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The Bad Guys Won!

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,976 Ratings  ·  186 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. ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Jul 23, 2012 Dan rated it it was ok
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
Jun 28, 2014 Doug rated it really liked it
On the original Saturday Night Live, Garret Morris played fictional a Hispanic baseball player named Chico Ruiz. As a player he was forgettable, but the joke was that he wrote a tell-all book, Bad Stuff About The Mets. The book made him an outcast from the game and the running joke was that he was always being chased by players who wanted to kill him.

Bad Stuff About the Mets was a non-existent book. The Bad Guys Won is all too real. If you hate the '86 Mets than this is your bible. If you felt t
Michael Shore
May 07, 2014 Michael Shore rated it really liked it
Thanks Eric and Matt! I thought because I lived through the '86 Mets that i knew it all. Well like Jon Snow ( sorry about the GOT reference but i have to), i knew nothing!

This book goes deep inside the locker room, as well as the plane rides, and hotel antics that made them the "Bad Guys". I remember how disappointed i was when Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry went from 1st round HOF to drug busts and issues with women. What i didn't know was how much they lied and were so out of it. The extent
Oct 21, 2015 Roy rated it really liked it  ·  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. This book made for a lightning fast read. 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 win almost in spite of themselves as their talent overrode team harmony. It seems like it was only yesterday but somehow more than 20 years have passed. Ya gotta believe that's Amazin'.
Aug 19, 2008 Dan rated it it was amazing
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.
Jeffrey Underhill
Okay, has plenty flaws.

I thought this would be an interesting read. And it was, but it left much to desire. Being a diehard and not living during the 86 run, I only had my dad's, mom's and brother's memories of the season. This details a fans look at how the season went, with random quote I assume Pearlman found in random video interviews.
He also I think has validity and bias issues. Some players he highlights more than others. Doc and Straw were legitimately criticized, but the knocks on Carte
Will Byrnes
Oct 29, 2008 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, baseball
An inside look at the 1986 Mets, the entire season, this is a very compelling read, with information that was new to me. It reads quickly and does not pretend to be more than what it is, a recollection of a magical season.
Apr 22, 2014 Mario rated it really liked it
After having read Pearlman's chronicle of the 80's LA Lakers, "Showtime", I was extremely enthusiastic about also taking in "The Bad Guys Won!".

A Queens native, I was raised a Mets fan by my father and remain so today. However, in 1986, along with being ostracized and picked on for my nerdy appearance and demeanor, I was the sole NYM fan in my Houston, Texas high school. Things reached critical mass in the fall of 86' during the NLCS and my life rode an emotional roller coaster along with the up
Jul 23, 2011 Jonathan rated it liked it
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
Dec 31, 2010 Kyle rated it it was ok
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
Brent Soderstrum
Oct 25, 2008 Brent Soderstrum rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 23, 2013 Vertrees rated it it was amazing
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
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
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 '
Jul 27, 2013 Armand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2012 Cindie rated it really liked it
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
Apr 04, 2011 Reenie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, baseball
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
Jan 10, 2009 Diener rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
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
Feb 05, 2014 Tracey rated it it was amazing
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
May 08, 2012 Rob Caroti rated it liked it
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
Abacus Moonwala
Apr 15, 2016 Abacus Moonwala rated it really liked it
In preparation for the 2016 baseball season, and in honor of thirty years since my team last won the World Series, I decided to pick up The Bad Guys Won!, a fun little book about the world-champion 1986 New York Metropolitans. Click to read my full review of The Bad Guys Won! at "Abacus Moonwala Reads Books" (
May 07, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it
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
Apr 04, 2009 James rated it liked it
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
Jul 29, 2011 Jerry Smith rated it liked it
Shelves: sport, 2011-read
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
Sep 28, 2015 Jaymontague rated it it was amazing
obviously 1 star is comped here due to my undying love for the NY Mets, but the other 4 are certainly deserved due to witty recollections, quotes and a true up insiders look into the debauchery and fucking amazing tale of the 1986 NY Mets works series run fueled by hookers and blow.
Oct 15, 2010 Mike rated it liked it
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
Feb 18, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 10, 2010 Ladon Stephney rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 14, 2015 Kevin rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
This is an entertaining chronicle of one of the most notorious, and one of the greatest, baseball teams in history. The baseball drama detailed in it is good, but I found the tales of debauchery more fun. If I were a Mets fan--and thank God I'm not--the '86 team would be a great, but bittersweet memory. At the conclusion of the story, the reader is found wondering what could have been, if many of the men on this great team had been able to resist temptation.
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“The nightmares are that you’re gonna let the winning run score on a ground ball through your legs. —BILL BUCKNER, in a TV interview before Game 1 of the 1986 World Series” 0 likes
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