A sincere plea to Darryl Strawberry

Dear Darryl:

Stop talkingForever.  Please?

Every word you say only serves to further ruin your already ravaged reputation.  Every time you open your mouth, you throw more dirt on the mnemomic casket containing the all-too-fleeting glimpses of the otherworldliness you displayed on the field.  You make it nigh on impossible to think of you as anything other than a complete cipher, a clueless cock and an utterly non-comprehending douchebag.  It’s painful, and I’d like you to stop it.

I was 4 years old when you, Doc, Mex, Nails, Ray, Kid and all the rest bestrode New York like gods.  I’m not 100 percent sure about this, but I think that the experience of watching you crash and burn, scorch the ground where the ashes fell and salt the earth underneath, is why my entire generation of Mets fans stays forever shook, never truly able to enjoy successes like 2000 and ’06.  You turned us into bitches, Darryl.

Because of you (and, perhaps even more tragically, because of Doc), we’ve seen visions of greatness dissipate before.  We’ve seen how the desire to fill the gap can lead to the Bobby Bonillas, Juan Samuels and Gregg Jefferies of the world; how those inevitable failures can lead to lengthy droughts without true cap-letter All-Star talent; how continually striking out in search of the Next Big Thing and watching the team you love play second fiddle to a loathsome juggernaut across the Triborough Bridge can spark an inferiority complex that we just can’t seem to shed.

Because of you, “Ya Gotta Believe” became “I’ll Believe It When I See It.”  And as we enter Year 23 since the tipping point of the dynasty that wasn’t, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

My head understands that it’s way too simple to pin this all on you, Darryl; management obviously bears the brunt of the blame, and I’m pretty sure the rest is Jeff Torborg’s fault.  But when it comes to the malformed emotional connection I have to the Mets, the inability to appreciate the good times and the gut-wrenching need to focus on the bad … well, I learned it by watching you, dude.

We’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop, because the last time we weren’t, it wrecked us something awful.  And yet, even though I know you’re a dyed-in-the-wool bad guy, it’s still surprisingly hurtful when you inevitably pop up, say/do/snort/drink/hurt something/someone you shouldn’t, then flash that $58,000 smile (deflation, you know) and say you’ll try to be good.  But you won’t.  You’re not a good dude, Darryl.  You were just drawn that way.

Now, please step away from the mic.  I’d like to read the Wiley SI piece in peace and pretend all this never happened.

Take care of yourself,

this is the city line.

NOTE: From a more removed perspective, MLB FanHouse’s John Walters writes: “… at least [Strawberry] takes stock in his addictive and competitive personality to make an honest assessment of himself. For those who have that kind of personality, the lure of the drug is much more powerful than the individual taking them.”  Which is a fair point.


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