I’ve mentioned it here before, and I’ll mention it again (I’m sure), but Barry Larkin is my favorite Red of all time. I think he needs to be brought back to the Reds in some capacity (Manager? George Grande’s replacement on the television broadcasts?), and we’ve even devoted a category to that.

As you probably know (we’ve mentioned it several times), Larkin is going to be a candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, for the first time. The consensus is that he won’t make it in, which I think is disgraceful.

In another brilliant post, Joe Posnanski (author of this book and subject of one of my favorite podcast interviews) discusses Larkin’s Hall of Fame chances within the context of some players who are becoming eligible for election this year. It’s a must-read.

Posnanski is going to vote for Larkin, he says, but he lays out the reasons why he thinks Larkin’s support will be lukewarm, at least in the beginning. I agree with everything he writes, but I think it’s a shame that Larkin will have to wait to be inducted. And yes, I’m clearly biased on this particular point.

12 Responses

  1. preach

    I don’t mind Barry being involved with the organization on some level, but please by all that is holy do not let it be around a microphone.

  2. Drew Nelson

    I would love to hear the reasons from the voters on why Larkin didn’t get their vote. My guess will be:

    “He is HOF material, just not first year HOF material”.

  3. jason1972

    I must have missed or forgotten whatever horrible things Barry said in public, can someone give me a run down?

  4. pinson343

    Late in his career, in interviews with the press Barry criticized the Reds management for not making moves to help the team, even when they were in or close to contention at the All Star Break. I heard one such interview on the radio, where he did not hold back. I think this is praiseworthy. I don’t think that will hurt his chances to make the Hall, the writers like players who speak up.

    Joe Posnanski put his finger right on why Barry will not get in easily: injuries. Even early in his career, he lost big chunks of multiple seasons. Late in his career, he could just not stay healthy. This and the strikes hurt his career numbers – not for things like BA, OBP, or OPS, but for total hits, runs, HRs, RBIs, etc. And of course HRs and RBIs weren’t his strength. The writers will go by the “new standard” for SSs in that regard.

    A few other things are going against him. He was a real clutch hitter (an exception to the observation that “clutch” is overrated), but with his playing for the Reds, who would notice ? He has outstanding postseason stats, but not enough postseason appearences for that to help much.

    His defense is not truly recognized. He was better than 3 Gold Gloves would indicate. Should have had a couple more, but Ozzie Smith’s reputation earned him a couple of extra ones at the end of the line.

    Who was a better all around player, Larkin or Ozzie Smith ? The answer is obvious. Yet Ozzie got in easily on the first ballot.
    It already bothers me that the Veterans’ committee (when it was a small group) put SSs like Rizzuto and Pee Wee Reese into the HOF, yet Concepcion is not in. If Larkin doesn’t get in either, it’s really going to piss me off.

    • JasonL

      pinson343: He was a real clutch hitter (an exception to the observation that “clutch” is overrated), but with his playing for the Reds, who would notice ?

      Have to take issue with this. If you look at his various splits (link below), you’ll see that one of the remarkable things about Larkin is that he was the same hitter in virtually every situation. The loans standout is his performance with runners on 2nd and 3rd, but that happened only 199 times in his career, so it’s not exactly a great sample. There really isn’t any evidence that Larkin was an exception to the rule, just that he was consistently excellent.

      Link: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=larkiba01&year=Career&t=b

      • pinson343

        JasonL:
        Have to take issue with this. If you look at his various splits (link below), you’ll see that one of the remarkable things about Larkin is that he was the same hitter in virtually every situation. The loans standout is his performance with runners on 2nd and 3rd, but that happened only 199 times in his career, so it’s not exactly a great sample. There really isn’t any evidence that Larkin was an exception to the rule, just that he was consistently excellent.Link: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=larkiba01&year=Career&t=b

        I can agree with consistent excellence. His postseason performances qualify him as “clutch” in my mind, but one can always say: small sample size. But that’s one of his problems, not much postseason play.

      • RiverCity Redleg

        JasonL: Have to take issue with this. If you look at his various splits (link below), you’ll see that one of the remarkable things about Larkin is that he was the same hitter in virtually every situation. The loans standout is his performance with runners on 2nd and 3rd, but that happened only 199 times in his career, so it’s not exactly a great sample. There really isn’t any evidence that Larkin was an exception to the rule, just that he was consistently excellent.

        Does this not still qualify as clutch? Just b/c you hit well in non-clutch situations does not make it any less clutch to hit well IN clutch situations. It’s not a relevant stat, it’s simply how well you did in thosesituations and Larkin was excellent.

  5. preach

    @jason1972: Actually I was thinking of the GABP induction ceremony where he droned endlessly and made sure to put in his corporate plugs. It was one of the most painful sports memories I have. Seriously.

  6. Cream of Wheat

    George Grande has stepped aside as a FOX broadcaster for the Reds. Imagine Chris Welch moves on. Nothing against George or Chris, but there are many reports of folks watching the Reds on FOX, and putting their TV on mute to listen to 700 WLW.
    Marty, Thom, Jeff and Kent Merker call a GREAT game. BUT why MUTE the TV?
    Answer: Keep the radio crew the same, BUT bring in Sean Casey & Barry Larkin to broadcast the Reds on FOX? Barry Larkin and Sean Casey currently work for MLB network, meaning their feet are wet with broadcasting, play by play etc. Imagine hearing “The Mayor & The Captain” calling the games to Reds fans of all. This would be just right.
    Barry has done NCAA baseball work as a broadcastor. Sean Casey is an all time Reds favorite. This option would give Reds fans a WIN WIN situation on TV and Radio! Dig it? Spread the word to the Castellini Group!

  7. brublejr

    @Cream of Wheat: Not sure about listening to Barry, but I would LOVE to listen to Casey…That would be awesome.

    Since we started this discussion a while ago about Barry, I’ve accepted the fact that he will NOT get in first ballot, mostly because he was overshadowed either by Ozzie defense or Arod/Jeter offense & teams. Barry was one of the top 5 SS of all-time when you put everything together, but he will be hurt by playing in Cincy. Had he played at least 1-2 years in Yankee Pinstripes he would be in first ballot. I just hope he gets in within 2-3 years. My opinion, he SHOULD get in first ballot, but he will get inducted within 3 years.

  8. Bill Lack

    I can’t imagine listening to Sean Casey as a broadcaster…if he talked as much on TV as he did on the field, he’d make my ears hurt… 😀

    I take issue with anyone that says Jeff Brantley calls a “great game”..ugh. He’s worse than awful.