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  • #129182
    Avatarbccran
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    You’re an expert on Cardinal baseball, BW,
    but maybe not so much on Cardinal fans.
    As a player he deserved to be inducted today (way over Tudor), but the bridges he burned a long time ago aren’t fully rebuilt.

    #129183
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Like I said, I wish I knew the real mix between the two big reasons cited. You seem to assume you know, but you may not be typical. Based on my unscientific sampling of social media, I sense Pond Scum is a bigger issue than drugs and the trade. If so, that really bothers me.

    #129184
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I just realized I have a way to get a larger opinion sample…

    #129185
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    Brian, bccran:

    I think there’s a third reason. Though intertwined, it’s not fully captured with those two choices. It was Hernandez being labeled a “cancer” on the field and in the clubhouse by Whitey. I haven’t carried strong opinions forward on this, but some have.

    Americans are usually great about forgiving (and even praising) their heroes for overcoming personal problems like drug abuse. Fans also are generally understanding when players leave for another team, especially if due to a fair trade (see Simmons). However, some saw Hernandez as responsible for forcing Whitey to a bad deal because he was not committed to the birds on bat. They saw him as just the opposite–not hustling or putting in the time while leading other Cardinal players down the white powder lane.

    That is what some can’t forget, regardless of any reconciliation the principal parties have since made. That Hernandez did well with the Mets was just salt in a wound that already existed.

    #129186
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Euro, I considered the whole drug situation to be interrelated, so I would have voted no. 1 if I had the opinion you shared.

    These are not identical cases by any stretch, but others have blemishes on their careers as well. Both were rightfully welcomed with open arms later. Rolen was traded because he no longer wanted to be on the team and Big Mac was later shamed for his use of drugs to get what many felt was an unfair edge on the field.

    In Rolen’s case, we have no indication this affected his play though his focus on himself may have distracted his team. Even if it did, it did not change what he accomplished before. For Mac, his entire legacy is clouded by his decision to use drugs. Both proudly wear red jackets due to fan support.

    This man made the point more succinctly than I could.

    After eight hours of the poll with over 120 votes cast, Pond Scum leads drugs by 60% to 40%.

    #129193
    Avatar14NyquisT
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    Brian Walton

    My prediction is firm enough (in my mind) that I already prepared the graphic. (While I will get advance notice on the winners, it won’t be until the day before, so there is no inside info being hinted here.)

    OOPS

    Maybe bcc is on to something.

    #129195
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Yep, I guessed wrong. I wrote about that in yesterday’s article. That Herr did not make the ballot before now yet got in the first year suggests that fans are looking at the candidates differently from the committee. I am trying to learn from this.

    Further, last year, Hernandez outpolled Tudor in the fan vote. This year, they switched places. I am surprised about that since their career accomplishments did not change from 2019 to 2020. I guess more votes that went to Rolen and Izzy last year went to Tudor than Hernandez this year.

    On the primary voter concern about Hernandez, Pond Scum leads 56-44 percent with 535 votes in. So bccran is in the minority on that point, at least so far.

    #129197
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
    Moderator

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    On the plus side, I love seeing Bill White recognized. I also like seeing John Tudor elected; a bit of an under-rated performer who occupies the top spot in two all-time team pitching categories. He had one of the greatest seasons of any Cardinal pitcher in 1985, and off the top of my head maybe the best ever for a left-handler.

    On the minus side, while I like Tommy Herr, he cannot hold a candle to Keith Hernandez when it comes to on-field contribution. Keith had a 130 OPS+ and 34 bWAR as a Cardinal in 10 seasons. Tommy was 96 and 19 in the same amount of years. Not even close. Tommy had some intangibles to bring, speed, key defensive position, a fabulous 1985 season. But Keith was just so much better of a player.

    It’s funny as I have debated with fans now and then who put almost all of the value for a given player on their modern era stats such as WAR. But in Keith’s case, the off-field stuff has dominated his legacy from the Cardinals’ fan view point.

    I am a little embarrassed at this point in the process, and wonder if this will result in a change in the way players are voted in. Maybe something like having the the fan vote count as one part, an “expert committee” as a second part, and raw numbers as the third part.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by bicyclemikebicyclemike.
    #129199
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Interesting points, bikemike. I have no idea about any changes as the DeWitts set the rules, but if I had to guess, the Modern Era might be dialed back to one inductee per year before too long. (However, as pointed out by 14NyquisT, my guessing is not 100% accurate.)

    Any process will have its bumps, whether fan-driven or writer-driven or owner-driven or numbers-driven or some mix of them. No magic answer, but ultimately, it is a fan-oriented Hall. I am good with engaging as many people as possible with team history, even if I don’t always agree with a given year’s results. Hopefully, all the deserving ones will get in eventually and when they do, we will forget who went in which year.

    #129200
    Avatar14NyquisT
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    There’s more that I would like write about a few of the comments but I’ll just leave it as “elephants rule”. Many Card fans just don’t like Hernandez.

    #129202
    Avatarbccran
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    I only said the white stuff and pond scum would affect voters, BW. I didn’t weight either one. What Euro brought up as a third leg of the stool is important. There’s an article on http://www.retrosimba.com entitled “Why Cardinals dealt Keith Hernandez in 1983”, that’s an eye opener. It talks about Whitey’s extreme dislike of the lack of effort by Hernandez in practice and at times in games. That dislike was brought out in Whitey’s book “White Rat: A life in Baseball”. One quote from the book – “What I couldn’t live with was his attitude: I’ve got 2 basic rules – be on time and hustle – and he as having trouble with both of them. His practice habits were atrocious.” Many fans have probably read that book.

    #129203
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Were the effects of the drug use not the reason behind his change in approach and attitude? Wasn’t that the slippery slope, with these other matters the unpleasant side effects? Hernandez’ results were still good, but the level of effort was not what was expected of him. Whitey defended him for a long time, but ultimately wanted and needed to get rid of a popular, productive player and shared details that occur in every clubhouse but usually stay there. I am not attacking or defending anyone, just looking at it from multiple angles. (Remember that not too many years later, Whitey quit mid-season in frustration because the players were not responding to his managerial approach.)

    But whether you believe there were two factors or three or four, would it not also be fair to acknowledge that opinions can evolve over time?

    #129205
    Avatargscottar
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    I have no problem with the results. Herr and Tudor are both very deserving. The teams of the 1980’s were some of the most exciting this organization has ever had and they were both right in the middle of it.

    Hernandez was obviously a great player and had a big role in the early 80’s. He deserves to get in and I suspect he will eventually.

    Carlton is remembered by most as a Phillie but he deserves to be in the Cardinal HOF too but he will probably have to wait on the veteran committee. There just aren’t as many fans left from the 60’s as there are from the 80’s.

    #129206
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Good points, gscottar. Those of us who remember the 1960’s also remember how a handful of bad trades, with Carlton first and foremost, helped make the 1970’s very difficult times.

    #129207
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Obviously there were things about Hernandez Whitey did not like, or he would not have traded him. Similar to what Brian brought up about Scott Rolan – Tony had issues with Scott that lead to a trade. Heck, the Cardinals, or more accurately owner Sam Breadon, was at odds with Rogers Hornsby and traded him after he managed and played for the first World Championship team.

    Should that negate the entirety of a 10-year career, in Keith’s case? Not in my opinion, but many other fans are not so inclined to give Keith the credit for the good times.

    #129209
    Avatarbccran
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    In a testimony in federal court two years after he was traded, Hernandez said he had used “massive” amounts of cocaine, starting in 1980 after he was introduced to the drug by Cardinals teammate Bernie Carbo, and he had developed an “insatiable desire for more.” He testified that he broke his cocaine habit on his own just before the trade to the Mets. He said his motivation to stop was seeing Cardinals teammate Lonnie Smith have a “bad experience” with the drug after a game in Philadelphia.

    I guess the combination of his bad attitude as described by Whitey and the whole drug thing added up to more than McGwire’s peds and Rolen’s attitude. The fierce rivalry (the teams genuinely hated each other) and genuine dislike of the Mets of the 80’s puts the cherry on top for some fans who vote.

    #129220
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Whitey may know baseball, but he doesn’t know Cardinals fans… 😉

    #129229
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    #129256
    Avatarbccran
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    BW – Don’t forget all that came out about what a poor example Hernandez was to the younger players. Clearly explained in Whitey’s book. Keith’s workout habits and lack of effort at practice and sometimes in games really bothered The White Rat. Part of the reason he was traded. Euro posted about this.

    #129257
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    In the big picture, it is minutiae rehashed over a third of a century later. Why aren’t you quoting Hochman’s article with what Whitey says NOW? Of course, it is because it does not support your POV.

    Whitey, who had a greater stake in and more first-hand knowledge about this than anyone, backs Hernandez for the HOF and was surprised he did not get voted in this year. That is the bottom line. Yet some fans still carry their own personal grudges.

    #129258
    Avatarforsch31
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    If Vince Coleman, Jim Edmonds, Tom Herr, Mark McGwire and Scott Rolen deserve to be in the Cardinal HOF, then Keith Hernandez deserves to be there. I am not going to hold things that were said or done, that may be due to drug use, over 25 years ago against him. The FACTS remain that he had an excellent career as a Cardinal, he won a WS as a Cardinal and an MVP as a Cardinal.

    #129260
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    We could come up with reasons not to like a guy for most anyone not named Musial – Hornsby’s gambling, Ruth’s carousing, Pujols’ contradictions and over-sensitivity, the drugs of the ‘80s, PEDs of the ‘90s.

    The fact is, short of gambling on your sport, sport Halls Of Fame generally do not put much emphasis on character traits. PEDs is a little different as it made guys like Brady Anderson, the Orioles leadoff hitter for a few years, 50-homer guys.

    The thing with Keith that is puzzling to me, is he conquered his demons. His body of work as a Cardinal is overwhelmingly Hall-worthy, and he came back from that dark place he was in. If anything, that exemplifies high quality character. You just hope that in life you are not always looked at based on your lowest moments.

    Just a shame Hernandez will have to wait longer. He should be there and the debate should be whether McGwire deserves it, especially since he cannot get to the Cooperstown Hall.

    #129262
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    The difference with McGwire was that his drug use helped the team. So fans forgive. Sad but true.

    #129267
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    The Hochman article is real good. Whitey’s two guys, Hernandez and Tudor, are the two I primarily voted for. I did submit a few ballots with Steve Carlton as my second guy.

    Hochman makes a good point. With the virus deal going on, maybe the Cardinals Hall does the same thing as the Cooperstown one and celebrates the ‘20 and ‘21 classes together next year. Hopefully Keith is back on the ballot and enough people forget their anti-Met stuff or whatever, and look at the bigger picture and get Hernandez there.

    #129272
    Avatarbccran
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    My points about Hernandez are not to state an opinion. They are only to explain why the fans didn’t vote him in. He certainly deserves to be inducted on his play with the Cardinals. Much more so than John Tudor, who really had limited time here. One great season is what the fans remember.

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