It used to be that there was a hierarchy to managing in Major League Baseball, and you were only worthy after leading teams in the minors for a few years. Well, after skippers like Don Mattingly, Robin Ventura and Mike Matheny have had success with no prior experience as a manager, that wisdom is being challenged.
Count Cal Ripken Jr. among those interested in exploring the process of becoming a big league manager — so long as there’s no apprenticeship.
Ripken hasn’t exactly kept a low profile since retiring from baseball, but his pursuits have mostly been in philanthropy, also penning a few books and doing some analysis work for TBS. However, Ripken was asked about managing during an edition of Comcast SportsNet’s Table Manners, and he revealed that not only has he been asked to interview before, but he isn’t necessarily ruling out managing in the future.
“I don’t know. I’ve been asked to interview for managing jobs before, not too long ago,” Ripken said. “And I’ve always thought, if you have no interest in taking in then you shouldn’t go through the process. But I’m curious as I’ll get out there, what questions are they going to ask? What baseball quiz are they going to give me that I can’t answer? So to me it’s interesting.”
Ripken even went on to address his lack of experience. He says he doesn’t think not having managed would be an obstacle for him, and specifically mentions Mattingly, Ventura and Matheny as having set a precedent.
“We’ve seen [Robin] Ventura, who was a surprise pick, Mike Matheny who’s done a really great job with St. Louis and he had no experience whatsoever,” Ripken said. “Donnie Mattingly was a coach under one of the great managers in Joe Torre.
“You gotta sit in the hot seat to learn yourself and the hot seat is that manager seat.”
Would Ripken make a good manager? It’s nearly impossible to say, but with the way that Buck Showalter has handled himself leading the Orioles, the Baltimore job may not be opening up any time soon. Could you picture Ripken wearing colors other than orange and black?
Check out everything Ripken had to say in the video below.
Thumbnail photo via Wikimedia Commons/Cal Ripken Jr.