CINCINNATI — Barry Larkin was in town over the weekend to celebrate Pete Rose’s induction into the Reds Hall of Hame.
Rose joins Larkin as the only other Cincinnati-born player to be so honored. It’s been widely speculated that Larkin will add another thing Rose did to his resume: manage the Reds.
Larkin said managing is not in his plans.
“I can’t answer that specifically now,” Larkin said. “Right now, what I love the most is player development. I don’t how much player development there is at the big league level in the manager’s position. So, at this point, I don’t think that’s the right move.
“What I do enjoy is the relationship and working with guys. That, at this particular point, is where I am. That’s where I like to be.”
There’s some wiggle room in that answer.
The Reds manager job, of course, is not open.
But Bryan Price is the final year of his contract. The on-the-field struggles this year have more to do with roster and injuries than anything under Price’s control. But managers often take the fall in cases like this.
When and if the job opens, my guess is Larkin is considered. His only managerial experience is as the manager of Team Brazil in the World Baseball Classic. But teams have hired former players without managerial experience on regular basis over the last few seasons: Mike Matheny in St. Louis, Robin Ventura with the Chicago White Sox, Walt Weiss in Colorado.
Larkin’s resume is as good as it gets aside from lack of managerial experience: Hall of Fame playing career, fluent in Spanish, team captain.
The Castellinis brought Larkin back to organization as a minor league infield instructor last year after 10-year absence.
He was promoted to special assistant to the general manager with the Reds. He spent three weeks at spring training. During the season, he spends time at the various minor league operations.
“I love it,” he said. “I enjoy the relationship with many of the young players. I get to see them come up. I got a chance to work with Adam Duvall. It’s great to see him with 20-some home runs. I have a personal relationship with (Zack Cozart). I work with Jay Bruce.
“I’ve had a chance to work with all these guys and see them in the big leagues doing it is great. It’s their time. If I can help get them on their way, it’s very rewarding.”
So for now, Larkin isn’t thinking about getting back on the field as a manager.
“Player development is something I’ve always loved,” he said. “To get a chance to do it with this organization with people who know who I am and what I bring has a little more credibility to it. The kids understand that. It’s rewarding both ways. I think I’m helping them and they’re helping me.”