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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Cal Ripken Jr. reportedly a possibility to manage Nationals

Cal RipkenDavey Johnson will be out as manager of the Washington Nationals after the season, and Cal Ripken Jr. could be a possibility to replace him, according to a report.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says Johnson is “not coming back” after two years on the job, which was the plan going back to November. Johnson led the Nats to their best season in franchise history — a 98-64 year in 2012 that included a playoff berth. But the team has been a disappointment this season and is currently 65-65. Despite the disappointing season, the Nats are loaded with talent and their managerial job is a desirable one. Passan says Ripken is one of the possibilities to become the team’s next manager.

Passan mentions former Arizona Diamondbacks teammates and current coaches Matt Williams and Jay Bell as possible replacements for Johnson. He also says a source told him not to count out Ripken, though he described the lifelong Baltimore Orioles shortstop as a “longshot.”

In an interview with CSN Chicago last week, Ripken said he was interested in managing.

“I have no idea [what it would be like to wear a jersey other than the Orioles],” Ripken told Chuck Garfien last week. “I’m sure that would be strange in some ways. I guess you almost can look at your career and say ‘my playing career represented this,’ and now maybe you look at the second opportunity differently. Ideally you’d want to do it with the Orioles, but you have to look at what the opportunities are and who might be interested you and who might not.”

Ripken says he has been asked to interview for managerial jobs many times in the past but turned them down. He would be open to managing now, though.

“I’ve been asked to interview for many manager jobs and I never said yes because I was never serious about it. I haven’t been asked by [the Nats].”

When asked if he would be willing to interview for the Nats job if asked, Ripken seemed open to it.

“I think I would be more curious at this stage in my life than I have been. It’s kind of a maybe.”

Ripken played 21 seasons with the Orioles and is the player most strongly identified with the team. But the O’s are doing very well under Buck Showalter and wouldn’t have a spot for him. If he wants in as a manager, Washington might just be a perfect spot.

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