The Washington Nationals‘ search for their new manager kicked into high gear this past week when they interviewed Randy Knorr, Brad Asmus and Matt Williams. One guy that many believe they should consider or even hire is Cal Ripken Jr. Instead, the Nationals should stay away from the living legend.
Ripken has been out of baseball since 2001 and hasn’t been a part of the game outside of media appearances since then. A lot has changed since his playing days, and Ripken has created quite the comfortable life for himself in his retirement. Returning to the year-round grind of the MLB just wouldn’t be good for him or the Nationals.
Outside of baseball, Ripken runs a charity in his father’s honor and has a number of other time-consuming ventures. All the extra things going on in his life could prove to be a distraction from his commitment as a manager. I don’t think I need to tell you that managing in MLB, especially a team like the Nationals, deserves someone’s undivided attention.
It’s been over 13 years since Ripken last did anything in baseball. In 2010, there were rumors that Ripken would return to the Baltimore Orioles in a part-time role until his son graduated from high school, after which he would take on a full-time role as an advisor. If the Nationals want Ripken wearing a curly “W” that badly, bringing him in as an advisor would be the better idea. But, they have Davey Johnson in that role, so why would they add another?
The Nationals would be better suited with someone that has been in baseball within the last decade, whether it’s Williams or Knorr. Going with Ripken would be great and would certainly sell a lot of tickets, but it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the franchise to have the future Hall of Famer in the dugout.