Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Cal Ripken in spotlight for Turner

Oriole Cal Ripken salutes crowd at start of

Oriole Cal Ripken salutes crowd at start of last night's game in Baltimore. (Credit: AP)

Cal Ripken Jr. has spent most of his career at Turner in the comfy confines of the studio come playoff time. But the network has moved him to its No. 1 booth in place John Smoltz alongside Ernie Johnson and Ron Darling, including for the NLCS.

(Smoltz still is with Turner for this year’s playoffs, working with play-by-play man Brian Anderson, but he is a candidate to succeed Tim McCarver at Fox in 2014.)

Ready for the big kids’ table, Cal? “I’m laughing,’’ he said, laughing, when I asked him about the state of his TV game, “because I still think I am dabbling as an analyst.’’

Ripken said he still is learning the technical parts of the gig, and also how to transmit his knowledge to his mouth.

“I know I haven’t had the experience, but I also know inside my head I have some knowledge that can give some insights,’’ he said. “I’m willing to give it a try. It’s made it a whole lot easier to have the guys I’m sitting in between.’’

Tags: TBS

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