Monday, April 19, 2010

Angelos Turns Down Ripken! Why Let Facts Get in the Way?

As you all know buy now, a Ken Rosenthal story surfaced on Friday that Cal Ripken, Jr. had approached the Orioles about a job in The Warehouse but was refused by Peter Angelos. A story like that is red meat for Oriole fans who pounced on it with all the enthusiasm and angst you would expect.

To be fair, if this story wasn't about Peter Angelos it wouldn't even be plausible. Angelos has made quite the bed over the years with his meddling, egotistical dealing with the team.

But it just seems like an odd story. The Orioles already work with Ripken in other ways. He owns the Aberdeen Ironbirds, an Oriole affiliate and Cal is involved with the Sarasota spring training deal with a Ripken Baseball Academy being built near Ed Smith Stadium. Why would they be so averse to partnering with Ripken in other ways?

Add to this the fact that Angelos, wisely, went public to deny the story and further stated that if Cal wanted to work for the team, he was more than happy to listen.

But the denial doesn't have the legs that the original rumor has. Even this morning, the Cal snub is being referred to by many media outlets with no hint of the denial. And even on blogs where the denial is acknowledged, the slicing and dicing of Angelos' words is hysterical (in more ways than one). "He must be evil! This must be true!"

But Peter Schmuck has it doesn't really matter one way or the other.

Never mind that Angelos publicly rebutted the story and unequivocally denied that any offer from Cal had been made or refused. This really isn't about who actually said what and when. It's about a set of preconceived notions — some accurate, some not — that reached a hazardous intersection at the same time and caused another collision between fact and fantasy...

No matter how much Orioles Nation romanticizes Ripken, he has no experience running a major league baseball franchise, and he certainly has no experience in the kind of crisis management necessary to turn around this particular organization...

It might simply force fans to face an even harsher reality — that even Cal Ripken cannot save the Orioles.

And this is completely correct. I love Cal Ripken but he's not magic. It would be cool if he was involved in the organization, especially in the minors. And I'd like to hear Cal's side of the story. But this is hardly worth getting worked up about. O's fans are resembling Red Sox fans more every day.

edit: Cal has released a statement.

Nestor is looking to spin this as a "ball's in your court" volley from Cal...looks to me like they've had vague discussions at best. Cal also refutes the statement that Angelos did not want Cal to get credit for a turnaround in Baltimore.


Crawdaddy said...

I know the fan base gets annoyed with me whenever I suggest that I have great trepidation when/if Ripken takes over. He was a great player, is a very good business man, and is wholly unproven in talent evaluation and acquisition.

The best farmer in the world probably is not the best chef. Though, he may be used to being the best and demand more opportunity than he should get to prove how great a chef he is.

Heath said...

I have no idea (to your point) if he's good at talent evaluation and acquisition. He very well may be.

But if we break it down...he may be a good manager but has said (up to this point) that he is not interested in managing. Would he be good at player development? This would be his strong suit at this point. I wonder if he could be employed as a minor league director in charge of instruction of some sort. I don't know. But to think he's going to end the culture of losing with a snap of his fingers is silly.

Ripken played on a lot of losing teams himself BTW.