Well, that was interesting.
Cal decided to speak up in regards to the rumors swirling from the Ken Rosenthal article from the other day (a link to the Rosenthal piece, as well as my take on the whole thing as it exploded onto the scene can be found HERE). For those who may have missed it, here is the text from the statement:
“In my baseball experience, rumors and stories seem to break when things aren’t going well. Let me address recent media reports.
“First I want to say that Mr. Angelos never said that he didn’t want me to get credit for any success that the club might have. That’s just not true.
“I have had a very good relationship with Peter for a long time. He has been an advisor to me, a great supporter of my foundation and it is because of him that we have an Orioles affiliate in Aberdeen.
“I have met with Andy and Peter on a number of occasions to discuss many subjects. Ultimately our discussions have turned to baseball, the Orioles and me. I have enjoyed those talks very much, and yes the subject has been broached about me potentially joining the organization. I look forward to those talks continuing.
“I have been consistent in my statements about a return to baseball since my retirement in 2001. With my son Ryan approaching the end of high school in a couple of years I have been thinking more seriously about a return to the big league game. I am more excited now to explore all opportunities and find the right situation that could lead me to the next phase of my life.”
Why did he wait a couple of days to say anything? He was travelling with his family and didn’t want to be interrupted for this (and anyone who has followed Cal Ripken over the years knows that he is very protective of his family and of his family time. This article from Sports Illustrated back in 1995 as he approached game 2,131 gives a glimpse into how he approached family life when he was arguably the biggest star in the game. There is more on how family plays into all of this later.
Now let’s take a look at the cogent points here. Ripken comes right out and says Peter Angelos never said that he didn’t want Ripken to get the credit for the team’s coming reversal of fortune. Ripken DOES say that he, Andy MacPhail, and Angelos have had many discussions over the years over any number of subjects, including baseball and Cal’s future role with the Baltimore Orioles. Then Ripken reiterated what he has said many times in the past, which is he has no plans to get involved in major league baseball (and the time commitment that comes along with it) until his youngest son Ryan goes off to college (he is about 2 years away).
So basically, Cal Ripken comes out and says Ken Rosenthal is full of it. Every accusation by Rosenthal, citing his “sources” is roundly scuttled by Ripken.
As to what I think happened, my theory is that Angelos, MacPhail, and Ripken had one of their meetings wherein some basic parameters for Cal’s return to the team were discussed (and since MacPhail is the top candidate to replace Bud Selig as Commissioner in a few years), a role akin to Assistant to the GM was probably bandied about. Angelos made it a point to make sure Ripken AND MacPhail know that he wants MacPhail to get the credit he will be due if this team DOES in fact return to prominence. The timing of Cal looking to get involved in a couple of years, right as the team is marked to make a move to relevance and respectability could make it look like Cal swooped in as the knight in shining armor, and Angelos (and quite possibly MacPhail) wanted to make it clear that Andy MacPhail gets what would be coming to him. No job was offered from either side, and none was expected at this time. It was an exploratory meeting set up to get the basic parameters framed and the starting point set.
“But Ron! What about those sources?!? Ken Rosenthal said he had 3 of them!!!”
Yes. Yes he did. And depending on where the meeting was held, they were either the waiter/maitre ‘d / valet or the secretary / coffee bringer / janitor. Not exactly Deep Throat, I know. But Angelos isn’t exactly Richard Nixon, either.
So let me be the first to congratulate Ken Rosenthal on giving the fans something to think about for a few days besides the 9 game losing streak and utter lack of clutch hitting. It was nice to have something new to angry up the blood. Maybe it can get some hometown fans in the seats this next homestand.
About the Author
Written by Ron Burr
Ron is a lifelong resident of Maryland and has been a passionate player and fan of sports for as long as he can remember. When he is not watching the games or explaining to his lovely wife why he is cursing at the television, he runs an improv/sketch comedy troupe, Drop Three. He can't hit a curveball or run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, but he knows the games and loves talking about it with anyone. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged!