gets worse or never improves. I’d fear it would potentially tarnish his reputation with the Orioles and leave fans with a bad taste. Only way he comes back is if the teams on the up swing again

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      I appreciate your comments, Bltrvn.

  18. willmiranda

    September 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    I think of him more as a personality than as a dawn-to-dusk front office worker. He doesn’t seem to have the daily grind work experience of a major league executive. If he really is close buds with Brady, he must already have a chunk of influence on the club. Maybe we should find out what that influence has been. Some writer mentioned that the old Oriole Way is wasted on guys in their 60’s. Cal is fading into history, too. I’m not sure how many younger fans would be energized by his return.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      Will, you have to be over 30 to remember Cal breaking the streak.

  19. Birdsfansince69

    September 20, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Gonna go big here. The city or state should buy the team and sell shares, run it as a community-held non profit/trust a la the Green Bay Packers. I’m not a rich man but i’d buy some shares. The O’s are a community treasure and should be run like one, not be a whim of this or that millionaire douche bag owner. Then we the fans and shareholders hire Cal or whomever WE want 2 run the team. Yes this is socialism but the O’s should be community owned. U like free public schools? Police ambulance fire roads and bridges paid by your taxes? Same thing but more fun! And sell shares, would be voluntary unlike taxes.

    • Jbigle1

      September 20, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      The packers have 5 million shares of stock outstanding. You cannot sell the stock for profit and if they were ever to be sold all profits made go to charity. The people who buy these stocks get a vote to elect a 45 seat board of directors. Who then chooses a 7 man executive committee to essentially Make the decisions. It’s a great thing they have going for GB. It makes fans feel important because they “own” a share of the packers and they can raise a ton of cash doing it. But in all actuality what is the vote worth? You get a vote to elect a 45 man board of directors with your .0000001% share of the team. You’ll never see that happen anywhere else as they’ve been grandfathered in but just for fun if that were the case the fans still wouldn’t have the say so to put the guy they wanted in the position.

      • Birdsfansince69

        September 21, 2018 at 12:12 am

        killjoy! no it’s not gonna be fan democracy utopia birdland, i know. that isn’t the point. it is a more stable owning/governing structure than “our community asset is unfortunately owned by some millionaire dickhead who may or may not have a clue how to run our beloved civic treasure”

        plus we would be The Peoples Team, to set us apart. We are being left in the dust by our east coast rivals (on the field and for fans and eyeballs). BoSux Skankees Phils Nats are eating us alive and will continue to do so. Ballmer is the smallest, least rich east coast market. we risk permanent irrelevance in the east coast baseball megalopolis.

        if folks organized, it could happen. better than waiting for angelos 2 die and then what anyway?

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Birdsfan, interesting thought but
      Impractical here.

      • Birdsfansince69

        September 21, 2018 at 12:13 am

        your reasoning is…

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 21, 2018 at 10:07 am

      MLB would never allow a team owned by a city or state.

  20. Michele1

    September 20, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I think Cal would have many things to offer the Orioles in any capacity really. So why not?

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you, Michele.

  21. Liamandcarolinesdad

    September 20, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve got a mixed bag of thoughts. The one thing that Cal could bring to this team is apparently in a capacity that he has little interest in. Clearly fundamentals are the bread and butter of his legendary career and current teachings. I thoroughly believe he could impact not only our minor leaguers’ development, but could pay dividends on the major league level too. I don’t have an answer as to what his official title or role would be, but I do believe that’s where he could be make the biggest and most immediate impact. I also believe that the man has an eye for talent, or so that’s the vibe I get from him.

    Beyond that, I’ve got nothing. The one thing I would like to see is more recently retired (or semi-retired) players involved in some capacity. Brian Roberts, JJ Hardy, Jeff Conine, Melvin Mora, and even an Erik Bedard and Rodrigo Lopez could bring a lot of knowledge to the team.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 20, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      To the father of Liam and Caroline, I think Cal could teach very well. By all accounts, his father was an excellent teacher.

  22. Borg

    September 20, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Ripken can probably still play a better shortstop than Beckham.

  23. GSISDANNO

    September 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    I think if Cal Ripken eas interested in being part of the organization, it would have happened by now

  24. cboemmeljr

    September 22, 2018 at 7:00 am

    If you are going to bring Ripken back, it should be BILLY. He reminds me of his dad in his knowledge of the game and ability to break things down. I feel he probably learned more from Cal, Sr than anyone else. He could be MiLB Director and bring the Oriole Way back.

    Don’t get me wrong, Cal, Jr would be valuable to the organization but I think his post-retirement work lends itself to PR, administrative work and youth initiatives.

    Billy’s teaching ability is what is needed.

  25. Ezrine Tire Award

    September 23, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Play shortstop……

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