Actually, Ripken does have sensible ideas about staying in the lineup: "It's no great secret. I like to say I take care of myself year-round. You don't ever have to worry about getting into shape if you never get out of shape. If you have a sore arm, don't throw balls from the hole in batting practice. If you have a sore hamstring, don't run extra. A lot of it has to do with common sense."
Clearly, something should be done if baseball is to head off the Big Hurt. Reds fans are paying to see Barry Larkin, Paul O'Neill and Danny Jackson, but instead they're getting Jeff Richardson, Rolando Roomes and Mike Roesler. Sooner or later, Cincinnati—and all of baseball—will feel it at the box office. The fans will simply get tired of asking, "Where's Kirk Gibson?" or "Where's Bo Jackson?"
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