Barry Larkin will serve as the television analyst for Fox Sports Ohio (and eventually Bally Sports when the channel is rebranded by their new owners) during Cincinnati Reds games in the 2021 season. According to the press release Larkin will rotate with Chris Welsh and Jeff Brantley, both of whom are returning to the television booth. Jim Day is also returning in the role he has served in during past seasons, and he’ll also be bringing back the Jim Day Podcast starting in spring training. And of course, John Sadak will be taking over as the play-by-play announcer in 2021 on the television side – which was announced two weeks ago.
The radio broadcast team will remain the same as it was last season, with Tommy Thrall and Jeff Brantley on most games, with Chris Welsh filling in as the color analyst on some games. It seems that there will be a little bit of rotating among the analysts between television and radio when it comes to Brantley and Welsh. Barry Larkin said that the plan is for him to work all 81 of the Cincinnati Reds home games.
For Barry Larkin, this will be a job he’s had before, but one he hasn’t served in for a while now. The Hall of Fame shortstop previously help broadcasting jobs with both ESPN and MLB Network. He worked those gigs on television until 2015 when he joined the Cincinnati Reds organization in a player development role. Last season he was a special assistant in player performance with the organization. He’s spent plenty of time working in a role roving around the minor leagues of the organization working with players.
As for the role that Barry Larkin will maintain with the organization, here’s what he had to say to the local media on Tuesday afternoon:
“That is a fluid situation as well,” said Larkin. “But I have had plenty of conversations with Nick Krall about players, about consistency and messaging throughout the organization. So it is a fluid situation, but I have had those conversations and I have played a part in some of the signings of some of the players. It’s exciting to see how my relationship will evolve with Nick. Shawn Pender and I speak just about every week, as well as the guys down in the DR, because those are some of the really important entry points for the organization. As far as how I will continue to integrate myself within the organization. I plan that I will still, it’s just a matter of how much time I’ll be able to dedicate to it. It’ll probably be more on a project based situation.”
Also of note: Jeff Piecoro, Danny Graves, and Doug Flynn are no longer listed on the Cincinnati Reds broadcasters page.
And now for the tweet of the day:
Even Fox Sports Ohio has acquired a SS this offseason. https://t.co/okontIdBEh
— Gingersaurus Rex (@HeyGingersaurus) February 16, 2021
Ouch, Reds. Ouch.
That tweet is so funny.
Now, the Larkin move is very interesting. I’ve been getting the feeling lately like Larkin is determined to be a big league manager someday and I would think the more experience he could get on that side of things, the better. This is just speculative, but my initial thought is ” I wonder if he’s getting restless with his role(s) and thus moving onto something else. Or maybe he’s not been very good in those roles.”
Seemed like he tried to backstab Price with the players for the Managers job now he will be in a closer position to do it to Bell.
I have no idea why anyone would think this. I know everyone wants Larkin as the savior manager riding in on a white horse someday, but lets be reasonable. Barry’s been nothing short of a class act. From my perspective he may not even want a manager job, he seems more set up for a front office job.
Now, judging from his remarks, it seems more likely to be the very opposite of this. He may be trying to avoid controversy by separating himself from that side of things. I dont know why I tend to think the worst of people sometimes.
I’m getting a vibe that this is a stepping stone to the managerial job….or at least it could be. He’s perfectly positioned imo—around the players every day to get a feel for their temperaments and work habits, while at the same time verbalizing his philosophies and strategies for the fans. Beyond that, the dude has paid his dues—countless thankless hours on the back fields working with players. When it comes to coaching, your players have to know that you care before they care what you know. Anyone think that describes David Bell? Stylistically, Larkin might not be that different than Davey Johnson or Lou Piniella—tough, fair, supportive. I’d be ok with that.
I like this news about Barry Larkin. The coming season, I believe, is year three of three for David Bell.
I remember reading awhile back – around the time Larking retired – that he taught himself Spanish to 1. be able to talk to his girlfriend/future wife, and 2. to be able to help the Latin players integrate into the clubhouse better.
That certainly speaks to a level of empathy and connectiveness in the clubhouse that other managers have lacked. OTOH, being “too” much of a player’s coach has also been the downfall of previous managers.
I’m just glad that the Reds are keeping him around. Unless he starts publicly ripping Reds management on the airwaves, he will only improve the organization.
Edit – Larkin…my fingers are still a bit stiff from the cold…
Hasn’t Barry pooh-poohed analytics in the past? This could get interesting, especially if Sadak is an advocate.
A shame about Graves. I liked him. Piecoro headed to UK?
It is an interesting move that would distance Barry from the operational aspects of the organization slightly. That might position him in the catbird’s seat if it becomes necessary to not renew David Bell’s contract next year. Just hoping!
“This in no way is any attempt to get me any closer to managing the Cincinnati Reds,” Larkin said. “I’m a David Bell fan, and I support him and want him to do well. I know last time I mentioned it, it was Bryan Price at the helm and it was misconstrued as me saying that I would like to manage, and I think it just created some bad feelings which really weren’t there, but it is what it is.”
Hmm…. anything on Sam Lecure? I really liked him and Welsh going back and forth and he is not shy about singling somebody out.
LeCure will still be on the pre and postgame shows with Brian Giesenschlag according to the press release.
Really liked him in booth when he was there. Probably a better choice than Larkin as color commentator.
Welsh doing some radio. Heard Hal McCoy speak at a Banquet when Joe retired he said Chris wouldn’t get job because Marty didn’t like him. Marty’s gone so things change.
Best for Jim Day to get back on the field. Nice guy, but over his head as play by play.
Quote of the decade let alone quote if the day or year, regarding the acquisition of a SS.
That said, Edwin Encarnacion is available. He played SS once in rookie ball. Just put him out there and let him get to the balls he can get to.
This is making me laugh a bit because when I read the MLB trade rumors site today, the thought occurred to me as well… it is of course a completely ridiculous thought. There is simply no way that old geezer could play an everyday shortstop… and when I think about his D at third when he was a Red… oooohhh his arm accuracy makes me cringe…EE needs to play everyday someplace perhaps… but not as the Reds shortstop. Now… if he were interested in retiring as a Red and wanted to come off the bench and pinch hit… maybe spell Votto some… at something close to MLB minimum…yeah… I just don’t see a match.
Its become even more theater of the absurd.
BC – “Larkin wants to ramp up involvment, find him some stuff.”
NK – “Hmmm… kind of already committed most stuff for 2021.”
BC – “Until we have a full plate for him, put him on the broadcast team. Get rid of Dany, Flynn and that guy who was coming up from Lexington. Cut before adding, not a penny of increase … that’s how we run now.”
The above is a guess, of course. But, based on my dealings right now with companies, scrambling to survive the pandemic … and this ownership group, that loves its former players as “experts” … the odds of that conversation happening is certainly not 0%, IMO.
If this team could only worry about executing in maximizing talent on the field … the way it seems to love wheel-and-dealing with the broadcast talent ….
So the best Reds acquisitions this winter have been Sadak and Larkin. Should make it a more enjoyable season, even if. On the field, the opportunity to step up at SS and SP could work here, but we are defying odds.
Sorry to see Danny Graves gone, I enjoyed his contributions.
Reds Logic: If we draft college relievers based on the belief they can become ML starters, perhaps we can sign a reliever and convert him to SS?
Ladies and gentlemen, we give Cam Bedrosian.
Note: i like this signing in its intended sense quite a bit. Been a long week in the PNW.
Larkin is the best news we’ve had this off season. At least it makes things more interesting.
So Welsh won’t be on any of the TV broadcasts for home games? That’s kind of a bummer. He’s probably my favorite. Always prepared and willing to evolve as he learns more.