COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - The Hall of Fame plaque for Whitey Herzog that will be unveiled at today's induction ceremony will read that the former manager won one world championship.
But what if umpire Don Denkinger had made the correct call at first base in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series? The Cardinals would have been - should have been - two outs from winning. "There were 165 million people who knew Denk blew that call," Herzog said, "and we couldn't do anything about it.''
Herzog believes every controversial call during the postseason should be reviewable.
"You ought to have somebody up in the booth in the playoffs and in the World Series, so when there is a blatant call that is missed, he can call down to the umpires and say, 'Boys, we better look at that one and get it right,' " Herzog said. "It wouldn't add time to the game. It wouldn't be managers going out there arguing and asking for a replay and all that."
Should PED users get in?
Andre Dawson, the only player going into the Hall of Fame Sunday by way of the Baseball Writers Association of America, said voters have "their work cut out for them" deciding whether to induct players who have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
"It's definitely been damaging to the history of the game," Dawson said. "Whether the players are Hall of Fame-worthy, that remains to be seen. If my mind doesn't escape me, integrity is a very important part of the game."
Herzog, meanwhile, said he has had conversations with Hall of Famer Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst in which they lamented the fact that fabled records such as Roger Maris' single-season home-run mark have fallen to players connected with steroids.
But Herzog doesn't think ignoring the new records is an option, either. "Until they're proven guilty in court," he said, "I don't know how you can disregard what those records are."
An umpire, too
Doug Harvey, a 40-year umpire who retired in 1992, said he prerecorded his speech for the induction ceremony because he experiences trouble speaking. "Did too much talking and too much hollering in my life, I guess," he said. Herzog joked that Harvey threw him out of games "more than all the other umpires combined."