Ripken's opinion on going from short to third

You want to know what it's like to move from shortstop to third base?

You wonder about the adjustments, both mental and physical, that come with it?

You need to know whether Miguel Tejada can make the switch so late in his career?

Here's my question: Why are you asking me?

Instead of subjecting you to my theories and speculation, I'll just let Cal Ripken take it from here. He's more qualified, from what I've been told.

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"The hardest part is reworking the way that you think about the position," Ripken said. "At a new position, you have to learn new responsibilities. There is a mental change.

"The physical change is that the ball comes off the bat at different angles. At shortstop, the ball comes off the bat pretty true. At third base, the ball slices differently off the bat of left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters.

"Dad used to say that when a guy moves to a new position, it would take about 100 games to get comfortable, and I found that to be about right. I have no doubt that Miggy will make the adjustment and do really well. I would tell him to be patient and not get discouraged. He will get more comfortable as the season progresses."

Ripken will be one of the speakers at the Gilman Baseball Coaching Clinic, to be held on Feb. 13 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the school's Redmond C.S. Finney Athletic Center.

The clinic is designed for coaches and parents who have youth participating in all levels of baseball. Other speakers include Bill Ripken, B.J. Surhoff, Scott McGregor, Larry Sheets and Tim Bishop.

Sheets has been hired as Gilman's head baseball coach. Bishop formerly served as the Orioles' strength and conditioning coach.

The cost is $70 in advance (by Feb. 6) and $80 at the door. Call 410-876-7667 for more information.

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