The Cincinnati Reds and Fox Sports Ohio announced that Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin will join the broadcast team in 2021. According to a statement released by the team, Larkin will join the new play-by-play voice of the Reds on television, John Sadak, as the team’s color analyst.
Larkin is one of the most popular Reds of all-time, and one of only three Hall of Famers to spend their entire career in the Queen City. The other two are catcher Johnny Bench and second baseman Bid McPhee.
The Reds biggest offseason addition may be Barry Larkin in the broadcast booth.
This is quite the addition for a team who’s broadcast crew had several questions surrounding it heading into the 2021 season. Thom Brennaman was removed from the broadcast booth last season, and while Jim Day filled in admirably, many fans felt that he was better suited for the role he’ll occupy in 2021; sideline reporter.
Barry Larkin will not be the regular color analyst for the Cincinnati Reds, but will rotate in and out with former pitchers Jeff Brantley and Chris Welsh. Brantley and Welsh will also be part of the radio broadcast with Tommy Thrall who’ll be entering his second season as the full-time radio play-by-play announcer after replacing the Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman last season.
Larkin has previous experience as a studio analyst, working at ESPN and MLB Network. Larkin is a fan-favorite and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012, his third year on the ballot.
This is such good news for a team that has struggled to find much this offseason. After spending a record $165M on free agents last winter, the only major-league contract passed out this offseason has gone to Sean Doolittle, who signed a one-year/$1.5M contract.
No, Barry Larkin will not be taking grounders at shortstop, even though he could probably still outdo some of the youngsters on this year’s squad. Larkin is also not gunning for David Bell’s job. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic is reporting that in no way should this move be perceived to be Larkin trying to move closer to taking over as the team’s next manager.
Reds Country should be happy that Cincinnati native Barry Larkin is coming back home give analysis and cheer on his hometown team this season. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer says that Larkin plans to call 81 home games at Great American Ball Park this season.