Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where Are They Now? The 1986 New York Mets

I know there are a lot of you out there with a guilty pleasure for those "Where are they Now" shows on TV. Me? As far as reality TV goes, in general, I've never been a big fan - To be completely honest, I'd rather watch an old man water his lawn with a paper cup for two hours - but if I see there's a "Where are they Now" on the cast of "Who's the Boss?" coming up, I'm burying my fat ass right into those couch cushions, and I'm not leaving until I see how that old bitch Mona finally dropped dead.

So, going with the flow of this site(none), I think it's fairly obvious that we should take a look back at my co-author's favorite team ever, the World Series Champs from 1986, the New York Mets.

If you've never read the book, The Bad Guys Won, by Jeff Pearlman, do yourself a favor and go get a copy. I read it in a day - I just couldn't put the fucking thing down. It was a like Pearlman put the remnants of a train wreck on paper. There was actual blood on the pages. Maybe I shouldn't have taken it off the guy sleeping on the floor of Grand Central Terminal, but no matter. All I know is that when I finished the book, I was genuinely elated to know that this team was filled with drug addicted, God fearing, drunken frat-boy assholes. Read the book, you will not be disappointed. And if you are, than go watch a Lifetime movie, you fucking wet blanket.

Manager - Davey Johnson

THEN: Known to be a "player's coach", all Davey Johnson did was win. He also allowed fighting, drugging, groupie fucking, gang-banging on the plane, and announcer threatening. Cool dude.

NOW: The current coach of Team USA, and is suspiciously shunned by most team owners. I don't see what's so suspicious, he didn't like policing players then, and I'm sure he doesn't now. I rest my case...What's that? Oh I thought that was just a figure of speech, case closed...

C - Gary Carter

THEN: To fans he was "The Kid", a pleasant, religious man who loved to play baseball. To everyone else he was a self-centered show-off with an ego the size of Davey Johnson's head. To be fair, he probably fell somewhere in between.

NOW: Bouncing around the minor league coaching circuit, telling people he could do a better job than Willie Randolph Jerry Manuel.

1B - Keith Hernandez

THEN: A coke snorting, lady loving, gold-glover who was one of the spiritual leaders of the ball club. His mustache transcended a generation of creepiness in New York City.

NOW: The lovable announcer for the Mets on SNY, who loves to make the ladies feel at home with his off-color humor, always accessible pack of Marlboro Mediums, and raging 24/7 boner.

2B - Wally Backman

THEN: One half of "The Wild Boys", Backman was a nitty-gritty journeyman who was known for his speed on the base paths. He really set the world on fire in '86, stealing over 12 bases!

NOW: A disgraced drunk who was fired after four days as the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004 for being in debt with the IRS and lying about filing taxes. He died alone in a shack on the edge of the Missouri River on Halloween night, 2006 (note: Backman is still alive and coaching AA baseball).

SS - Rafael Santana

THEN: This offensive juggernaut batted .218 with 1HR and 28 RBI in 139 Games. Needless to say, two years later he was the starting shortstop on the epically dangerous 1988 New York Yankees.

NOW: Coaching in the White Sox Minor League system, hoping to one day follow in the classy shoes of Ozzie Guillen.

3B - Ray Knight

THEN: A rugged veteran and ex-Golden Gloves boxer, Knight was part of the legion of players that helped the Mets gain a rep as a team you didn't want to trade punches with. Just ask Eric Davis and his shattered ego.

NOW: Announcer for MASN. Still sore over the way the Mets kicked his ass onto the curb following his World Series heroics so they could play Howard "Jesus is my Wingman" Johnson at 3B every day.

RF - Darryl Strawberry

THEN: Destined for stardom, The Straw hit 280 HR's by the time he was 29. Ask old-timers about Strawberry's sweet swing and they still get hard. He played 8 more seasons, hitting only 55 HR's over that span. But he did do more coke than your mom, and garner more cases of gonorrhea than anyone in history, so that's a plus.

NOW: In prison, out of prison, who knows? It's always a guessing game with crazy, old Darryl. But I'm sure he's having a blast, scrapping and yelling and mixing it up. Loving every minute with this damn crew...

CF - Lenny Dykstra

THEN: The second youngest regular on the team, Dykstra was another big-time prospect. He shared a minor league outfield with Strawberry and future Sabermetrics Martyr, Billy Beane. Dykstra also envisioned himself as a power hitter. So what did he do? Steroids, of course. Lots and lots of steroids. And then told everyone about his steroid abuse. He was a really, really smart guy.

NOW: A fat, broke, disgraced former car wash entrepreneur. NAILSSSSSS!!!

LF - Mookie Wilson

THEN: Fans adored this centerfielder who made the switch to left in order to accommodate up-and-coming prospect, Len Dykstra. He also ruined Bill Buckner's life with a single dribbler down the first-base line to end Game 6 of the World Series. Buckner returns the favor by signing pictures of the horrid event, smiling cordially, then going home to repeatedly stab a life size stuffed Mookie doll.

NOW: After stints as the Mets first base coach and a minor league coach, Mookie decided to retire so he could concentrate on his crime fighting career.

SP - Dwight Gooden

THEN: At 21, the youngest and most talented player on the whole team. Doc was destined for the Hall of Fame, and even baseball immortality. In his first three seasons (1984-1986), Gooden went 58-19 with a 2.32 ERA and 744 SO. It was ALLLLLLL down hill after that. If this doesn't make a Mets fan weep, well, I don't know what will (see ).

NOW: On the road to recovery. He missed the 2006 Mets 20 year reunion because he was in jail. Just a little bit embarrassing, but it could be worse. He could have been sent an invitation to the event with freshly squeezed dog shit smeared across it, like Ray Knight's.

SP - Ron Darling

THEN: Ivy Leaguer, as handsome as the devil, and as talented as anyone on the team, minus Doc, Darling was an integral piece of the '86 mess.

NOW: Hernandez's right-hand-man on SNY and still loves thinking he's better than everyone. And don't you forget it.

SP - Bob Ojeda

THEN: An offseason acquisition from the Boston Red Sox the year before, Ojeda came in and gave the Mets an instant threat as the team's #4 starter. He went on to post career numbers, leading the team in wins, 18, and ERA, 2.57.

NOW: After nearly cutting off his hand and almost dying in a boat accident that killed two teammates, Ojeda went on to play several seasons after parting ways with the Mets. He now is a minor league coach in a place that doesn't post coaching profiles because I googled his fucking name 786 times and came up with shit.

SP - Sid Fernandez

THEN: Another youngster, and seemingly future cornerstone of the organization, "Sid the Kid" was known for his childish thinking and penchant for being mildly retarded. But he had all makings of a dominate pitcher, until injuries and hamburgers cut his career short.

NOW: Spends his time dicking around the Hawaii celebrity golf circuit, and was recently cited in the Mitchell Report, but I'm not really sure what the Mitchell Report is. Oh well.

RP - Roger McDowell

THEN: Part Dartmouth grad, part prankster, McDowell got everyone with his sidesplitting hot feet and practical jokes. Oh man, those hot feet sure are fucking funny. He was also the right half of the righty/lefty closing tandem.

NOW: Pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves. Not funny anymore. Old and bitter, and sometimes cranky on weekends.

RP - Jesse Orosco

THEN: Closed out game 6 of the playoffs and game 7 of the series, Orosco was the other closer on the team. I also thought he was cool, and tried to emulate his glove throwing. So I would throw it up high in the air, drop to my knees and raise my arms in an empty field like an asshole. Then the glove would hit me in the head and I would do it again, because, like I said, I was an asshole. Oh, and Orosco pitched for 56 teams for 57 more years.

NOW: Retired, and salting his left arm daily so he can have it enshrined in Cooperstown when he dies...or needs money, whichever one comes first.


Lee Mazzilli: A hometown hero and mid-season addition, Mazzilli went on to throb the hearts of every female Guido within a 20 mile radius, sculpting his helmet hair and squeezing into those extra-tight Jordache stonewashed jeans.

Kevin Mitchell: Cut the head off his girlfriends kitten, held Doc hostage, but overall a sweet guy.

Rick Aguilera: The unheralded 5th starter in the rotation and part-time relief pitcher, Aguilera's career didn't take off until he was dealt for Frank Viola to the Twins. This was due to the fact that he was probably the most un-clutch player on the team, but I could be wrong.

Tim Teufel: Pinch hit extraordinaire, Teufel was threatened by Darryl Strawberry on a flight to the West Coast and forced to piss sitting down. He was never the same mediocre player again.

Howard Johnson: Hojo became a Jesus freak this year. He then went on to stardom and two All-Star games. Coincidence? I think not.

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