I've said before that, as a fan born in 1984, the '86 Mets never really resonated with me. I enjoyed the stories of their on-field resilience, and as I got older, became amused by their propensity for debauchery, as they gallivanted from town to town like larger than life rock stars. But as their legend fades further into the horizon, and their imperfections as human beings come into focus, it's became harder and harder to ignore the shadows cast by some of the team's brightest stars.
The latest comes from this bizarre NY Post report that cites Darryl Strawberry's displeasure with the organization. For what, I have no idea. The report doesn't really say, and unless I imagined it, the Mets celebrated the club in 2002, 2006, and 2016, while inducting Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Davey Johnson, and Frank Cashen into the team's Hall of Fame in 2010. The Mets can be justifiably criticized for not doing enough to recognize their own history, but to me, Darryl's words just ring hollow.
Don't get me wrong, I like Strawberry just fine. He's done some excellent work getting his life together, and seems to have found peace through faith. That's wonderful, and I hope it serves him well. But it certainly feels like auspicious timing to get his voice back onto the tabloids' pages, considering Strawberry's latest book will be released soon. As it did when him and Gooden made a trip through our parking lot tailgate on Opening Day, as they "reunited" (seemingly for the umpteenth time) for a documentary about their reconciliation.
In retirement, there's a lot to revere about the last world championship Mets squad. Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez are two of the game's best color commentators. Tim Teufel is a very good baseball mind (and from personal experience, a gentleman). Howard Johnson was one of David Wright's most influential mentors. But between Lenny Dykstra's journey from criminal-turned-social media punchline to Wally Backman's seemingly endless gripes with everyone but himself to Doc and Darryl's unending string of issues, it's pretty easy to have grown weary of the nonsense.
It's high time for this franchise to give us a new collection of immortals to cherish, because some on this batch are wearing out their welcome.
Today will feel weird for many of us who have Opening Day traditions at the ballpark. It sucks. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. We’re also 4 months into this COVID world. I think we’re all accustomed to hanging at home by now.