Trying to make sense of Darryl Strawberry

No longer is he the man that struck fear into the heart of opposing starting pitchers, or the man that ran the outfield with the grace of a gazelle. He is a man that has led an embattled life, and the scars are showing. Darryl Strawberry has always been a controversial man, whether it be his failure to pay child support payments or his several drug charges. No matter what trouble he seemed to get in though, he always appeared to be a favorite amongst Mets fans. Now it seems that Strawberry wants to cut off connections with the team completely.

On an interview with Mike Francessa on his radio show on Thursday, Strawberry told Francessa that “It’s pretty clear with the organization of the Mets, it’s not the players, it’s not the fans, it’s not (general manager) Sandy (Alderson) and the new regime. It’s the ownership. It’s the ownership. My relationship is done with them.” Strawberry did not state exactly what problems had arisen with the organization, but would point out that it was not Jeff Wilpon that caused the riff. He wouldn’t go further.

Strawberry has been on a publicity rampage lately, revving up interest in his new book, “Don’t give up on me: Shedding Light on Addiction”. He has even made comments about discouraging players from voicing their opinions on political matters. It is a bold move coming from a man who had done everything he could do to alienate himself from professional baseball, yet still be lauded by its fans. Even at his lowest points, there was fans in his corner supporting him. It was gracious for the team to invite him to reunions and get together, and now he is turning his back on them.

Of course, Strawberry was adamant in reassuring Mets fans that they weren’t the reason for his displeasure. It makes you think though, what could have made him that upset? And at this point, should it even matter? Strawberry only makes money for the team in merchandise, and only makes the team look worse as a brand every time he makes a mistake. While he has behaved better ever since he became a born-again Christian, he is still known as a loose cannon, and you never know when he will go off again.

The Mets should be saying good riddance to the head ache that is Strawberry. If he has the audacity to separate himself from the franchise, and not even provide a solid factual reason behind it, there is something wrong with the picture. To throw salt in the wound, he did it on the Mike Francessa show. Francessa has constantly and consistently been a critic of the Mets and the way they operate, so he reveled in the moment of being able to broadcast criticism of the team.

Maybe I simply don’t understand the enchantment behind Strawberry simply because I was never alive to watch him or any of the 1986 Mets team play. As long as I have been alive though, I have only seen Strawberry as a headache publicly. Whether or not Mets fans who are clinging on the the last taste of World Series victory in 1986 are ready for it or not, Darryl Strawberry is ready to disassociate himself from the team.

10 comments for “Trying to make sense of Darryl Strawberry

  1. Michael
    September 16, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Darryl has always been about Darryl and I wouldn’t put too much stock in what he says. You should read about his reaction upon being substituted in Game 6 of the 1986 WS. A time for Mets euphoria and he sulks because his feelings were hurt. Let him associate himself with the NYY or LAD because we don’t need the headache. And for those fans clamoring for the Mets retire his number, please……..

  2. Hobie
    September 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

    As a life-long Met fan (that is, the life of the Mets–I was a baseball fan before there were Mets) Strawberry & Gooden were the biggest disappointments in franchise history. Mid ’80’s I had envisioned them as the heart & soul of my team to the end of the century.

    Both self-destructed, deserting us (& I suppose ownership as well) for a hedonistic life-style that squandered their talents. They leave me more angry than sad at what could have been. Good riddance.

    • MattyMets
      September 16, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      His charming personality aside, I never liked him as a player. Even in his prime, he never put up even one really great season. For all the talk of his potential he never hit .300 or 40 homers, wasn’t known to be a clutch hitter or leader and in the field he always seemed to either be loafing or not paying attention. He hit some highlight reel home runs in his day but this team won because of pitching, Hernandez, and Carter long before his name should be mentioned. I thought he was a frustrating player to root for and that he threw it all away made him disappointing as well. At least Gooden had a few great years he could hang his hat on. Straw had a few big hot streaks and a couple of great half seasons but there were always long slumps. Announcers used to say “if only he could put together two good halves.” He never did.

  3. Pete from NJ
    September 16, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Everything written above is factual. But what else is factual is when he didn’t hit or was in a slump the team did not win. Even with all the big names, he was “the straw then stored the drink.”

    Just to add to everyone’s misery: Strawberry left as a FA just when the team started their downward slope added by cost cutting. It was what some writers call the Met’s dark age.

  4. LongTimeFan1
    September 17, 2017 at 12:20 am

    It’s rather obvious Strawberry remains troubled no matter any surface stability he tries to prove through his book and finding God. He still needs help. A lot of it.

  5. Eraff
    September 17, 2017 at 9:07 am

    “It is a bold move coming from a man who had done everything he could do to alienate himself from professional baseball, yet still be lauded by its fans. ”

    Darryl struggled with Addiction…from his recovery and onward, he never hid.

    The idea that he wasn’t Clutch???? Ridiculous! He had 252 hrs by the time he was 28. He Was The Mets!!!

    My sadness about Strawberry’s Fall are entirely about the impact on him…and I admire what he became For Himself.

    As for his “bitterness”—I believe he speaks both for Players and Fans who feel deply betrayed by a history of Met Ownership that has treated fans poorly.

    Where the Hell is Tom Seaver’s Statue!!!!!!?????? Young and Old Fans should celebrate The Magnificent Horror of watching Seaver Roar Down the Pitching Slope in Full Attack. That is the single most Glorifying image of Mets’ History.

    It’s an after thought.. the Exclamation Point in a Long string of “Oops we Forgot” rooted in a Met’s culture that regards Mets Fans and Past Mets without honor and without love.

    I’m 58 years old….I have few Heroes That I’ve never Met, But Strawberry remains one for Me…along with Seaver.

    Where are Your Mets…Your Guys? Do you see them Celebrated? Where’s the ’86 Team???

    If you are insulted by what Straw said, You’re a Wilpon Wife!!!

    • Chris F
      September 17, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Yeah Eraff, that’s a 450 bomb to dead center right there. Not only has ownership treated fans poorly, but really, just treated the team poorly.

      I still cannot understand that we inhabit Ebbets Field, and as critical to world history Jackie is, he was in the Hall before there was a Mets. On the other hand, wouldnt something honoring Gil Hodges make sense, like the Gil Hodges rotunda?

      Seaver roaring off the mound is an image every Mets fan regardless of time should know.

      http :// http://www.onbaseball.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tom-seaver-sinking-drop-and-drive.jpg

  6. Eraff
    September 17, 2017 at 9:14 am

    I took my younger brothers to a Yankee Game in 1998. Straw was 36 and put up 27 hrs in 350 ab’s that Season.

    We arrived early because I was hoping to see Darryl Take BP…. He put on an amazing show!!!!!

    There are just a few of Handfuls of “Wait, I’m watching ______ Hit” guys that I’ve seen in a lifetime of watching baseball–Guys who delay your sandwhich or your bathroom break. At Bats that You Will See….Darryl was one of them

  7. Jimmy P
    September 17, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Strawberry > Wilpon

  8. Fletcher Lapin
    September 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Straw is a sad and silly man. Like so many great professional athletes he is still walking around with a sense of self-inflated importance, unable to accept that nobody really gives a damn any longer. He is of (at best) minimal standard intellectual capacity. He wrecked his chances at later in life success by his reliance on drugs and indiscriminate sexual behaviors. At 21 life held out the promise of greatness and adoration, but the 600 homers never even reached 400; the Gold Gloves and MVPs never adorned his mantelpiece; the $100 million in the bank turned into the need to attend card shows to keep up a comfortable income. He is Mantle who never died. He is Schilling who never found his fascist cadre to revere him. Darryl is a woulda coulda shoulda guy. His story is that of way too many of his compatriots. Like I said: a sad and silly man.

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