Originally Posted by M2
As I've mentioned elsewhere, what Larkin's doing -- playing SS everyday at age 40 - has only been done by three others in history, Honus Wagner, Luke Appling and Ozzie Smith (and Ozzie barely qualifies on the everyday count).
It's impossible to benchmark him. What can he do? How long can he continue his current performance?
The Reds don't have a replacement for him. They'd need to go out and find one if he retired (something he never committed to in the first place). As long as he's willing to play for something like his current contract, I don't see the problem with taking the chance that he can milk another year out of his talent.
If he finally hits the wall, then that will be the end. Yet he could also go on an Applingesque run the next two years, helping the team and cementing his legend in the process. I've always been of the opinion that you have to allow the greats a chance at greatness. Only they can define it.
Larkin coming back could be a mistake or it could be one of the coolest things we ever get to see in the game of baseball. Time will tell and, personally, I'm looking forward to discovering the answer.
Great post, M2 and my sentiments exactly, except that I don't think it really could be a "mistake" either for him or the Reds unless they pay him too much money.
I love to see the greats go down with a fight like some that were mentioned above, like Jimmy Connors, and others. I much prefer that to seeing the Sanders, the Jordans, and the Borgs quitting while they still have so much to give and show.
If Barry's star is diminished by coming back in any eye, then that is a problem with the observer and not the player.
With Barry, I think what this year has shown is how much his injuries have held him back over the last 5 or 6 years. If he stays healthy, I think he could easily have 2 or 3 more years left in him.