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Baseball: barry larkin retires, joins nats front office

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posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 03:59 PM
the reds lost a great player and one would have to think that barry would have been an asset in cincy's office

Longtime Reds shortstop retires, joins Nationals' front office

February 13, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Shortstop Barry Larkin, a 12-time all-star who spent his entire 19-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, has retired and joined the Washington Nationals in their front office as a special assistant.

``While his tasks and challenges will be different than he experienced as a player, Barry's presence coupled with an eagerness to be involved in all facets of our operations will undoubtedly yield positive results for both Barry and the Nationals,'' Washington general manager Jim Bowden said in a statement Sunday.

Larkin, in an Associated Press interview in late January, said he would like to play another season, but could not commit himself to play for anyone other than the Reds, his hometown team. The Reds had rejected his overtures to return for a 20th season, deciding to turn the position over to younger players.

Larkin, 40, said he had turned down offers to start for several other teams because he could not envision himself playing for a different club.

``I thought eventually I'd be able to say, yeah, I can do this,'' he said in the interview. ``But I'm big on loyalty. I couldn't come to grips with making a 100-percent commitment (to another team).''

Larkin's 19-year tenure with the Reds was the longest streak among active players who had been with just one team.

Over 2,180 games, he hit .295 with 441 doubles, 76 triples, 198 home runs, 960 RBI and 379 stolen bases. He helped the team win the World Series in 1990 and was National League MVP in 1995.

Larkin batted .289 in 111 games last season and was chosen for his 12th All-Star team, prompting him to re-evaluate his decision to retire after 2004. He wanted to stay with the Reds for another season, but they decided to turn the position over to younger players.

Until Sunday's announcement, Larkin was managing a sports complex in Orlando, Fla., working in a development management group, spending time with his family and considering his options for playing one more season.

He long had dreamt of working in the Red's front office, but that chance disappeared when he and the team's chief operating officer, John Allen, clashed over a take-it-or-leave-it contract offer late in the 2003 season. Larkin was prepared to leave then; the team reconsidered and negotiated a one-year deal for 2004.

Bowden was the Reds' general manager from 1992-2003.

``I have long admired Barry's on- and off-field knowledge and judgment of the game,'' Bowden said.

In the Nationals' front office, Larkin is joining a former Reds' manager, Bob Boone, and teammate, pitcher Jose Rijo, as special assistants to Bowden

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