Saturday, April 28, 2001
Larkin blames injury for errors
By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer
DENVER The .362 batting average Barry Larkin took into Friday night's series opener against the Colorado Rockies was impressive. So was his league-leading .476 on-base percentage. But another of Larkin's statistics wasn't so hot his nine errors.
A three-time Gold Glove award winner (1994-96), Larkin hasn't committed more than 17 errors in any full season since 1989.
The 16-year veteran acknowledged the cause of his defensive problems: The strained right groin that has nagged him since the exhibition opener, which has led to poor fielding mechanics.
Five of Larkin's errors have resulted from awry throws, including Thursday's toss into the Pacific Bell Park stands on a bunt play. That comes, said Larkin, from not setting his feet be fore he throws.
Legs are everything, Larkin said. Once I get to the ball, I have to get my legs underneath me to make a good throw and that's what I haven't been doing ... Normally, it just happens. It's something I don't have to think about.
Larkin insisted his arm feels fine mostly.
My wife told me that (ESPN commentator) Joe Morgan was making comments about my arm and my shoulder being hurt, Larkin said. My arm actually is a little tired, but I think everybody's arm is a little tired. We all go through that. I think there's a little more strain on my arm because my legs aren't underneath me. That's probably why my arm is still sore. But that's not why I'm throwing the ball away.
Larkin agreed with the suggestion that warmer weather might help ease his problems.
But I don't like to make excuses, he said. I'm hitting (well). But I'm not running and I want to make the plays ... I struggle to score from first base sometimes or go first to third. That's the kind of thing I've always done effortlessly. At this particular point it's not happening.
Manager Bob Boone lumped Larkin with his son, third baseman Aaron, who has added seven errors to the Reds' league-high total of 23. Bob Boone noted that Aaron, like Larkin, has had to weather a leg injury. Aaron Boone underwent knee surgery last August.
They don't have flexibility or lively legs, Bob Boone said. Boone downplayed any sense of concern the infield's left side has caused him, though he noted, Defense is supposed to be our forte.
Larkin knows this.
Hopefully it'll stop soon, he said. I know the basis of my problems. So I'm not too terribly concerned. I just have to stress my fundamentals.
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