Ripken has considered return to Orioles
Hall of Famer denies report that Angelos blocked his way
Orioles icon Cal Ripken Jr. set the record straight Monday about where he stands with the club.
Foxsports.com reported on Friday that the Hall of Famer was looking for a spot in the organization but was blocked by principal owner Peter Angelos -- which Angelos later denied to ESPN.com. Ripken said in the statement Monday that Angelos did not stand in his way, and that he has spoken to the Orioles' brass about possibly joining the organization.
"I have met with Andy [MacPhail, president of baseball operations] and Peter on a number of occasions to discuss many subjects," Ripken said. "Ultimately, our discussions have turned to baseball, the Orioles and me. I have enjoyed those talks very much, and, yes, the subject has been broached about me potentially joining the organization. I look forward to those talks continuing."
Since retiring as a player after the 2001 season, Ripken has been a tireless advocate for youth baseball and has worked as an analyst for TBS.
Now, at 49, Ripken said he may be ready to return to the Majors, though he didn't specify in what capacity.
"I have been consistent in my statements about a return to baseball since my retirement in 2001," he said. "With my son, Ryan, approaching the end of high school in a couple of years, I have been thinking more seriously about a return to the big league game. I am more excited now to explore all opportunities and find the right situation that could lead me to the next phase of my life."
Foxsports.com cited multiple unnamed Major League sources in reporting that Ripken had sought a position with the Orioles in which he would help mentor the organization's young players. The report said Angelos stopped that from happening, possibly because he didn't want Ripken to get most of the credit if the organization returns to prominence.
Angelos responded to the report via an interview with ESPN.com, saying that he considers Ripken a friend and that he never stood between Ripken and the Orioles.
"Quite simply, Cal Ripken did not offer to become part of the Oriole organization in any secondary position such as manager or as an assistant to Andy MacPhail or in some kind of support role of MacPhail," Angelos told ESPN.com. "If he wants to make such a proposal, I'd like to hear about it."
Ripken, a two-time American League Most Valuable Player who played in a Major League record 2,632 consecutive games, echoed those sentiments in the beginning of his statement.
"In my baseball experience, rumors and stories seem to break when things aren't going well," Ripken stated.
"First, I want to say that Mr. Angelos never said that he didn't want me to get credit for any success that the club might have. That's just not true. ... I have had a very good relationship with Peter for a long time. He has been an adviser to me, a great supporter of my foundation, and it is because of him that we have an Orioles affiliate in Aberdeen, [Md.]."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.