Zaun backed away from his comments Monday, categorizing the incidents as "a little horseplay, a little tomfoolery," according to MASNsports.com. He also apologized to Ripken and former Orioles teammate Brady Anderson, saying he used the "wrong words."
Ripken denied physically abusing Zaun or other players.
"I talked to him because he's a friend of mine. I consider him a good friend," Ripken told the website. "I don't know how it got all out of whack. He apologized and said he used the wrong words.
"There was no abuse, there was no hazing. It doesn't do anything for team unity. He knows that and everybody who knows me knows that."
Anderson also denied ever taking part in abusing rookie players, saying hazing traditions are "absurd."
"I don't believe in rookie hazing or status based on tenure and that nonsense," said Brady, currently the vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles. "Hated it then and wouldn't put up with it as a rookie, and certainly didn't carry on a tradition I thought was absurd.
"I didn't do it and wouldn't allow it done to me. I've always felt that it's hard enough to feel comfortable as a rookie and a veteran's job was to include them and make them feel a part of the team. We want them to perform and help us win games and I never understood how being dismissive of them or dressing them up in silly costumes was a logical path to that desired outcome."
Although Zaun initially said during the Feb. 18 radio interview that he was physically abused, he also defended the actions of his veteran teammates.
"These kind of things don’t happen anymore, but they need to happen more often," Zaun said in the interview, transcribed by AndrewStoeten.com. "And they need to happen with the backing of the management, all the way up to the front office, down to the field manager. You have to allow your veteran players to create the atmosphere that they want in the clubhouse, because at the end of the day, when guys get along and they know their pecking order, and they know the hierarchy, everything seems to work out just fine."