Larkin wants to educate and inform in Reds broadcast booth

Barry Larkin interview: Feb. 16, 2021

Reds legend joins FOX Sports Ohio team for 2021 season

Anytime the Cincinnati Reds manager position opens, Barry Larkin’s name comes up as a candidate.

Larkin has never managed, but he’s one of the greatest and most-loved Reds of all time. He still has strong ties to his hometown and the franchise he helped lead to a World Series championship in 1990.

That’s why when on Tuesday the Reds announced Larkin will join their FOX Sports Ohio broadcast team as an analyst for the 2021 season and Larkin was asked during a Zoom interview with local media about his interest in managing in the future, he welcomed the question as a way to put any rumors to rest.

“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 (managing the Reds) it was Bryan Price who was at the helm and it was construed or 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.”

Larkin retired in 2004 after 19 seasons — his whole career — as the Reds shortstop. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. His comments about managing the Reds came during spring training in 2018, a few months before Price was fired after a 3-15 start.

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The Reds turned to Jim Riggleman as interim manager in 2018 and then hired Bell, who is 106-116 in two seasons. If a manager’s job ever came open in the future, Larkin would be interested, but it’s not something he’s looking at now.

Larkin serves a special assistant for player performance in the Reds front office, and he’s unsure how his new job will affect that role.

“That is a fluid situation,” Larkin said. “I have had plenty of conversation with (General Manager) Nick Krall about players, about consistency and messaging throughout the organization. I have played a part in some of the signing of some of the players, so it’s exciting to see how my relationship will evolve with Nick. (Vice President of Player Development) Shawn Pender and I speak just about every week. He keeps me informed, as well as the guys down in the (Dominican Republic), because those are some really important entry points for 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.”

Larkin plans to travel from his home in Florida to Cincinnati for home games. He recently sold his house in Orlando, and his daughter relocated to Miami, so he and his wife will relocate to that area of the state.

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Larkin will rotate duties as an analyst with Chris Welsh and Jeff Brantley, his former teammate. Larkin and play-by-play announcer John Sadak are the new faces on the Reds broadcast team.

Jim Day returns as a sideline reporter, while the “Reds Live” pregame show will again be hosted by Brian Giesenschlag and Sam LeCure. Welsh will help on that show, and Charlie Walter will fill in for Giesenschlag throughout the season.

Larkin has experience as a broadcaster, having worked for ESPN on “Baseball Tonight” and the “Sunday Night Baseball” pregame show and also as a studio analyst for the MLB Network.

“I‘m excited about the opportunity,” Larkin said. “I’ve done this on a national level, and I learned a lot. I’m really looking forward to the consistency and the conversations and that’s what I plan on bringing to the broadcast booth. I know people at home want to know what’s happening on the field and more importantly why it’s happening and I look forward to being able to educate and inform.”

Sadak, who joined the Zoom interview, can’t wait to hear what Larkin has to say.

“This is a pinch-me moment that I don’t think you could top,” Sadak said. “It was hard to top the idea of calling major league games personally, and then you add in a living legend. You can pick his brain. You can watch the game alongside him. You can learn through him. Just incredible. He will instantly become the most-decorated, accomplished person that I’ve had a chance to work with on a regular basis and I can’t wait to get to know him as a person and to be able to have fun with him calling games.”

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