Larkin to leave Nats, join MLB Network
Former shortstop was special assistant to GM in Washington
WASHINGTON -- Barry Larkin said on Monday that he is leaving the Nationals to take a job as an analyst with the MLB Network, which launches on Jan. 1, 2009.
Larkin, 44, spent the past four seasons as a special assistant to Nationals general manager Jim Bowden. He worked with Minor League players on hitting, baserunning and fielding, and sometimes helped Bowden make personnel decisions.
During the final weeks of the 2008 season, however, Larkin was in talks with Bowden about his future with the club. Bowden offered Larkin the first-base coaching job, but Larkin turned it down because of family commitments and business interests outside of baseball. The position eventually went to Marquis Grissom.
"Jim offered me a job, but I needed more flexibility," Larkin said by phone.
Larkin also said the Reds, the team he played with for 19 seasons, offered him a chance to return to the organization this offseason, but he choose to work for the MLB Network, which will air live games, original programming, highlights, classic games and coverage of baseball events.
Larkin is considered one of the best shortstops in Reds history, collecting 2,340 career hits with a lifetime batting average of .295. Larkin also won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1995 and three Gold Gloves during his career.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.