Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bad Guys Won!” as Want to Read:
The Bad Guys Won!
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bad Guys Won!

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,466 ratings  ·  217 reviews
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 g
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bad Guys Won!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Bad Guys Won!

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
Growing up I detested the New York Mets for an event that happened before I was born. Many people refer to 1969 as the year of the Miracle Mets, and I refer to it as the year of the black cat that perpetuated the Cubs ever present curse. The year 2015 brought a new era of detesting the Mets in the form of a post season playoff sweep, bringing my level of abhorring the Mets to a new high. When we moderators of the baseball book group agreed to read The Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman this month, fe ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
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. (unlike 2017).
Jill Hutchinson
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
What can you say about the 1986 World Series Champs, the NY Mets? They were without a doubt the nastiest bunch of immature drunks, druggies, skirt chasers and practical jokers in both leagues. The author, Jeff Pearlman, was in the position to know as a long time writer for Sports Illustrated and had the inside track to interviews and confessions from those who played with this amazing team. Whether sports fans like it or not, the Yankees were the team from New York and then along came the bad-b ...more
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
Plenty has been written about the 1986 New York Mets, one of the most colorful teams to win a World Series in the past few decades. Just HOW colorful they were is captured in this terrific book by award winning author Jeff Pearlman.

Because that particular team had so much talent, the belief was that they were going to win many championships. Why they failed to do so as been discussed in many of the aforementioned books, but instead, Pearlman writes about the character (and characters) of the te
Jul 23, 2012 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
Brent Soderstrum
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Michael Shore
Jun 22, 2009 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
Aug 19, 2008 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.
Mar 13, 2008 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'.
M. Thomas Apple
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was written in 2004, well before social media existed. Which means that by now, nearly all the escapades of the '86 Mets have been circulated ad nauseum across Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. (The most famous being the food fight and vomitorium plane ride after the NLCS, which Lenny Dykstra and many others have been eager to explain, accompanied by line drawings on YouTube.)

As a 14 year old living in Upstate - and no, Jeff Pearlman, you do NOT live in Upstate, you live barely north of
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love a good story about a great heel. And somewhere, under all the clumsy turns of phrase, that story’s in here. But that story is also on Wikipedia.

Listen: this is so far out of my wheelhouse that I don’t know how to evaluate it. Surely I can’t criticize a book about the ‘86 Mets for containing too much boring baseball stuff. But if you’re looking for salacious details, you can stop reading once the team hits the playoffs.

Is this what sports writing is like? Nearly every page contains an unw
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
The team of my youth & enthusiasm! Great to revisit this memorable season, tho the author finds he needs to constantly stress his chosen title/premise with all the sordid stories he can dig up. It wears thin after a while; there were plenty of other crazy characters on other teams. Lots of great stories about these characters, their differences & their chemistry together, & it is also chock full of fascinating history & information alongside the madness, like the "origin" of GM F ...more
Sean Chick
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The 1986 Mets were ahead of their time in use of PR and computer guided analytics but they were at heart a throwback club. That is why Pearlman wrote this book: to discuss the drama and exploits of one of baseball's finest and rowdiest teams. Today, the clean cut image is what advertisers want. Think of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, both assholes but they knew how to present themselves. They show us what we want to see. I am no Ali fan, but at least the man had blood running through his veins. ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I remember the 1986 NY Mets World Series championship very well, even 30+ years later. What I never knew about that season is how it all came to be, and how it happened. Jeff Pearlman does a terrific job of putting together all the elements that went into that year. From the management that built the team, to the players, coaches and field manager, this eye-opening expose of a group of misfits, bad boys, carousers, ladies men, alcohol and drug abusers is all on display. Fan favorites Dwight Goo ...more
Don Gorman
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
(1 1/2). Being a naive New Yorker and a baseball fan it was easy to pick this one up. It was not as easy to read. Yes, the Mets are a bunch of relatively nasty human beings, making for colorful descriptions of the aberrant behavior, but it does seriously limit the readability of some of this book. As usual, you wonder how they got away with some of what was going on, who knew and did not know in management and that sort of thing. Their baseball abilities were over the top, and some of the action ...more
Jill Atkins
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. I think it's an interesting read for any Mets fan. It brings you back to the days when hope was alive and the city was decked out in orange and blue.

It's an interesting read and there were so many things that I had never really heard before. I didn't want to put it down and this was the second time I read it.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Pearlman pulls back the curtain on the '86 Mets and gives a warts and all picture. They won in spite of their many (many) flaws. But that's teamwork for you.

As an aside, everyone should stop demonizing Bill Buckner. That was Game 6. The Sox had the chance to win Game 7 and didn't. As a team.
David Ambrose
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is mainly a well-written book and a good account of the 1986 Mets. It's disappointing to learn how terribly behaved some of these people are, though. You grow up watching them play, and you don't necessarily think about what they're like as people.
Dave Lundy
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved the Mets back in '86. Great team full of characters. Loved the behind the scenes stories. Funny and interesting!
Michael Field
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the team I grew up watching, so of course I was all in on the behind the scenes antics of my beloved Mets. Definitely full of great insight behind their magical run in '86.
G. Goodson
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enlightening book!

Sometimes funny and sometimes sad! Spoiled brats with no class! Carter must have been a real jerk to his team mates.
Dan Gould
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great to re-live the Mets 1986 season. Well written, any Met fan would enjoy this book.
Paul Shapiro
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a Mets fan since the magical year of 1986, I devoured every story Pearlman so expertly told. A true must read for all Mets fans or even just fans of baseball.
Nicholas Kessler
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Given the setting and cast of characters, it felt very rote. So many narrative arcs to take and the course chosen was akin to The Bad News Bears.
10/13/2016 read library e-book, entertaining, somewhat unsettling behind the scenes look at the Champion 1986 Mets
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The stories in here are hard to believe. Amazing that such successful men acted they way they did. It was also disheartening to read the epilogue. First, it was frustrating to see the author describe current baseball as "lame" because the great players don't act like this anymore. And as a coach it was sad to see so many of these guys moving on to leadership positions as coaches in baseball. I wish there was more said about guys that have turned their lives around and to hear reflection on that ...more
Dec 31, 2010 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
Jul 01, 2013 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
Feb 15, 2013 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness
  • The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds
  • The Complete Game: Reflections on Baseball, Pitching, and Life on the Mound
  • Living on the Black
  • The Long Ball: The Summer of '75 -- Spaceman, Catfish, Charlie Hustle, and the Greatest World Series Ever Played
  • Cobb: A Biography
  • The Pitch That Killed
  • 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports
  • Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top
  • The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball
  • Nine Innings: The Anatomy of a Baseball Game
  • The Wrong Stuff
  • Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend
  • Fantasyland: True Tales from America's Most Compulsive Fantasy Baseball League
  • Game Six: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America's Pastime
  • Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers
  • The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics
  • Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy
Jeff Pearlman is an American sports writer. He has written two books about baseball and was the author of the infamous John Rocker interview in Sports Illustrated. In October 2011 he released his fifth book, a biography of Walter Payton titled, "Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton." It spent four weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Pearlman was born and raised in Mahopac, New Y
“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
“Four hours and forty-two minutes after Knepper began the game by striking out Wilson, the Mets swarmed the field and swallowed Orosco. Mike Scott was named NLCS MVP. New York was going to the World Series. It was time to destroy an airplane.” 0 likes
More quotes…