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Barry Larkin’s Thursday News and Views

Good morning, my beautiful KSR family, and welcome to yet another highly anticipated edition of the News and Views.  Wednesday brought a bit of a slow day as the both the Kentucky basketball and football teams get set for a big Saturday afternoon.  Coach Cal’s squad will kick off conference play against the sly Mark Fox and Joker Phillips will look to end his first season on a high note with a win in the Compass Bowl.  But, before we get going with all the Big Blue goodness, let’s take time to pay tribute to former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin.  Larkin fell just short of collecting enough votes for the Hall of Fame Wednesday, but since I can’t choose between celebrating my dad’s 50th or my son’s first birthday on Thursday and because my one-year contract as KSR Czar doesn’t guarantee I’ll be around to celebrate his induction next year, we’ll honor him just the same this morning.  If there was a face of the Cincinnati Reds in the late 1980s and 1990s, it was Larkin, whose nifty glovework and above average bat made him a regular fixture at the All-Star game and earned him the franchise’s first MVP in nearly 20 years in 1995.  He might not be remembered with all of the fanfare of a guy like Derek Jeter, but his numbers compare pretty favorably.  Barry Larkin, may the sun shine on you next year.  And may your son have a change of heart before torturing himself for four years.

Now onto a few UK notes…

 – As has seemed to be the case for the past few days, a lot of the talk Thursday centered around recruiting, which has become quite the comfortable luxury around these parts lately.  ESPN’s Dave Telep reported that DeAndre Daniels will be making his call on Thursday and it will most likley be Kansas.  However, there still seems to be a small minority that believes things could go either way still between the Jayhawks and the Cats.  Meanwhile, fresh off a trip to Wichita to see Perry Ellis, Coach Cal headed to the northeast to check out a pair of five-star teammates, Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski.  It’s tough to say how much either of those guys have in the Cats at this point as they haven’t been really mentioned much as a major player, but you know better than to count him out.  And for those of you saying Murphy looked like a Dukie, he’ll visit Cameron on Sunday.

 – Just prior to Christmas break, Coach Cal said that it looked like the Cats would be coming in with grades above the 2.8 benchmark.  On Thursday, Cal’s suspicions were confirmed with a report that UK’s basketball team earned a 2.82 GPA for the fall semester, which was the highest so far since he’s been coach.  I’m among those that finds this fairly irrelevant for the most part, but congratulations to the team for beating my first semester GPA.  Based on the jaw-dropping post-college success I’ve found, I’m sure you guys all have a bright future too. 

 – Before he took off for his trip to Rhode Island, Coach Cal briefly discussed his desire to expand UK’s rotation during SEC play by finding another one or two guys who can contribute.  The issue of depth has been an interesting one to this point as Kentucky has survived what many expected to be such a noticeable weakness, but the concern hasn’t necessarily subsided without anyone from the Hood-Poole-Vargas stepping up as the Cats get ready for conference play.  Someone has to turn the corner from that group.  Cal will keep playing six if they don’t and, at some point, that will catch up with them.  The new season starts Saturday.  Let’s hope one of those guys can take advantage of the opportunity.

 – If you haven’t been keeping track, Pitt is favored by 3.5 points for the Compass Bowl.  Yes, the team that has lost two head coaches, a defensive coordinator and one of the best defensive players in the nation since the end of the season is still favored over the Cats.  I want to say easy money, but…

 – In more important news, Aaron Boyd Tweeted out that the Cats defeated Pitt in a “Dougie” contest.  More importantly, no state troopers had to break it up.  See, Charlie Strong, it can be done.

 – For a change, it wasn’t a bad night for the SEC.  In his final game before disappearing into an suspension (except for the UConn game), Bruce Pearl captained Tennessee to a beatdown of hated Memphis.  After the game, his wife updated her Facebook to compare her husband to Joshua.  Then, Mike Slive banished him from Thompson-Boling like it was the Garden of Eden.

 – Before he put his great leadership on display, Pearl conducted a strange, but tear-free interview with Jimmy Dykes in which he declined to say why he should remain as Tennessee’s head coach (he’s saving it for the infractions committee) and said, “My faith in God has never been stronger and my faith in man has never been weaker.”  He forgot to add “and my team’s non-conference performance has never been more pathetic.

 – In case you haven’t heard, Rajon Rondo is good.  12 points, 10 rebounds and 22 assists good.

 – On a non-sports note, if you’re a fan of hip-hop check out Bomani’s take on the current state of affairs over at his blog.  It’s as well-written as anything you will read.  Ever.  On the whole internet.

 – Finally, a shout-out to our buddy Evan Daniels for a stellar television appearance on Courtside with Seth Davis.  The guy is so smooth and so good, it almost makes you forget he had BTI holding him back all those years at Western.  And, on a related note, the Seth Davis show is one of the best unknown shows on the air.  You should check it out.  If only for the Jerry Tipton segment each week.

That’s it for now.  Stay tuned throughout the day as we get you all set for the BBVA Compass Bowl and finally (we hope) hear a DeAndre Daniels decision.  As usual, the fun gets going with Kentucky Sports Radio at 10am on Talk Radio 1080.  Make sure you stick around.  See you in a few…

Article written by Thomas Beisner

40 Comments for Barry Larkin’s Thursday News and Views

  1. mores
    12:04 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Thanks for the heads up on the line. I look forward to Vegas buying me a bottle of bourbon this weekend.

  2. CalifCatFan
    12:10 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Good morning, Mr. Breisner.

  3. CatFan4444
    12:12 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Yeah, Tenn won big against a Memphis team that can’t play a lick of defense and Bruce does get the boys up for the big teams…heck they’ll probably go on the road and beat UConn..they sure are playing a lot of big east teams. I think the Cats will beat UGA on Saturday.

  4. kentuckygr8
    12:13 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Darn I was hoping you were going to post what’s with this rumor of Enes Kanter appeal tomorrow

  5. Drugs Delaney
    12:28 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Do the RI recruits play at Cornhole Academy?

  6. 4-8-15-16-23-42
    12:37 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Larkin deserves to be in the HOF and his bat is definitely “above average”. Thanks for putting some baseball insight on here from time to time Beisner, especially when it comes from the Reds!

  7. Dunph
    12:43 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    5) Cornhole Academy sounds like it really sucks the big one. I can’t believe they make everyone work a lot and not smoke.

  8. BlueJ
    1:00 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Does anyone else think the strangest commercial ever is the logi tech commercial with the guy who wants to be Kevin Bacon?

  9. tdogg4033011
    1:19 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    FREE ENES !!!!

    1:23 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    8–that commercial is hilarious b/c it’s actually kevin bacon…you do realize that right?

    1:35 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    No, he did’nt realize that

  12. BPsycho
    1:38 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #7 Careful, you used “the big one” people are gonna think you’re that dude from the rant email lol

    #8 If by “strangest” you mean “best”, then yes I agree.

    #9 Holla!

    #10 Lol

  13. BlueJ
    2:03 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    No, I did not. I guess it’s less weird now.

    2:17 am January 6, 2011 Permalink


  15. GoCats2
    2:24 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Rajon Rondo is flat out unstoppable and he is still not getting the respect he deserves. The Celtics struggled the last few weeks and everyone said it was KG. THe Celtics win without KG but they dont win without Rondo.

  16. GoCats2
    2:25 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #6 I hate myself and I hate you because I know what those numbers mean.

  17. That's my boy!!!!
    2:27 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Larkin=favorite red EVER

  18. BPsycho
    2:37 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #16 If I ever see J.J Abrams, he’s getting punched in his ****** ******* face…

  19. SexnNursinHomes
    5:50 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    So Bruce Pearl is an truthful guy now huh?
    About as truthful as a cup full of purple unicorn piss.

  20. bluesince66
    6:14 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    The year the Reds won it all Barry Larkin was the best player in the world. If he doesn’t get in something is just not right.

  21. Salty Bartender
    6:35 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Jimmy Dykes is a Dork

  22. steviesdroppedtdcostmeagrand
    7:21 am January 6, 2011 Permalink


  23. BravoBigBlue
    7:23 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Pearl is a swine. Dooley is a goofball. Tennessee is a joke. Except of course Pat Summitt, who is totally hot.

  24. Maesh
    8:01 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Larkin is a Hall of Fame guy, or will be one day. He has an MVP to his credit, tons of Silver Sluggers and Gold Gloves, a fairly consistent BA across his career, and his and Alomar’s stats line up pretty equal to be honest (I’d give the slight edge to Alomar though).

    Most importantly, however, Alomar’s career RBI stat is 1134, which, if typed in a calculator and turned upside-down spells “hell” and is more than enough reason NOT to have voted him into the HOF.

  25. Al's IndiCats
    8:09 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    I guess you could say that Jimmy Dykes made Pearly do some “Violent contradictions” in his interview last night.

  26. ThatsAShame
    8:10 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Larkin’s stats may be comparable to Jeter except the glaring post season discrepancy. There are players who compile numbers over the course of many years. Not necessarily great, just good for a long time. Larkin was good for a long time, not great.
    Although there are plenty of HOF’s that were good for a long time.

  27. UKFanCincy
    8:18 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Rondo also had 6 Steals. Just sayin.

    Barry Larkin is the reason my favorite # is 11. That was my baseball number all my life. He should be in the Hall of Fame for all he did on the field.

  28. Kingery
    8:23 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    23…that’s just gross dude. Don’t joke about that

  29. BlueJ
    8:26 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    26. Larkin was great for many years. He was the best shortstop in the national league for many years.

  30. JRA
    8:30 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    I think UK will miss Hartline more than Pitt will miss the coaches! If UK thinks this will be an easy game and not show up to play full out every play the game will be over before half time.

  31. Pokey Chapman
    8:38 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Larkin’s problem is he had to play on some not very good teams. Pastner won’t last long if last night is any indication and I’d be interested in seeing a topic on which game Sat. Big Blue Fans are most interested in.

  32. bluesince66
    8:39 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Best I can remember Larkin never spit in an umpires face either.

  33. Just saying
    8:45 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    just got off the phone with a close friend of mine in the athletic dept. He thinks today is gonna be a pretty rough day for UK basketball, as Daniels is expected to announce Kansas, and the news on Kanter doesnt look positve.

    Good news is Daniels was a luxury, not a necessity, and most of us kinda expected Kanter to not be eligible, so its not not like the bomb dropped

  34. Bluecalizone
    8:49 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #33—I believe You,,,,Not. But I’d say the contents are correct. Just Saying,,,,,

  35. bobby sue
    8:57 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    UK lost there starting qb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why would you bet on them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Morgan Newton is as inconsistent as a wet fart

  36. Ugh
    9:22 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    we’re pimping for seth davis now? Point against the new management.

  37. Roach K
    9:33 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Pearl is strange on a good day.

  38. john4uk
    10:35 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Hey Pearle,it’s too late to pray when the Devil comes.Enjoy your sabbatical.

  39. tyrus
    11:07 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Yes during Barry Larkin’s prime, he was one of the top shortstops in baseball. But once his skills started to decline, he refused to even think about moving to another position. It became all at about himself and not for the betterment of the Reds team. In protest and I don’t remember what Larkin was wining about that time but he took off the “C” (denoting captain) from his jersey. Reds management made a big mistake by giving him a huge contract while it was obvious his skills were diminishing. He became a cancer in the clubhouse. He was in total denial and did very little to help out the younger players on the team.

  40. Harley Wells
    3:12 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Bomani is black?