Wilbon and Kornheiser on Cal Ripken and the Nats

October 3, 2013
(Via @Nationals101)
(Via @Nationals101)

Because this is a full-service sports bog, we now offer on-demand transcription services.

“The sound is down at the bar,” a reader wrote, while sending me the above image. “Assume you’ll have transcription tomorrow? I can’t even be bothered anymore.”

“A second vote for a transcript,” someone else chimed in.

With a guaranteed audience of at least two (2) readers, I thus present Wilbon and Kornheiser, on the question of whether Cal Ripken and the Nats might be a match.

Wilbon: “Tony, the Nationals have a roster stocked with talented young players — stars, even — and they think they’re destined for the World Series soon, if not now. With all that in mind, would the Nationals be smart to hire Cal?”

Kornheiser: “I’m gonna give you a comparison. We sat here when the Nets, with a good team, a playoff team, hired Jason Kidd. And we wondered if that was the right move. And then within an hour and a half they got Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, and then we said, whoa! Jason Kidd has never called a timeout. Never. Cal Ripken has never gone to the mound and called for the left-hander. He has never done this. He’s a very attractive person in baseball. I think you have to consider him at any given time. But this is an awfully good team, and he has never taken a pitcher out.”

Wilbon: “I love Cal Ripken. And when I did cover baseball, it was covering the Baltimore Orioles when Cal Ripken was a young man, 21-22-23. And I got lucky enough to have sat around Cal Ripken and listened. And he knows as much about baseball as anybody. But baseball, and particularly the manager, has more decisions to make in a night than Jason Kidd will in a month. I mean, it’s just constant, one decision after another. And I think you want someone – if you’ve got a team that’s not building, they think they’re there, World Series or bust, didn’t they say that? Okay, so wow, I want to see Cal manage, but that’s a lot of pressure on a guy who’s never done it.”

Kornheiser: “John Hart, who was the general manager of the Rangers and the Indians at one time, think this is THE plum job in baseball. Mike Rizzo, the general manager now, might have a hard time hiring Cal Ripken, because the shadow that Cal Ripken casts.”

Wilbon: “Especially in Baltimore and Washington. Huge. I have a hard time thinking he’ll do it, but it’s sort of interesting, right?”

Kornheiser: “If offered, I think he would do it.”

Jayson Werth, of course, has said that Ripken is his top choice. CBS Sports’s Jon Heyman attempted to ask him about all the speculation this week, leading to this:

Ripken said the speculation really took off after he told someone “I’m getting an itch” to get back in the game. But this time Ripken added, “I don’t know where or how.” If Ripken were really interested, it might be tempting for the Orioles’ rival to the south to take a peek. Ripken has received overtures before and always turned them down, so it’s far from a given he’d seriously entertain the idea, even if he did say, “If someone was going to come to me, I’d certainly listen.”

And Mike Wise endorsed the notion on Post Sports Live Tuesday morning.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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