Hereby appoints itself Manager for a Day...

THIS DEPARTMENT

July 10, 1993

THIS DEPARTMENT hereby appoints itself Manager for a Day of the Baltimore Orioles, a fitting move for the All-Star celebrations.

Having vested ourselves with this new authority, we will address the problem of what to do about Cal Ripken, who, as everyone knows, is not having a career year.

Johnny Oates, the titular manager of the Birds, has been playing the junior Ripken in third or fifth spot in the batting order.

As an exercise in nostalgia and as tribute to one of the biggest salaries in baseball, this is in keeping with Mr. Oates' well-known diplomacy. Earl Weaver he is not. But it does not speak well for his undoubted sagacity.

After the All-Star Game Tuesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which will begin as usual with Baltimore's superstar at shortstop, Mr. Ripken should be moved lower in the batting order, say to eighth or ninth position.

This is where shortstops usually bat. This is where Mark Belanger toiled many a year while performing flawlessly in the field.

The time has come to take the pressure off Cal R., especially now that he no longer has a father and a brother on the team to give him daily encouragement.

The time has come to let him be just a normal shortstop, or as normal as an iron man on his way to a consecutive-games record can be.

If he should recapture his batting magic, never fear. We will reappoint ourselves Manager for a Day and move him back up in the batting order.

...* * *

WHEN Ruth Bader Ginsburg assumes her seat on the U.S. Supreme Court (assuming confirmation in the Senate, which seems at this stage a safe assumption), her presence will double the percentage of women on the high court to 22 percent, just about even with the percentage of women lawyers in the country.

Over the last decade, women have been entering the legal profession in increasing numbers and, as of last year, comprised about 23 percent of the lawyer population in the country, according to the American Bar Association.

The number is increasing rapidly; in 1988, women comprised only 16 percent of the legal profession in the U.S.

Meanwhile, lower-level federal courts have some catching up to do. Currently, only 24 judges on United States Circuit Courts are women, or 15 percent.

Only 65 judges, or 12 percent, on United States District Courts are women.

At least it is encouraging to see the composition of justices on the Supreme Court more in sync with societal changes.

The Clinton administration has made it pretty clear that over the next four years, the number of women on the lower federal courts is likely to increase dramatically, too.

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