Since he retired from baseball, Cal Ripken has been asked the same question over and over:

So Cal, when are you coming back?

Ripken needs no introduction in this piece: he’s a Baltimore icon. As hometown fans, we often forget that he is also a baseball icon – one whose return to the game is just as impatiently anticipated across the country. Fans have a hard time parting with players like that. They assume that the player simply cannot be away from the game, and they assume that greatness on the field will translate to greatness in other roles: coach, manager, executive.

So Baltimore fans, how bad do you want to see Cal Ripken back in baseball? The answer should be “please, not now.”

Washington media is trying to sell Cal Ripken as a viable candidate for the next Nationals' manager.
Washington media is trying to sell Cal Ripken as a viable candidate for the next Nationals’ manager.

What happens if he fails?

Ripken is an Oriole legend. Before the 2012 season, he was the last remaining link with the franchise’s glory years. When people asked what

was good about the Orioles, you could always say “we had Cal Ripken.” A local product, the epitome of class, and a hell of a ballplayer. These are all things we could brag about.

So… what happens to Ripken’s legacy if he were to manage a losing Orioles club? Being a terrible manager (or at least one with a hard-luck poor record) would be a tough pill to swallow for this fan base. Ripken is an untouchable. It wouldn’t be fair to put us through losing and having to criticize Ripken’s managerial choices.

And what if the organization had to fire him? How uncomfortable would that be… for everyone involved?

The danger of bringing Ripken back is that nobody wants to risk him not being any good at it.


What if he goes somewhere else?

Buck Showalter will be the manager of the Baltimore Orioles at least until the 2019 season. And believe me, we have got it good. If there is no opportunity in the orange and black, how would you feel about Ripken wearing another uniform? While you recover from that terrible image, let me share this little nugget from CSN, discussing the possibility of Cal replacing former Oriole Davey Johnson in the Nationals’ dugout:


On the surface, it makes sense. Cal is as beloved in Washington as he is here – even for the baseball fans down there who hate all things Orioles and Angelos. Ripken is different. That fan base would love to call him their own.

But he’s not their own. He’s ours. He grew up here. He “saved baseball” here. And he belongs here. For Cal, it’s just business. But for us, it would be personal, and it would hurt. I’ve always thought that Ripken would bypass the manager’s office. As part of the ownership group and executive team at Ripken Baseball, he’s proven himself to be a competent business man. It’s always been my assumption that Ripken would return to baseball – and to the Orioles – as an executive or owner.

Keep in mind that Ripken is cautious – he would never jump into an arena where he didn’t feel comfortable (remember him sitting in the booth asking Thorne for advice before making his first appearance as a broadcaster). He puts himself in positions where he can be successful – far removed from catching the last out in the 1983 World Series, this guy hates to lose. All this talk might be a result of Ripken very carefully saying that he wouldn’t rule out a move to the dugout – it’s always better to be asked than not.

And that, Baltimore, is our best hope. Let’s hope that Ripken is content to wait. Because right now, there is no room at the inn for him. And I’m not sure we can stand seeing him go somewhere else.


Follow Birds Eye View on Twitter and listen to Birds Eye View on the Baltimore Sports Report Network.

About The Author

Jake English is half of the "talent" on the Bird's Eye View podcast, and a BSR contributor.


  1. Is….Is that a Ripken Nationals jersey? I think I’m gonna throw up.

  2. guy, chow glad he back flom New Yolk. Ryu sulplized chow with ticket to yankkee game on Ichilo 4000 hit. Ryu take chow and 9inchnail to game. chow, ryu and 9inchnail make pictule on FOXSPORTS. This link to foxsports and that pictule of chow, hold sign, Ryu on he phone and 9inchnail with cup.

    this link.

    • You know, I’ll never know if this is for real or not.

      I personally know 9inchnails and all I can say is, the guy in the picture looks like him, but I can’t see his face. I tried to call him a few times today and got no answer, so maybe he’s on vacation?!?

      We need to have a BSR get-together to meet some of these characters.

      • MGW, now one thing you know about me is that I would never, ever wear a Yankees hat, ever! That may have been Mystery Man and Chow or maybe ole Spy, but not the 9incher! I would wear my wife’s underwear before, I don a Yankees shirt or cap. You know about my fear of clowns!

  3. Ripken was over paid , over valued and never won a single season anything over his peers in any offensive category ,,,all he did was play a long time……………….actually you could say he was a fraud,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,rumors say he cheated on his wife , used the juice and the truth is he cheated his hometown,,,,,,,,,,,,a loser in my book,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  4. Josh Sroka totally looks like Cal Ripken except WAY sexier LOL (;

  5. Where is Spy, Chow? How come Spy didn’t go to New York with the gang? Is Ryu back with you or is Spy still your main squeeze?

  6. If Ripken goes to the dugout, what happens to his boyfriend Brady? Will Billy coach third? Will Raffy and Kelly be an item? Would Ripken still impede Manny Alexander? Would he put his managing streak ahead of the good of the club? Ripken was a mediocre shortstop and would be a worse manager.

    • Agree,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,when I hear ‘Ripken saved baseball’ it makes me choke , to think an average player who played a long time saved America’s past-time makes me sick , he is no more than a hyped up fraud,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,How many of you guys would bilk your hometown out of millions and go back on a hand shake deal with the Mayor………….

  7. Spy, it looks like we agree on some things. Maybe we are related? You like crabs, MGW and Essex….so do I. Both of us have played in the sandbox, although not with each other, we both dislike Chow and we have spent many days at the Angler Inn. Life is grand!

  8. Remember folks… Its all about Cal… Cal is the most individualistic person since Chow split with Spy.

    Baltimore greats, Unitas, Ray Lewis, Brooks, all made it about the team… Cal needs to make it about himself.

    If Weaver left him at 3rd, Cal would not be in the Hall of Fame…

  9. Chow hot to tlot gentmen. ryu back in chow house eat chow food and shampoo chow lug. one thing miss, that Spy. Spy make 3some with Ryu and chow. Spy, chow ask you question. “what make you a playel?” Chow see Spy in he tightie whities when Spy and chow wlestle. chow like wlestle fol kisses and stling cheese.

Comments are closed.