Cal Ripken Jr. mulling return to MLB

Cal Ripken Jr. has the "itch" to return to Major League Baseball -- perhaps as a manager.

Ripken said during a recent interview with Rich Eisen of the NFL Network that he would be open to managing in the majors.

A Hall of Famer with the Baltimore Orioles, Ripken has spent the past 12 years running his company, Ripken Baseball Inc., since retiring as a player after the 2001 season. He also has worked as an analyst for TBS Sports during the postseason.

During his interview with Eisen, which was conducted last week, Ripken said that a recent conversation with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly helped pique his interest in managing.

"I have thought about how cool it would be to manage," Ripken said. "And even Donny Mattingly got me thinking about this a little bit more. He said there's nothing like being a player, and coaching is pretty good because you help other people do what it is that they do.

"But managing is the closest thing to being a player, and I've always thought that anyway, internally. Now I'm starting to think about that a little bit more."

Ripken, 53, was asked about Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth's comments to The Washington Post last month that Ripken would be "my No. 1 choice" for the team's managerial vacancy.

Washington is looking to replace 70-year-old Davey Johnson, who retired last month after two-plus seasons as the team's manager.

"I have said that at some point I'd like to come back to baseball," Ripken said when informed of Werth's comment. "And most recently, I said that I'm starting to get an itch to do that. But I'd have to look hard at any opportunity, and so far, I haven't been asked to do anything. So it's very flattering that people think of me that way."

Ripken spent his entire 21-year playing career with the Orioles and is perhaps best known for appearing in a record 2,632 consecutive games. A two-time American League MVP and 19-time All-Star, Ripken is the Orioles' all-time leader in several categories, including hits (3,184), home runs (431), RBIs (1,695) and runs (1,647).

Aside from the Nationals, three other teams have openings at manager -- the Cincinnati Reds, the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago Cubs.

Ripken has not been tied to any potential managerial jobs and acknowledged during the interview that there was "nothing new to report" regarding job offers.

"So far, I've got nothing new to report," he said. "But that's been the consistency, that I've made those statements. And I am getting a feeling that maybe I'd like to get back in."