Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. admitted Friday that he’d “answer the phone” if the Washington Nationals reached out to him about their managerial vacancy this offseason.

ESPN passed along comments Major League Baseball’s Iron Man made during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show. While he stated there were some questions he’d want answered about the position, he doesn’t think his lack of experience in the role should be a serious concern.

“The baseball background that I have—you’re a student of the game—there’s a lot said about experience or lack of experience in managers coming through,” Ripken said. “To me, it’s all about your philosophy—how you handle things, what you’re going to do. And then it’s being able to apply it.”

Ripken understands the risk involved with handing the position to somebody without a long resume of coaching under his belt. That said, he feels his Hall of Fame playing background would allow him to handle whatever issues may arise during a long season.

Eisen provided the full response from the former infielder about the situation:

The job is available, because the Nationals decided to fire Matt Williams after a frustrating season that saw the team miss the playoffs by seven games. Washington went into the season as the World Series favorite, according to CBS Sports.

Williams, who like Ripken enjoyed a successful playing career, with five All-Star appearances and a World Series title, went 179-145 (.552) across two seasons in charge. Missing the postseason led to a quick exit, however.

His lack of success could hurt Ripken’s chances. He was a first-time manager after a four-season coaching stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

General manager Mike Rizzo didn’t definitively say the organization would go in a different direction this time, but he did state that “experience is always helpful. It always adds a layer of expertise to anybody’s resume,” per Chris Johnson of MASN.

In August, Ripken said he previously had serious discussions with Rizzo about the job before they mutually decided it wasn’t the right time and the job went to Williams.

The Nationals need a manager who can handle a lot of egos, as the now-infamous dugout battle between Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon illustrated. The talent is there to make a charge toward a championship, but getting everybody on the same page is a tricky task.

Ripken seems to believe he could handle the high-pressure job. Whether the Nationals are interested in taking a chance on another former player without managerial experience after Williams failed to live up to expectations is the key question.


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