Ripken Lends Advice to DeRosa

It's getting slightly less attention than Alex Rodriguez's position switch but Mark DeRosa is also transitioning to third base on a regular basis. And before either of them did it, so did Cal Ripken Jr - who has some advice for the struggling DeRosa.

Ripken who was in Atlanta last week to appear on the TBS Friday broadcast and conduct a kids clinic with his brother, Billy.

LF Chipper Jones was supposed to join them for the clinic but had another commitment, so DeRosa was asked to do the job.

Yes, Ripken and DeRosa talked shop. Ripken waited to be asked, not wanting to impose. No kidding.

Ripken told DeRosa not to play too deep. "You don't want to cut the shortstop's angles off," DeRosa says. "Moving from short to third you just automatically assume the ball is going to be on you, that every ball's going to be hit really sharp. He said you have a tendency to get real jittery. Don't get that way; make sure your mind registers the ball before you run yourself into a situations where your footwork's going to screw you up.

"The balls that are going to get rapped at you are going to be reaction plays anyway. It's going to be bang, bang. He's saying that when people move over to third, they have a tendency to assume that every ball's a rapper at you. He said he misplayed balls in his career thinking they were hit a lot harder than they were."

DeRosa would have improved at third with time anyway, but perhaps coincidentally, he made some spectacular stops and throws to first after the Ripken consultation.

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