FoxSports.com cited unnamed sources on Friday night and reported that Ripken had sought a position with the team in which he'd help mentor the organization's younger players, a prospective job that was reportedly stopped short by Angelos. Angelos responded to that article Saturday morning, telling ESPN's Buster Olney that he never stood in 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 [executive] Andy MacPhail or in some kind of support role of MacPhail," said Angelos, refuting the report line-by-line and detail-by-detail. "If he wants to make such a proposal, I'd like to hear about it."
Angelos went on to tell ESPN that he considers Ripken a friend, and he termed the prospect of rejecting the Hall of Fame shortstop as "an impossibility." The FoxSports.com article cited one possible motivation for declining Ripken's offer as a way of keeping the icon from receiving undue praise when the Orioles rebound, a prospect Angelos deemed laughable.
"That's absurd," Angelos said, according to ESPN's account. "Even if someone harbored such thoughts, I think common sense would tell you that they wouldn't be crass enough to express that."
Ripken, perhaps most famous for his Major League record of playing in 2,632 consecutive games, has found life after his playing career as a tireless advocate for youth baseball. The former two-time Most Valuable Player runs clinics and even a youth championship tournament that bears his name, and he's also been involved in ownership of a few Minor League clubs.
Ripken, who played for 21 seasons with the Orioles, hasn't commented publicly on the FoxSports.com report yet, and neither has MacPhail, the team's president of baseball operations.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.