Cal Ripken Jr. approached the Orioles about joining the club in an unspecified front-office capacity and was turned down by principal owner Peter G. Angelos, according to a story posted Friday night by FoxSports.com that cited several unnamed sources.
Fox Sports reported that Ripken, the Hall of Fame infielder and arguably the organization's greatest player, met with Andy MacPhail, the team's president of baseball operations, to discuss a potential job.
But, in a separate conversation, Angelos denied the request, stating that "he did not want Ripken to receive credit once the team returned to prominence," according to three Fox Sports' sources. At least one source told Fox Sports that Angelos did not want to create a perception that MacPhail wasn't in full control.
Saturday morning, Angelos said the report was "inaccurate."
"Cal could make a contribution to any ballclub. I just don't see Cal Ripken as being an assistant to anyone in a baseball context," Angelos said. "If he expressed the wish to do that in some secondary position with the Orioles, which I think he'd never do, obviously that would be something that will be considered seriously. But Cal has many interests and is a very busy guy. I don't think he's ever considered himself available to play some secondary role with the ballclub and appropriately so.
"What the story said is Cal proposed that to Andy [MacPhail], and I find that to be unbelievable, that Cal would somehow take a secondary or minor role in operation of the Orioles or any other ballclub. He certainly has the stature or the background where he could ask for or seek to be the top of the operations of any major league club.
"I don't know of any differences that exist between Cal Ripken and me. If there are any, I'd like to know them from Cal Ripken directly. He was a great player with the Orioles and a friend for many years since he retired. He and I have a lot of contact with each other. We have an excellent relationship in many ways."
Multiple attempts by The Sun to contact Ripken and MacPhail were unsuccessful.
Since MacPhail took over the team in June 2007, he has stressed that Angelos has supported him in his decisions, which have included more attention toward international scouting and a spring training facility that combines minor league and major league operations.
According to Fox Sports, Ripken and MacPhail saw a partnership as mutually beneficial, with MacPhail tapping Ripken's baseball knowledge and Ripken learning administrative nuances from MacPhail. The specific job discussed was not reported.
Since he retired in 2001, Ripken has delved into various endeavors including broadcasting and the creation of Ripken Baseball Inc. with his brother, Billy. The baseball corporation owns three minor league teams, including the Orioles' Short-A affiliate, the Aberdeen IronBirds, in Ripken's hometown.
Angelos said Saturday that he met with Ripken in October to discuss a partnership between Ripken Baseball and the Orioles' minor-league facility in Sarasota.