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Barry Larkin

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  • willshad
    replied
    Originally posted by J W View Post
    The actual reason why Larkin may be viewed as a "second rate star" isn't A-Rod or Ripken... it's Ozzie Smith. Smith and Ripken were the faces of the Major League infield for some time, with Smith hogging the glory in the NL. Larkin was a star on the level of Alomar -- people who really knew the game marveled at him. He was still worlds better than Smith during his peak... at that time, Smith was an All-Star mainly on reputation. Look at 1995, where the Wiz took AS honors despite putting up a 41 OPS+ in 44 games played.

    I may have overstated things with the ten names comment. Joe Baseball Fan would probably list Smith and Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Roger Clemens, Dennis Eckersley, Dwight Gooden, Jose Canseco and Don Mattingly before he got to Larkin.
    Also, guys like Almoar and Larkin don't have that one thing they can be associated with. They were good at everything, but not really 'great' at anything. Ozzie had the incredible fielding. Ripken had the streak. A-rod and Nomar had the amazing offense. Jeter had the Yankee bias. Even Alomar, despite never winning MVP, eventually became 'known for' his great fielding.

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  • J W
    replied
    The actual reason why Larkin may be viewed as a "second rate star" isn't A-Rod or Ripken... it's Ozzie Smith. Smith and Ripken were the faces of the Major League infield for some time, with Smith hogging the glory in the NL. Larkin was a star on the level of Alomar -- people who really knew the game marveled at him. He was still worlds better than Smith during his peak... at that time, Smith was an All-Star mainly on reputation. Look at 1995, where the Wiz took AS honors despite putting up a 41 OPS+ in 44 games played.

    I may have overstated things with the ten names comment. Joe Baseball Fan would probably list Smith and Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Roger Clemens, Dennis Eckersley, Dwight Gooden, Jose Canseco and Don Mattingly before he got to Larkin.
    Last edited by J W; 12-05-2011, 07:37 AM.

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  • Los Bravos
    replied
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    To you maybe.
    To me, definitely. I'm not alone in that assessment.

    In addition to J W's timeline, there is also the salient fact (and this one might be just "to me") that I don't take any of Alex's Rodriguez's numbers at face value, so they're wholly irrelevant to any discussion of Larkin (or Trammell, or any other shortstop for that matter), at least to me.

    Maybe they are legitimate, maybe they aren't. We'll never know and that's nobody's fault but his,

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  • willshad
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    wWhat's interesting is that, though Larkin won the 1995 MVP, he was better in 1996.

    1995: .319/.394/.492, 133 OPS+, 5.9 WAR
    1996: .298/.410/.567, 154 OPS+, 7.4 WAR
    True, power-wise he had a fluke season. That was his true 'MVP type season', but unfortunately for him, the Reds weren't good that year. Also, more players had great seasons in the NL that year than in 1995, and these factors combined to make Larkin a non factor in the MVP voting. Caminiti was winning it, even if the Reds had finished in first.

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  • Captain Cold Nose
    replied
    Originally posted by Dick Groat's syndrome View Post
    Hal really blows my mind some of the time. It's like he's not even watching the same team that I am.
    In his defense, those were the comments from people posting in the blog. But, yeah, Hal can be out there. When I moved to SW Ohio, he was pretty much in his "BRET BOONE BRET BOONE BRET BOONE" phase, and it really disturbed me. It took a long time for me to respect him after that.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by J W View Post
    All I can say to that is, Larkin's heyday was before that of A-Rod. Larkin was one of the bigger stars of the early 90s; Rodriguez didn't hit it big until the late 90s. When A-Rod first burst onto the scene at age 20 (finishing second in AL MVP voting in 1996), Larkin was already 32 and coming off his own NL MVP in '95. By the time A-Rod started his consecutive string of 40-HR seasons in 1998, Larkin was nearly finished with his peak performance. Cal Ripken would actually be more contemporary to Larkin in terms of when they were stars.

    If you asked Joe Baseball Fan just before the strike of 1994 to name ten current baseball players, there is a good chance Barry Larkin's name would come up.
    wWhat's interesting is that, though Larkin won the 1995 MVP, he was better in 1996.

    1995: .319/.394/.492, 133 OPS+, 5.9 WAR
    1996: .298/.410/.567, 154 OPS+, 7.4 WAR

    Leave a comment:


  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    To you maybe. To me, they are both around the borderline. Both guys suffered from playing at the same time as an all time great shortstop (Ripken, A-rod) and being overshadowed. Even though Larkin's numbers add up to fit comfortably among other hall of fame shortstops, it's just hard to get the thought out of my mind that A-rod was matching his best season(and a fluke season at that), and usually far surpassing it, almost every year of his career. Somehow it mentally makes Larkin seem second rate.
    Every great shortstop in history, with perhaps the exception of Honus Wagner, look "second rate" compared to Alex Rodriguez of the late 1990's-early 2000's.

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  • willshad
    replied
    Originally posted by J W View Post
    All I can say to that is, Larkin's heyday was before that of A-Rod. Larkin was one of the bigger stars of the early 90s; Rodriguez didn't hit it big until the late 90s. When A-Rod first burst onto the scene at age 20 (finishing second in AL MVP voting in 1996), Larkin was already 32 and coming off his own NL MVP in '95. By the time A-Rod started his consecutive string of 40-HR seasons in 1998, Larkin was nearly finished with his peak performance. Cal Ripken would actually be more contemporary to Larkin in terms of when they were stars.

    If you asked Joe Baseball Fan just before the strike of 1994 to name ten current baseball players, there is a good chance Barry Larkin's name would come up.
    Really? I dont remember that well, but I seem to recall him being a 'second tier' type of star. it seemed in the seasons he was really good, he missed a lot of time, and in his full seasons he didn't do much. He started to put it all together around 1995. I recall Roberto Alomar being seen as a bigger star. Looking back, though, they were pretty similar.
    Last edited by willshad; 12-02-2011, 12:08 PM.

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  • J W
    replied
    All I can say to that is, Larkin's heyday was before that of A-Rod. Larkin was one of the bigger stars of the early 90s; Rodriguez didn't hit it big until the late 90s. When A-Rod first burst onto the scene at age 20 (finishing second in AL MVP voting in 1996), Larkin was already 32 and coming off his own NL MVP in '95. By the time A-Rod started his consecutive string of 40-HR seasons in 1998, Larkin was nearly finished with his peak performance. Cal Ripken would actually be more contemporary to Larkin in terms of when they were stars.

    If you asked Joe Baseball Fan just before the strike of 1994 to name ten current baseball players, there is a good chance Barry Larkin's name would come up.
    Last edited by J W; 12-02-2011, 08:54 AM.

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  • willshad
    replied
    Originally posted by Los Bravos View Post
    You're looking through the wrong end of the binoculars. Trammell and Larkin are substantially similar. That means they should both be in the Hall, not that Larkin should be getting the same crummy treatment as Alan.
    To you maybe. To me, they are both around the borderline. Both guys suffered from playing at the same time as an all time great shortstop (Ripken, A-rod) and being overshadowed. Even though Larkin's numbers add up to fit comfortably among other hall of fame shortstops, it's just hard to get the thought out of my mind that A-rod was matching his best season(and a fluke season at that), and usually far surpassing it, almost every year of his career. Somehow it mentally makes Larkin seem second rate.

    Leave a comment:


  • Los Bravos
    replied
    You're looking through the wrong end of the binoculars. Trammell and Larkin are substantially similar. That means they should both be in the Hall, not that Larkin should be getting the same crummy treatment as Alan.

    Leave a comment:


  • willshad
    replied
    Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    Yes, he was.
    I don't know about 'superstar'. 'Star'? Sure. Larkin was really hurt by the influx of great hitting shortstops that came in just as he was hitting his prime. It seemed like all the REAL star shortstops were in the AL, and Larkin always got the all star nod in the NL practically by default. He wouldn't be a bad choice for the hall, but to me, a few more years at his 1996 level would make him seem like a superstar. As it is, what really makes Larkin any better than a guy like Alan Trammell?

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  • Dick Groat's syndrome
    replied
    Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    Larkin was well-regarded. But, his biggest crime toward non-acceptance was he wasn't a member of the Big Red Machine. No matter what happens those memories were invoked. When longtime Reds writer Hal McCoy wrote in his blog about whether Larkin would get elected last month, the discussion pretty much turned into a "Davey ConcepciĆ³n is not in, so Larkin should not be" or "no one should get in until Pete Rose does" argument.
    Hal really blows my mind some of the time. It's like he's not even watching the same team that I am.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cougar
    replied
    Originally posted by J W View Post
    - Barry Larkin won the NL MVP in 1995, and that is generally a good indication of stardom amongst the writers... however, Larkin has only one other top-ten MVP finish and doesn't finish that strongly in overall MVP Shares (1.10, 217th).

    - Larkin went to twelve All-Star games, including eleven in a thirteen year span. Consecutive All-Star games point to a level of stardom in addition to on-field performance. He went to an All-Star game at age 40, normally an indication he had quite a reputation by then.

    - Sports Illustrated named Barry Larkin one of the 11 greatest athletes to wear #11. Notables on the list include Elvin Hayes, Carl Hubbell, Edgar Martinez, Mark Messier, Isiah Thomas, and Norm Van Brocklyn.

    - Speaking of Sports Illustrated, here is a quote from "A Red Menace Once Again", a 1992 article by William F. Reed:



    Reed further explains Larkin's downplayed gravitas not far removed from the 1990 World Championship team:
    This board needs a "like" button.

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  • J W
    replied
    Originally posted by George H Ruth View Post
    How so? Please explain.
    - Barry Larkin won the NL MVP in 1995, and that is generally a good indication of stardom amongst the writers... however, Larkin has only one other top-ten MVP finish and doesn't finish that strongly in overall MVP Shares (1.10, 217th).

    - Larkin went to twelve All-Star games, including eleven in a thirteen year span. Consecutive All-Star games point to a level of stardom in addition to on-field performance. He went to an All-Star game at age 40, normally an indication he had quite a reputation by then.

    - Sports Illustrated named Barry Larkin one of the 11 greatest athletes to wear #11. Notables on the list include Elvin Hayes, Carl Hubbell, Edgar Martinez, Mark Messier, Isiah Thomas, and Norm Van Brocklyn.

    - Speaking of Sports Illustrated, here is a quote from "A Red Menace Once Again", a 1992 article by William F. Reed:

    (Bip Roberts) wasn't comfortable in San Diego, though, where he fell out of favor with manager Greg Riddoch and complained that management had soured the atmosphere. But in Cincinnati, Roberts has been a perfect fit on an overachieving team that, with the exception of shortstop Barry Larkin, has no stars. Roberts arrived with a band of other newcomers who were brought aboard in the off-season's most dazzling display of wheeling and dealing, all of it orchestrated by general manager Bob Quinn. In lefthander Greg Swindell, rescued from oblivion in Cleveland, and righthander Tim Belcher, plucked from Los Angeles in the blockbuster deal that sent Eric Davis to the Dodgers, Cincinnati got two first-rate starters. And in Dave Martinez, obtained from the Montreal Expos, the Reds added a solid defensive outfielder.
    Reed further explains Larkin's downplayed gravitas not far removed from the 1990 World Championship team:

    In a matter of just two months, Quinn had landed not only Roberts and Martinez, but Swindell and Belcher as well. Almost everybody familiar with the Reds and their reputation for conservative behavior was shocked. Still, Quinn had one more matter to resolve. He knew that all his moves would prove futile if the Reds let Larkin get away to free agency. So on Jan. 18 Quinn had breakfast with Larkin's agent, Eric Goldschmidt. By lunchtime Quinn had called Marge Schott, the team's principal owner. Says Quinn, "I told her, 'This is the ballpark figure it's going to take to get Larkin signed.' She didn't like that ballpark, but she knew that we had to sign him. One thing you've got to say about Marge, and I know she has a reputation for being thrifty, is that there's never been a player that we wanted to sign who got away." Larkin signed for a club-record $25.6 million over five years.

    Neither Larkin's teammates nor the Cincinnati fans appear to begrudge Barry his bucks, because everyone knows how much he means to the team. As for Larkin, he pooh-poohs the notion that his contract puts new pressure on him. "The only thing new," he says, "is that I get a lot more calls from people wanting me to invest in things."

    One explanation for Larkin's continuing popularity is that he doesn't think of himself as a superstar. "I'm amoeba man," he says. "I'll take any shape, do whatever it takes, to win." This season he has had to do whatever it takes just to play; a series of injuries has made him a prime candidate for the next BIP trophy. Larkin finally found his hitting stroke after coming off the disabled list on May 8 and boosted his average from .179 to .292. His defense has been so exquisite that even St. Louis fans would be hard-pressed to argue that Ozzie Smith is still the league's premier shortstop.

    Larkin's low-key leadership has helped the newcomers make the transition to Cincinnati, which is not without its pressures. Before spring training Belcher noted that, as a native of Sparta, Ohio, and a Reds fan while growing up, he was happy to be back home. However, said Belcher, "the Reds players live in much more of a fishbowl than the Dodger players, because in the summertime, baseball is the only game in town in Cincinnati."
    Last edited by J W; 12-01-2011, 10:52 AM.

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