Yes, it seems as though “Happy Days are Here Again” for us New York Mets fans. Because the sun has again begun peeking through our dark clouds of misery, its time to relax a bit and take a look back, with nostalgic fondness, at some of our most unhappiest players. Without further ado:
1. Vince Coleman (1993): Among other things, he threw firecrackers into a crowd of fans at Dodger Stadium. He injured three children and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service. The Mets placed him on administrative leave. Don’t even mention that he took out Dwight Gooden with a ill-advised golf swing in the team’s clubhouse.
2. Darryl Strawberry (1989): Our star right-fielder got into a fight with out start first baseman (and Captain), Keith Hernandez before the official team’s picture is taken. Strawberry was angry because he embroiled in a contract dispute with the front office and Hernandez razzed him about it.
3. Bret Saberhagen (1993): He decided to squirt bleach on two reporters just a couple of weeks after he admitted to throwing a firecracker under a table near reporters. He said it was intended as a practical joke in response to one played on him by a team employee and it only got on the reports by accident.
4. Richie Hebner (1979): Hebner’s attitude went from bad to worse during his stint with the Mets. This culminated in him giving the hometown fans “the bird” after a strikeout.
5. Tim Foli (1971): His nickname was “Crazy Horse”. He got into a fight with Ed Kranepool because the between innings warm-up tosses he was throwing to the veteran first baseman were terrible. In response to those errant throws, Kranepool decided to stop throwing the ball to him. That irked Foli to the point of fisticuffs.
6. Jordany Valdespin (2013): The reports were that he threw a tantrum at PNC Park after he was informed of his demotion to the minors. In addition to that, he cursed out Terry Collins and demanded to be placed on the Disabled List.
7. Gregg Jefferies (1991): In response to continued clubhouse pressure, Jefferies, sent an open letter to WFAN accusing his team of not supporting him the way he supported them. There were reports that his teammates didn’t appreciate his demands to management that his bets be kept separated from his teammates bats because he didn’t want them getting ruined.
8. Dave Kingman (1983): Although he didn’t send a rat to a sportswriter or dump ice water on a reporter’s head while he was a member of the Mets, he still managed to show his anger while he sat on the bench after the team acquired Keith Hernandez during the 1983 season. He grew a beard, sulked, and the reports were that he refused to shave it until he was traded. He ended up getting released at the end of the season.
9. Ron Swoboda (1971): In 1971, in response to deteriorating team chemistry issues, Swoboda opened up to the newspapers and told them that he wanted to leave the team. He even called the Yankees General Manager, Lee MacPhail, and tried to negotiate his own deal with him. The story goes that he didn’t mention that he no longer had a significant role with the team due to the impressive rookie performance of Ken Singleton.
10. Bobby Bonilla (1992): He signed a large Free-Agent contract with the Mets. As his production diminished, he began to refer to himself in the third- person during interview. He wore earplugs to drown out the jeers and even invited a reporter who had written an unflattering book about him to take a personal tour of his old Bronx neighborhood.
11. Francisco Rodriguez (2010): He was arrested after getting into a fight with his girlfriend’s father at Citi Field. He was charged with assault and harassment in connection with the event. He was suspended for two games and also suffered a season-ending thumb injury after the incident.
12. George Foster (1986): He was so angry with the team that he refused to participate in a bench-clearing brawl with the Cincinnati Reds (initiated between Ray Knight and Eric Davis). Foster later said that he didn’t participate in the fracas because it set a bad example for kids.
That’s 12. Can anybody think of a solid number 13 so we can have a Baker’s Dozen?