The headline on this Rob Neyer piece is “The Worst Thing Ever Written About Barry Larkin.” I might have titled it “The Dumbest Thing Ever Written About Barry Larkin.”

Neyer destroys it. A must-read.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. Yeah… it boils down to Joe Posnanski’s theory that if you’re yard stick is “Is he Willie Mays” then the only person in the Hall is Willie.

  2. @Matt WI: Disappointingly, Joe P. wrote the 2nd worst article about Barry’s HOF admission. See his SI blog. I’m the “Michael Burke” who fights for Barry, but too long after the statement was posted.

  3. Well done by Rob. To compare Larkin with his contemporaries is to compare him with the players who played at the same time he did. Larkin’s career numbers were .295/.371/.444. The average numbers of ML SSs during the years he played were .253/.319/.360 something.

    So, compared to his contemporaries at SS, Larkin had a higher OBP than they had slugging pct. !

  4. @pinson343: Are you referring to his “Gut Factor” post? I’m not sure I took away much negative there… Joe was pointing out the realistic fact that outside of Reds fans, and even in some Reds fan circles, Larkin didn’t have the immediate notion of being a HOF member… But Joe P has consistently talked about how good Larkin was at all things and voted for him… nothing like the article linked in this post. Joe is anti the stock and trade BBWA mindset.

  5. @Matt WI: I know Joe P. can be a brilliant writer. That’s why his article disappointed me. When he talked about the “Gut Factor”, he said flat out that you’d never hear Larkin called a HOFer when he played, and that’s way wrong.

    I understand that he was NOT saying that Larkin didn’t deserve to be elected to the Hall, but on the other hand he made no statement as to why Larkin should be. In response a lot of comments were made by bloggers about how the Hall was lowering its standards by admitting Barry, and his article said nothing to sway that kind of thinking.

    You can talk about the eye test with Barry – how thrilling it was to watch him play – or you can talk about analytics such as WAR that demonstrate that he belongs in the Hall. Joe P. did neither in that article.

  6. @pinson343: Fair enough. I guess I’d seen his other posts explaining why he did vote for Larkin, including last year, that this article didn’t elicit the same feeling for me. His last paragraph starts by saying Over time, Larkin’s greatness has become apparent. There are so few in baseball history who could really do everything well.

    Stepping outside my Reds fandom, I guess I feel that “Joe Fan” probably didn’t see Larkin as an immediate Hall of Fame player, but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t… which I took away as Posnanski’s point: Not everybody that gets in is a sexy pick, but that shouldn’t be the standard.

  7. I really like Rob Neyer. I liked reading his stuff on ESPN.com until they made it an Insider only column. Rob is the reason I joined SABR and although I don’t agree with a fully-analytical approach, I have a lot of respect for his analysis.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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Barry Larkin: Hall of Famer, Hall of Fame

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