The offseason calendar for the Orioles has flipped to a new week with no news about front office hires, managerial candidates or the impact on the coaching staff and in player development and scouting.
It shouldn’t be much longer before the Orioles decide on a president of baseball operations. They likely have someone in mind, but any further delays could be tied to whether they want to interview an executive with a team that’s still in the postseason.
There has been some speculation in the media and among fans about Cal Ripken Jr. returning to the organization. The timing makes the most sense right now. But it isn’t in the cards.
Ripken isn’t interested in managing. He was intrigued by the Nationals vacancy a few years ago, but nothing came of it. The story was blown so far out of proportion that it practically burst at the seams.
The Orioles are interviewing candidates for the position of president of baseball operations, and that’s the job Ripken wants if he’s going to move into another phase of his baseball life. He wants to run a team, tapping into his skills on the business side as well as the personnel side.
The chance to be manager, coach or shaker of hands in a public-relations role isn’t going to bring him back.
Ripken hasn’t been involved in the interview process that unfolded after the Orioles decided not to retain executive vice president Dan Duquette. The expectation is that they’re going to hire someone with past experience in a major league front office, and that individual will bring in a GM type.
The Orioles are known to seek someone from outside the organization, as stated in their press release, which kept Ripken in the running by definition. He isn’t working for the team. But he isn’t under consideration at the moment.
It won’t break his heart, but there’s probably some disappointment because this might be the last chance for Ripken. The Orioles haven’t had a president of baseball operations since Andy MacPhail’s contract expired following the 2011 season and he declined an offer to stay in order to be with his ailing father.
Duquette was given the title of executive vice president, but the front office structure is changing again.
Returning Ripken to the organization would have thrilled fans who keep reaching for the past while trying to forget the mess that’s been dumped in front of them. They’ve been campaigning for it since his retirement. But Buck Showalter served as manager since August 2010 and there wasn’t a front office position that the Orioles were willing to make available to Ripken.
If it’s not happening now, Ripken probably will give up on the idea and go about his business, which certainly has been fulfilling since he hung up the uniform. Especially regarding the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Ripken Baseball. But I truly believe that he’d be a tremendous asset in a front office.
Fans may have to be content with Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Eddie Murray coming back to the Orioles in special advisor roles.
As for the personal side of his life, Ripken and Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Laura Kiessling were married on Oct. 7 and continue to reside in Annapolis. And yes, Adam Jones bought Ripken’s house in Reisterstown back in May - another story that got more attention than it warranted.
Jones also isn’t expected to come back to the Orioles.