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.’’