Let's start with Barry Larkin and see where my final day before I do afternoons every day takes us before I head outside.
I wrote about Barry not being a candidate for the gig at the Athletic. Do me a favor and read it, or at least click the think, subscribe, then scroll down and click on the smiley face.
A couple of things beyond what I wrote in the piece...
*I don't believe for a second that Barry Larkin not being a Reds managerial candidate is Barry Larkin's choice. I don't believe that he'd go from openly lobbying for the gig this spring to removing himself from consideration once it's become open. I think he pissed off the wrong people when he started campaigning, and for all that Dick Williams said yesterday about Larkin continuing his role as a minor league instructor, it wouldn't shock me if the hall of famer is no longer working for the Reds once 2019 arrives.
*I think naming Barry Larkin the new manager would've sent a message that winning in the short-term wasn't feasible. Not that first year, first-time managers can't win immediately, but hiring Barry would've sent signals that while he learned the ropes of being a big league skipper, the team itself would still be a work in progress.
*The best feel-good story even would've been Barry Larkin returning to manage his hometown team, and adding to his legacy by winning a World Series. The worst story ever would've been Barry Larkin returning to manage his hometown team and either him being lousy at the job or the team being bad, necessitating his departure, perhaps amid some ugliness. As someone who still reveres Barry Larkin, I think there are too many other qualified candidates to want to see him fail.
*I think that Barry Larkin not being a candidate says at least a little about who will ultimately be making the decision about who the next manager is. This is a good thing.
Here's some stuff...
*One more on the Reds: Game 158 was frustrating as hell, even though it meant little. Yes, I'm still watching. Yes, it's still painful to watch them load the bases in both the eighth and ninth inning only to walk away with nothing.
*On Matt Harvey: I'm not nuts about signing Matt Harvey. This piece about him was written in early May, right when he's exasperated the Mets to the point that they were willing to let him get away in exchange for the remains of a broken-down catcher. Read it and tell me that Harvey is a pitcher you want the Reds to invest in.
*Scooter's batting title pursuit: Does it matter? Sure. Gennett winning a batting title would round out for him what's been a remarkable journey from srap heap to All-Star, and maybe, cornerstone of the team. Does the achievement resonate with the public? Not that much.
Quick! Who won the NL batting title last year? You probably have no idea. The problem isn't that we know that batting average is not the best indicator of who the best hitters are, it's that no one metric that's easy to follow and resonates with fans has emerged to replace it.
And we've so overwhelmed by stats and data, that despite 99 percent of them being very useful, the volume of numbers and info has kind of drowned out individual achievements like batting titles.
Still, it'd be cool if Scooter could enter the last day of the season with a chance to overtake Christian Yelich, and if he doesn't I'll be paying attention.
*Bengals/Falcons. Early feeling is Bengals +5, the over, and the Falcons winning a close one outright. The Bengals, and slap me for using this cliche, are neither as good as you though when they were 2-0, nor are they as bad as you might claim them to be after a loss to Carolina. I worry about the defense, against Atlanta's explosiveness, but even a depleted Bengals offense can enjoy the soft landing of a really beaten-up Falcons D. I'll feel better about this when we know whether AJ Green is a full participant at practice tomorrow, but I'm really not ruling out picking the road team.
*Speaking of...I'll be at Barleycorn's in Cold Spring for the game on Sunday. We'll have 48-ounce pitchers of Bud Light for $6.50, and your chance to win tickets to an upcoming Bengals game are on the slate along with my general gameday joie de vivre. These watch parties are always fun. I hope to see you there.
*I'm totally on board with Rick Pitino being around my favorite college basketball program. "Being around" really can't include NCAA trouble, and say what you want about him, I loved how his teams played. If he can impart some wisdom that can help my team play the way his teams did, then I'm one billion percent down with this...
Spoke to & saw the @GoBearcatsMBB. Young & hard working group.Talented at 1/2/3 positions. Raw at 4/5 spots, but if they develop, another super season . Jarron Cumberland multi talented scorer/passer.You know they will bring it on defense . Mick’s new renovated arena is special! pic.twitter.com/6V3blUg5AM— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) September 25, 2018
Here's some other stuff....
When my dad died in 2009, Paul Daugherty wrote a beautiful column about him that hangs in my home office. His eulogy to his own father, who passed on Saturday, is even better than what he wrote about mine.
Don't know about you, but here's what I'm doing on Thanksgiving. Damn, this looks good...
Radio Show: Back tomorrow. Life is a day away from being perfect. ESPN1530 or on your favorite listening app.