Ripken expresses his thanks for 'good job' done by Oates

September 28, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Twelve-time American League All-Star shortstop Cal Ripken voiced gratitude yesterday for the job done by fired Orioles manager Johnny Oates.

"I think Johnny has done a good job," Ripken said. "There's been a rebuilding of Oriole baseball here the last so many years, and Johnny's been a big part of that.

"When I came up, we were competing for the pennant. Then we went through a painful rebuilding situation. The last few years we pushed to take the next step again."

Surprised?

"I've learned not to be surprised by too much that's happened in baseball," Ripken said. "Right when you think you've seen everything, they throw you a curve, so to speak.

"It's the nature of the game. Changing the manager seems to be part of the history whether they are to blame or not to blame. Shake-ups have been a part of baseball. Sometimes you can explain it, sometimes you cannot."

Ripken said that as a player he did not think it was his position to comment on whether he agreed with the move.

"I'm just a player," Ripken said. "Obviously, like everyone else, I have an opinion."

One he chose to keep to himself.

Ripken had no problem explaining himself on the issue of whether he would join replacement players to preserve a consecutive-game streak that stands at 2,009. He would not.

"I don't like to think of the hypothetical and I haven't given it much thought," Ripken said. "But in this case I am certain I know what I would do. I'm a major-league baseball player and I want to play major-league baseball. The replacement players would not be major-league baseball. That's an easy question. I wouldn't play."

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