Thursday, June 7, 2012

Orioles Drafted Billy Ripken's Nephew

If there's one thing the Off Base staff absolutely won't stand for, it's blatant MLB Rule 4 Draft nepotism. If there's another thing we won't stand for, it's the Australian National Anthem. Hipsters have ruined the didgeridoo for us. Well, the 2012 draft was full of more former players' relative getting selected. The Orioles got in on the action by using their 20th round pick (612) on Ryan Ripken. Ripken, of course, is the nephew of former Oriole, Billy Ripken.

Billy Ripken played some second base for the Orioles from 1987 to 1992 and again in 1996 but is probably the most famous for this. So Baltimore did him a favor and drafted his 6-foot-6 first baseman of a nephew late in the 2012 Draft. The younger Ripken did hit .377, was named an All Star by the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and is committed to South Carolina. Manager Buck Showalter denied any claims of nepotism...
“First of all, this kid’s got a chance to be a good player,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said from Boston before Wednesday night’s game against the Red Sox. “His last name being Ripken is after the fact. He is an interesting prospect. Obviously, he’s had the right things taught and said to him, and I’m sure he has a grip on reality on how professional baseball works, growing up in it.”
Ryan, excited as he must be, will face a tough-ish decision as he graduates from Gilman High. Since he was drafted after the 10th round, the Orioles can't give Ripken more than $100,000. Orioles VP Dan Duquette expects Ripken to go to South Carolina which would make him draft eligible again in three years. Ryan comes from a well-off family so the money isn't a concern. I assume Billy didn't lose all of his baseball earnings on dog races or a crippling ravioli addiction.

So the Orioles selection of Ripken reeks of pure nepotistical showmanship. We haven't been this disappointed with Baltimore since they ended The Wire after five seasons.

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