The Bad Guys Won!
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The Bad Guys Won!

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,100 ratings  ·  168 reviews
In The Bad Guys Won, award-winning former 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. B...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 2004)
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Lawrence A
I've been a Mets fan since 1964, when I was 6. The 1986 season was, of course, Amazin'. While this book provides accurate descriptions of key moments in that championship season, and a literally gut-churning, pee-in-your-pants funny recounting of the various puerile shenanigans surrounding the '86 ballclub, the writing is geared towards your average 14-year-old male too young to identify with Jim Bouton's "Ball Four." There are more cheesy metaphors and similes on each page than maggots stuck to...more
Dan
The 1986 Mets: 108 wins, two incredible play-off series that included the infamous Bill Buckner error that prolonged the "curse of the bambino", the beginning of the fall of Daryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, both of whom had such potential and such a meteoric rise to fame that their falls take on the dimensions of Shakespearean tragic heroes.
This story deserved so much better. The ingredients are there for a serious work that transcends sports journalism, such as "The Summer of '49". If writin...more
Dan
This book absolutely stomped my mindgrapes. I didn't realize it was possible for me to have a more irrational love for the 1986 New York Mets than I already did -- but then I found out what scumbags they were, and somehow loved them more. Pearlman's reporting, honesty and acerbic wit make a perfect match for the Mets' slimy pursuit (and achievement) of baseball immortality. Worth it for any sports fan, and if you're a Mets fan, you really have no excuse for not owning a copy.
Jonathan
A hilarious, impressionistic smattering of stories about a gang of ballplayers and a must-read for any Mets fan.

Pearlman deserves many thanks for collecting the memories and opinions of many members of the Mets organization and around baseball in the early- to mid-80s (his afterword describes nearly 200 interviews), as well as contemporary accounts. His effort to get inside the players' heads and convey their attitude to the game is convincing -- there are some remarkably candid quotes about who...more
Kyle
Lenny Dykstra spits tobacco juice all over everything. Kevin Mitchell (allegedly) decapitates a cat. Gary Carter is just sort of awesomely Caucasian. Doc Gooden does coke. Darryl Strawberry hits towering homers and is nicknamed the black Ted Williams. A ground ball rolls through Bill Buckner's legs. Doc Gooden does more coke.

Ah, the 1986 Mets. A beautiful combination of talent, arrogance, and self-destructiveness. Clearly a can't-miss topic for a biography, right? Wrong.

This book missed the mar...more
Brent Soderstrum
Pearlman does an excellent job giving you a behind the scences glimpse at the 1986 Mets. Who could ever forget the comeback by the Mets with Boston on the verge of winning the World Series. Mookie Wilson hitting a ball through the legs of Bill Buckner to cap the comeback in game 6 and send the Series to game 7 which the Mets win is something I will never forget.

You get to really know the Mets circa 1986 and quite frankly they weren't a likeable group. Gooden and Strawberry were the young stars w...more
Vertrees
I loved it. The 1986 Baseball season was the most memorable for me because I was a softball player at the time and was interested in the sport, but more so because the games were amazing. The National League championship series with the Astros and Mets and the World Series with the Mets and Red Sox had such close, exciting games- there has been nothing comparable to me since then. The only series close to that was the worst-to-first run on the Braves while I was in Atlanta (I skipped Calculus cl...more
♥Beleza★✰
This is an account of the 1986 Mets, they beat the Red Sox in the World Series. The Red Sox almost won it in game six, an error that created the word "Bucknered" allowed the Mets to win and go to game seven.

Jeff Pearlman is a Mets fan, you find this out in the beginning of the book, and grows up to be a sports writer. Then he goes on to Cashen, GM of the Mets when he started with the organization and his efforts to build a championship team.

The '86 Mets were not nice guys, they drank, did drug...more
Elwood D Pennypacker
Despite hard boiled style analogies poorer than a Hobo in 1930 and a bad sense of non-baseball assessments (no one remembers who the Green Bay Packers defeated in the first two Super Bowls? Cameo was a no-hit wonder R&B group?), this is nevertheless a fun, easy history that really sticks to its title and its way over the top unnecessary sub-title.

For the first half of the book, seemingly every paragraph ends with the same sentiment: "They were/We were/I was such jerks". And thankfully, the '...more
Armand D'isselt
First off, I've been a Mets fan ever since I was a small child. This is a great, eminently readable and entertaining baseball book about my favorite team of all time, the 1986 World Series Champs, the New York Mets. Author Jeff Pearlman gives great insight into the Shea Stadium of 27 years ago. He delves into the personalities of the key players and shows us how the assemblage of hard partying veterans and green rookies alike coalesced into the legend that became the 1986 New York Mets. I think...more
Cindie
Full disclaimer: I'm a third generation Mets fan, but I wasn't around yet for the '86 Mets.

As someone that has grown up with a mediocre team that has occasionally shown moments of greatness, I loved reading about the Mets in their heyday. I knew that the '86 team was a bit raucous (you only need to have read a newspaper in the last few years...the names Dykstra, Gooden, Strawberry, etc., haven't exactly been attached to feel-good stories). But as much as they were a bunch of jerks back in the da...more
Reenie
Blah. I laughed a few times, and some of the stories were a little funny. But I don't have much else positive to say about it. This was about as exciting as a collection of disjointed anecdotes about unlikeable people and pedestrian play-by-plays of games that would have been thrilling at the time can be 25 years later to someone who wasn't there and doesn't have any connection with any of the players. I'm fond of the Mets, but I'm fond of the current team, which has more in common with the ridi...more
Diener
This book was special to me because it of the memories it summoned. The Summer of 1986. My father had passed away two years earlier, and my mom and I were just starting to put our respective lives back together. We spent the summer at our beach house in Galveston, Texas. I turned 12 and fell in love with baseball. I fondly recall long days spent at the beach, diligently constructing sand cities in the hot Gulf sun, my imagination often my only companion. Nighttime would usually find me in the ca...more
Tracey
A great account of all the debauchery and glory of the Mets' crazy 1986 season and World Series win that year. I've been a Mets fan since about 1994 and found this read to be highly entertaining. This book provided a behind the scenes look into what took place on and off the field, almost transporting you to that time and place. Highly recommended to other fans and fans of baseball alike.
Rob Caroti
I was seven when the Mets won the '86 world series and I think I remember stories about that season more than the season itself. The first year I can clearly recall is 1988 when Hershiser and Kirk Gibson ripped my heart out. That being said, a lot of what I thought I knew about this incredible season was completely wrong, including even the players on the team themselves (HoJo was a bit player and Kevin McReynolds didn't show up until '87, I had never even heard of George Foster).

This is a must...more
Dan
I hated this team, but I wanted to know more about them so I picked up this book by Jeff Pearlman. I had enjoyed his biography of Barry Bonds, someone else I detest, so I thought he might help me understand why this team was so abhorrent.

It turns out the team was pretty much an extension of their manager, Davey Johnson, who promoted the idea from the spring training that they would be a team that didn't just win, but crushed their opponents.

There was a lot of talent here (probably one of the 15...more
James
A collection of columns about the 1986 Mets, very much from the Met's perspective. There is a rough chronological order to the chapters, from the historical Mets, to the middle of the season, to the greatest World Series in the last 50 years. But they don't really link together: for example, the article about Daryl and Dwight didn't seem to link up with any of the later articles. The drunken antics on the field did not seem to have any impact on the events on the field. The best story was of Geo...more
Jerry Smith
Not bad. In keeping with the persoanlity of the team this presents itself as a warts and all account of the Mets 1986 world series win and the season that led up to it.

Not sure if Pearlman has an admiration for the antics of this bunch of ball players or not. He presents it fairly matter of fact without judgement either way, although he is not afraid to call the players jerks (even if it is through the quotes of others).

All in all its an interesting read but without a rooting interest and with...more
Mike
This was my favorite team when I was a kid and the 1986 season was a dream come true after suffering through all the terrible teams of the late 70s and early 80s. It's funny to read what absolute jerks they all were but I imagine many sports teams had the same problem.

There are a lot of good anecdotes in there I'd never heard before - like about the music recording, "Get Metsmerized." Pretty hilarious.

There are some weird bits where he'll describe Boston fans as "the worst in the world" but then...more
Matthew
As a Mets fan, this is an indispensable book. It does a great job recounting the tremendous talent and personalities in the locker room. If you aren't a sports fan, this may be not be the book for you; however any baseball fan will love Pearlman's narrative.
Ladon Stephney
This book is about the New york mets winning the world championship in 1986 and about how they were before they won the championship. I have a text to self connection for this book. This book reminds me of the time when I was playing in a baseball league and at the beginning my team wasnt good but towards the end of the season we got better and one the championship. This connects to this book because at first they were bad but as the year progressed the got better and soon one the championship...more
Andrew Donahue
Remarkably entertaining. One of those books that while knowing what was going to happen I was still gripped and at times even nervous. I found Pearlman trying at times, mainly when he attempted to be funny and/or clever, and his unending attempt to make the players seem like "the worst people in the world" got a little old and at times even seemed unjustified. However, the book is well structured and the stories, quotes, and opinions he was able to unearth are all well worth it. I especially lik...more
Todd Dow
I became a Mets fan during their '86 World Series victory year. This book provided a human side to the gong show that was their successful rise and fast descent. At 12 years old, I was too young (and the media was not as prevalent as the Internet is today) to understand what went on with the team off of the field. Jeff Pearlman's writing is fantastic - it provides an intimate glimpse into the whirlwind year that was.

This book was a wholly entertaining read - especially as baseball fans get ready...more
Kareem
Pretty impressive, entertaining book. Remember seeing this team play several times that season. Have family that live in New York and spent a good bit of time that summer up there. They had several bench-clearing brawls that season and I was lucky enough to see one of those live. A Friday night at Shea Stadium the Mets vs. the Braves. They really were the team everyone loved to hate and they represented New York to the hilt. Enjoyed reading about their escapades on and off the field. Lots of fol...more
Roy
Mar 13, 2008 Roy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: sports fans
Shelves: non-fiction
A must read for any NY Mets fan with a vivid memory of their 1986 championship season. The 4-star rating I've given is probably a greater reflection of my fond memories than my opinion of the skill of the writer. Then again, this book did make for a lightning fast read so no doubt it was written adequately and perhaps even quite well. On the field of play they were amazing to watch and root for. As this book taught me, off the field they were even more entertaining. Apparently they managed to wi...more
A.J. Smith
May 20, 2008 A.J. Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Mets fans, or any baseball fan.
Growing up a Mets fan was never easy. Even in their heyday, having your idol constantly compared to the jinx Donny Baseball, knocked because of a supposed cocaine habit. When your 8 years old, is that going to deter you? Well, at least my hero won two World Series rings, lets see Mattingly beat that!
Now here we are 20+ years later, and this book compiles all the dirty facts my young, innocent mind wasn't focusing on back in '86. Drug habits, wrecked planes, police brawls, cat decapitations, and...more
Christina
In 1986 I was a little kid with her first celebrity/athlete crush on Keith Hernandez. Baseball was everything in the Wise household, as were the NY Mets...my Mom's favorite team from her younger years. She rubbed off on me, and 20+ years later I read a book that let all the skeletons out of the clubhouse. I never knew what kind of guys were on that team, to me they were just really cool baseball players. Behind the scenes, they were...well...the bad guys, to phrase it nicely and without dirty wo...more
Mr. Kim
I vividly remember the 1986 season as a 7-year old living in Flushing, riding high on the Mets' every victory. Sure, other baseball teams have won more, and more often since that season, but that really was the best baseball team that I've ever seen. They were like the '96 Yankees, but with more talent AND without the class. As with most in elevated positions of fame and fortune, these Mets had MANY flaws and vices, as detailed in Jeff Pearlman's The Bad Guys Won!, but ultimately, it didn't matt...more
Dustin Gaughran
First off, I'm not a Mets fan, so you won't get a homer review. But I loved this book. I was only five in 1986, so I can vaguely remember them winning it all, but not enough to appreciate what was really going on. This book almost read like a comedy novel. The cast of characters are all very real, and so are the situations they're in, but you'd almost swear that they weren't. Everything was over the top and insane, including how Boston eventually blew it all. I'm a baseball fan in general, so th...more
Mike
Jul 13, 2013 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: New York Mets fans
Shelves: sports
I've been following baseball since 1977 and no team has captured my interest or heart as much as the 1986 New York Mets. They lived by the motto "work hard; play hard" like no others. Not only did they tear up the baseball diamond by winning 108 games but they tore up an assorted collection of airplanes and clubs along the way. They played in one of the most exciting NL playoff series ever against the Houston Astros and then pulled off a miracle by defeating the Boston Red Sox. This is a great b...more
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