Larkin Should be a Red
Posted 7/18/2008 11:07 AM EDT on Cincinnati.com
This is a no-brainer. His contract with the Nationals ends after this year. His influence is needed here. Larkin, to me, embodied Team. I had the privilege of watching 16 of his 18 seasons here. Guy did everything he was called upon to do. When the Reds had meat in the middle of the order, he batted leadoff. When they needed him to play power ball, he hit 3rd and had 33 homers, in 1996. He was an artist with the glove -- B. Phillips' forefather. When they needed a grounder to the right side, Larkin did it. Sacrifice? Ditto.
When things needed to be said regarding the club's commitment to winning, Larkin said them, but only rarely and never loudly.
There were blemishes: He could be very political. He and Greg Vaughn led the campaign to get Jack McKeon fired, and he shouldnt have left the last game of the 2000 season before it ended. But these were blips on a Hall of Fame career that was marked by routine, low-key excellence.
The Reds could use his example now.
Time to bring Barry home.