Felipe Lopez plopped down at his locker Monday, and Barry Larkin sat directly next to him. For 10 minutes, they discussed playing the infield — the beginning of a discussion that will last the whole spring.
Larkin, the longtime Cincinnati Reds shortstop, was an assistant to Washington Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden in each of the last two seasons. But entering this offseason, he didn’t know if his role would continue.
“But I’m here,” he said. “I want to help in whatever way possible.”
Larkin began earlier in the week by working with third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on his footwork. “He’s great, because he gets right in there and does it with you,” Zimmerman said. “It’s easy to see what you’re doing wrong, because he shows you.”
There are four people mentioned in that excerpt above. Three of those people were formerly associated with the Reds. I wish two of those three were still Reds. I’ll let you guess which two.
The fourth, Ryan Zimmerman, has never been a Red, but he went to the same college as I did, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him come to Cincinnati either. Plus, he can play a little. 🙂
A significant task, though, will be getting Lopez — who is moving from shortstop to second base — and shortstop Cristian Guzman to work together up the middle. To that end, Manager Manny Acta had Guzman’s and Lopez’s lockers moved next to each other Monday.
I’m pretty sure Cincinnati’s double-play combo is better defensively than Washington’s duo, but I’m not sure which pair is better offensively. A lot depends on which Brandon Phillips shows up for Cincy this year.
But listen up, Bob Castellini…you’ve made great strides in emphasizing the historical relevance of the Cincinnati franchise. Time to bring back one of our favorite sons:
Bring Back Barry!!!