By John Fay
Enquirer staff writer
PITTSBURGH - As the Reds' season dwindles to a few days, Barry Larkin sounds resigned to the fact that his playing days with the Reds are over.
That's not to say he's through playing.
"We're going to go into the offseason and see what happens," Larkin said. "Whatever happens with the Reds happens. I want to play here. But I have no idea what they're thinking. I can't force them (to bring me back)."
Larkin, who has played 19 seasons, all with the Reds, said he is "leaning toward" playing in 2005. The Reds say they are waiting for a final decision from Larkin.
"Barry is a free agent at the end of the year," Reds chief operating officer John Allen said. "I don't know if Barry's made a decision whether to play or not. We'll deal with it at an opportune time when Barry has made his plans."
Allen said whether Larkin is offered a contract is a baseball decision. In other words, it's general manager Dan O'Brien's call.
O'Brien repeated Saturday what he has said all along: The Reds will address free agents, including Larkin, after the season.
Larkin, 40, thinks he still can make a contribution on the field.
"I know I can play," he said. "I was having a good year. I made the All-Star team. I was hitting .300 with four errors at shortstop. Then they stopped playing me. It's hard when you don't have an opportunity. But I think they know I can play."
Larkin hasn't started a game in a week and has started only three in September. The Reds made it clear Sept. 3 that they were going to play Anderson Machado and Felipe Lopez the rest of the year to find Larkin's long-term replacement.
Larkin has struggled since being benched. He was hitless in his last 15 at-bats going into Saturday.
"I think people know I can still play," he said. "After the season, we'll look at any and all opportunities."
Larkin would like to work in the Reds' front office after he retires.
"We'll wait and see what Barry decides as far as playing," Allen said. "It would be premature to talk about that until then."
BENGALS GAME DAY
Bengals can't give up ground
Lewis' influence reaches beyond football field
Lewis, Bengals take leading role
Ravens-Bengals: The Edge
Mark Curnutte blog
Speak up in the Bengals forum
OTHER NFL NEWS
Curnutte: At 0-2, panic, playoffs both possibilities
Dolphins, Steelers move back start time
Jaguars not expected to gain ground against Titans
Bearcats victorious in C-USA opener
Photos of Saturday's game
Florida's second-half surge storms Kentucky
Louisville smothers Tar Heels
Safety offers security for Miami
Saturday's Top 25 roundup
Dayton wins its 100th Division 1-AA game, 40-0
REDS / BASEBALL
Wilson wins 10th
Shortstop Larkin: 'I know I can play'
'Hu$tle' reunites former Rose friends
Review "Hu$tle": What did you think of the ESPN movie?
Fay: It's close, but Casey's MVP
Miley: No more off days for Dunn
Opening day for Reds Hall of Fame a winner
Photos from Monday's gala
Inside the Hall of Fame photo gallery
Record-breakers resurrect the greatest names in baseball
Yankees need Brown to be worth the trouble
NL: Feliz backs Bonds with Giant slam
AL: Angels cut Athletics' lead to two games
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Lustig scores twice to push Lakota East past Loveland
St. Henry boys win opening match of state soccer event
Colerain's Coombs not falling for all the hype
Dominant performers haven't appeared yet
High school sports results, schedules
Photos from Friday's Ohio games
Photos from Friday's Kentucky games
For Huggins, life is all about 'his guys'
MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
You can't take the St. X out of Boehme
What's up with that?
Sports today on TV, radio
Return to Reds front page...