“As a reminder that most of us know absolutely nothing about the people we cheer for, except that they wear our hometown colors, this is a worthwhile read for any sports fan.” — Sports Illustrated
Award-winning Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jeff Pearlman returns to an innocent time when a city worshipped a man named Mookie and the Yankees were the second-best team in New York.
It was 1986, and the New York Mets won 108 regular-season games and the World Series, capturing the hearts (and other assorted body parts) of fans everywhere. But their greatness on the field was nearly eclipsed by how bad they were off it. Led by the indomitable Keith Hernandez and the young dynamic duo of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, along with the gallant Scum Bunch, the Amazin’s left a wide trail of wreckage in their wake—hotel rooms, charter planes, a bar in Houston, and most famously Bill Buckner and the hated Boston Red Sox.
With an unforgettable cast of characters—including Doc, Straw, the Kid, Nails, Mex, and manager Davey Joshson—this “affectionate but critical look at this exciting season” (Publishers Weekly) celebrates the last of baseball’s arrogant, insane, rock-and-roll-and-party-all-night teams, exploring what could have been, what should have been, and what never was.
Drugs, sex and groupies abound in this book by Pearlman, a reporter for Newsday. Only the author isn't a rock critic chronicling the wild escapades of a band; he's describing the very successful 1986 season when the New York Mets won the World Series. As remarkable as the team's performance on the field, the players' escapades outside the stadium are perhaps more memorable, in a far less flattering way. Pearlman, an unabashed Mets fan, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the team, including an insightful portrait of Frank Cashen, the general manager at the time. Pearlman discusses the trades, the players' abilities and unforgettable games. But much of the book is about the difficulties and the unprofessional behavior of many of the players. For example, on one rowdy flight back to New York, United Airlines billed the team an additional $7,500 for damage resulting from food fights and other unruly antics and said the team couldn't fly the airline again. Cashen was upset, but the manager, Davey Johnson, laughed as he tore up the bill in front of the team. The drug use that would become public later was not addressed at the time, though it was obvious to reporters. When asked whether Dwight Gooden was healthy, despite several minor car accidents, Johnson had nothing to say: "As long as Dwight Gooden was smiling and in good physical shape, Johnson required no knowledge about the pitcher's private time. Johnson was a manager, not a babysitter." Pearlman's book isn't simple nostalgia some of the players have virtually disappeared from the public eye and much of the wild off-field behavior is still part of the game today. Baseball aficionados, especially Mets fans, will enjoy this affectionate but critical look at this exciting season. may boost sales, but the book's target audience is New York fans, rather than national.
As a Mets fan, one too young to remember the 86 team, this book serves as incredible insight on that magical year. After reading, I regret not being able to experience that season first hand but this book came close. Looking forward to reading more work from Pearlman.
Some crazy stuff
As a Yankee fan, I have to admit I really enjoyed this book. The 1986 Mets were nuts. There are some funny stories in this book.
All J Pearlmans books
Ive read all of jeff perlmans books and so far i would consider this one my favorite. He knows how to grip you and keep the stories interesting with his dialogue. I played for danny heep in college and the stories in the book line up with how he really is. I highly recommend. I have 1 more book to read of jeffs. I believe its called sweetness