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The Bad Guys Won: A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo Chasing, and Championship Baseball with Straw, Doc, Mookie, Nails, the Kid, and the Rest of the 1986 Mets, the Rowdiest Team Ever to Put on a New York Uniform--and Maybe the Best [Paperback]

Jeff Pearlman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 22 2011

The Bad Guys Won, 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.


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The Bad Guys Won: A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo Chasing, and Championship Baseball with Straw, Doc, Mookie, Nails, the Kid, and the Rest of the 1986 Mets, the Rowdiest Team Ever to Put on a New York Uniform--and Maybe the Best + Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty
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From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In 1986, the New York Mets won the World Series, taking it from the Boston Red Sox in some of the most memorable baseball ever played. Pearlman doesn't really want to talk about that. He wants to tell you what terribly bad boys these Mets were. There is no boozing, drug use, or bimbo eruption that he does not describe, nor does he miss a single evil quote from one player about another. Doc Gooden's and Darryl Strawberry's silken and glorious talents are not examined nearly so much as their wastrel paths to drug and alcohol use are scrupulously detailed. Rampant sexism and underhanded racism were certainly part of the baseball scene in 1986, but must Pearlman revel in them with such glee? And the prose? Perlman goes purple at the slightest provocation: Bill Buckner's left ankle "throbbed like a transplanted heart." There is a lot not to like here, which is exactly why it will draw media interest and may well become one of the hottest-selling baseball books of the season. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading Jan. 25 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In depth read on the psyche of a sports - truly demonstrates both the beauty and beast of sports teams
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Jeff Pearlman book! Jan. 22 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Probably Jeff Pearlman's best book, 'How The Bad Guys Won' details the 1986 New York Mets season. Very entertaining from the opening chapter on, it's another page turner from Pearlman.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Baseball in the 80's..... Nov. 24 2013
By Steff66
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'v bever been disappointed by Jeff Pearlman so far...a good account of the 86 Mets...It is too bad that this bunch won....the bad guys won indeed!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars after awhile nothing shocks you Aug. 4 2010
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The way the book started out you wanted to put it down and take a shower just to rid yourself of the creepiness of the opening chapter which focuses on a a binge drinking session by the Mets on the flight home after winning the 1986 NLCS.

From there I expected to get more of the same so wasn't sure if I'd love to read the rest of the book or not. It is decent but after a while you just get tired at how adolescent ballplayers are. What passes for pranks (hot foots, shaving cream) in MLB seems even less inventive that high school kids. Throw in the fact that ballpalyers could go out and get blind drunk pretty much after every game yet perform at the highest level the following day is mindboggling. Of course, it caught up the '80s Mets as guys like Strawberry and Gooden really derailed what started off as sure Hall of Fame careers.

The last five chapters focuses on the NLCS and the World Series so there's more than enough "baseball" writing to suffice.

The problem I had is after you've read about one ballplayer's drinking habits or another faith in God, I just got tired of all that. I loved the Mets at the time as they were a fun team to watch. After reading this, it hasn't changed my opinion of that season but it sure changes my opinion of some players--basically the majority are a bunch of jerks and idiots...and I include the Christians with the drunks on that score. Would it kill ballplayers to actually treat the game with a semblance of respect no matter who the owner or GM is?

Anyway, if you're looking for a great look at the '86 season, this I'd rate no more than a salacious insider's tale. Good for what is is but been there, done that, read this before. (Plus what is up with the longest subtitle in book publishing history?)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Get Metsmerized! July 16 2004
Format:Hardcover
This book is priceless merely for the description of the recording session where some of the Mets try to cut a "Super Bowl Shuffle" style rap song, titled "Get Metsmerized!":
"When they need a batter filled with terror,
They call on me, Rick Aguleira!"
Look out Public Enemy!
This book is a great character study of a team full of characters, most of whom were borderline insane but were all gritty ballplayers. Jeff Pearlman makes the case that this was the last team of old school party boys to win a title before the onset of a more corporate era where the wackiest thing that ever happens is a rookie getting a shaving cream pie in the face. I don't know that his argument is entirely successful - it's more like the Mets were the last team of endearing jackasses to win - but the book is a very fun read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great baseball history book July 7 2004
Format:Hardcover
If you are a fan of the Mets or a baseball history book, this is a must read. The book is very entertaining and an easy read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ha ha ha July 7 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
this is the funniest baseball book ever!! i couldn't put it doown.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very funny book that i enjoyed a lot July 7 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This was a very funny book that I enjoyed a lot. My wife bought it for me for father's day, even though i'm more of a yankee fan. still it was worth the time put into reading it. i found the info on gary carter to be fascinating. also, i did not know nearly as much about george foster as this book told me. what a strange man. in the end, i give the book 4 stars, not five. because five is only for a book abut the yankees. who i love.
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