Re: O'Brien to Larkin: "Your starting services are no longer needed"
I have trouble believing this line of thinking:
"Barry's my favorite player, and he's been with the Reds a long time, so therefore he's earned the right to play shortstop as long as he wants."
In that case, he may well be our shortstop for years--until he's literally physically unable to take the field.
He's 40 YEARS OLD. Not many major leaguers are 40, and most of them are designated hitters. They're certainly not shortstops, a postion that calls for youth more than any other.
We gave him what he wanted 4 years ago, with that bloated 3-year contract--which would, according to everyone, "allow him to finish his career as a Red". We gave him what he wanted last year, when he wanted one more season and to "finish his career as a Red". We even scheduled Barry Larkin Night, when his number would most likely have been retired.
And it still wasn't enough. Time to pull the plug on this guy.
Good luck with that "rooting for a contender" thing, because any team that signs an injury-prone 40-year-old shortstop for the money he'll probably expect is most likely NOT going to be a contender. And that includes the Reds.