Facing a fan base that is irate over 13 years of losing, a dreadful start to the season and now reports that the team turned down franchise icon Cal Ripken for a job, Orioles owner Peter Angelos attempted to extend an olive branch today to Baltimore baseball fans by hiring Billy Ripken as Vice President of Baseball Operations.
"I know many people wanted Cal to re-join the franchise," said Angelos, announcing the hiring at a press conference. "But I think Billy is the next best thing. Look at him. If you squint your eyes, you can convince yourself it is Cal. He is a similar size and shape as his brother. He shares the same genes. And he has literally followed Cal from job to job to job his entire playing and post-playing career. He had to have picked up something along the way, right?"
While the move seems to have placated some Orioles fans who are just happy the team is again associated with the Ripken name, others say it was just another move by Angelos to save a buck. While Cal Ripken would have garnered an executive level salary befitting someone of his stature, Billy Ripken will reportedly be paid $13.25 an hour, game-time only. He will also have complimentary access to the team's post-game spread.
"Cal always picked up the check for him whenever they ate out," said a team source. "Mr. Angelos didn't want to give in on that. Hot dogs don't grow on trees. But in the end it was the only way to get Billy and hopefully put an end to this whole mess with the fans so they'll shut up again."
Ripken will oversee all of the franchise's baseball decisions, including scouting, the draft, signings and trades.
"Or whatever it was that you people were so gung-ho about Cal doing," said Angelos. "You name it, Billy can do it. He has a blank check. Of course, the check will still have to be signed by me, so I'll continue making all the decisions. But, you know, for appearances' sake Billy Ripken is your guy."
Cal's younger brother was tight-lipped at the introductory press conference about what role he will serve with the Orioles.
"Fk face," he said.