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The Bad Guys Won!

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  4,056 ratings  ·  245 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)
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Will Byrnes
Oct 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Jeff Pearlman - image from his site

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 most of the very unmagical seasons since then). A must-read for lifelong Mets fans like me, and a should-read for serious baseball fans, even if they are not afflicted with need to root for the Metropolitans.

Links to the author’s pe
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
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
When I go down the inevitable YouTube “rabbit hole” to devour vintage ‘86 Mets baseball footage, it’s surreal. Especially in the context of a global pandemic. Not just the cheesy “Get Metsmerized” song or “Let’s Go Mets” video. Not just the endless angles and slow-motion shots of Buckner’s D-R-A-MA-T-IC (and still unbelievable) Game 6 error. Not even the dude parachuting onto the field out of nowhere in the middle of the game. But mostly the scenes of a ravenous NYC crowd hurling reams of toilet ...more
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
Lady ♥ Belleza
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
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
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
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
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'. ...more
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. ...more
M. Thomas Apple
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
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
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 Frank Cashen & a ...more
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a feel good, quick read. I could not put the book down. It is difficult to imagine a group of different characters played together to win the baseball championship. The 1986 Mets appear fictional from a Hollywood script. Surprisingly, this was an authentic group that existed and propelled themselves to baseball immortality.

My favorite part of the book is the description of how the team was assembled over time to become a National League powerhouse. The person hired as General Manager to
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball
8 teams in the Expansion era (post-‘61) have won 2 of every 3 regular season games and only 6 of those won the World Series, making this team one of the best (‘01 Mariners and ‘69 Orioles didn’t win Series; ‘61 Yanks, ‘70 Orioles, ‘75 Reds and ‘18 Red Sox also won. ‘98 Yanks were probably best tho).

But the’86 Mets were despised outside Queens (including in Yankee fans) should have won more, and based on this book, they deserved it. Unlike other books about teams that focus on all off-fie
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
Christopher DuMont
Great read for a team that played a big part of my high school years. I love how Pearlman was able to blend all the stories of the players into a coherent story and yet kept the focus on the '86 World Series team. Though I followed the team everyday in the papers growing up, I had no idea about all the back stories that were taking place - and Pearlman is spot on that it will be a long time if ever when we see a team like this again. Definitely worth the read about a crazy team that focused on w ...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
Rob Rains
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Jeff Pearlman's unique brand of humor and facts/analysis is readily on display for this book and the sole reason I picked it up. While Pearlman has written about more interesting topics, such as "Football for a Buck" about the USFL, he does a great job here of fleshing out the personalities and (more often) shortcomings of the ragtag 1986 Mets baseball team that captivated New York City. Diehard baseball fans or even just casual fans will enjoy this book. Strongly encourage readers to check out ...more
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The title of the book sums it as as well as any review can. Pearlman tells good, the bad, and the ugly of a World Series winning team that partied almost as hard as it competed. The 1986 Mets walked a tight rope of inflated egos, personality conflicts, and substance abuse as they ruled New York and the baseball world for one magical season. Ultimately, the same eccentricity that made this team so compelling is also what made their run of dominance so short lived. In the end, The Bad Guys Won is ...more
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
Baseball, beer, attitude and some coke

Baseball takes a backseat to the Mets party. The Mets were fueled by testosterone and beer. There whole team would not take shit from anyone. It’s like the grown up bad news bears. Too bad about Gooden and Strawberry. They are true enigmas who should have carried the team for many years. They seemed be stuck in a bubble that rarely ventured outside their team. The author’s style is so easy to read. He goes from story to story with no dead time. I flew throug
Michael Romo
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a lifelong Mets fan, who was seven years old when the miracle Mets won the 1969 World Series, I love this book. The 86 team was a hodgepodge of eccentric characters, eccentric and extremely talented. As this book ably demonstrates this was a team destined to win and yet it could’ve gone the other way so easily. If you want a quick and extremely entertaining read about a quirky baseball club this book is for you.
Bob Congdon
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Immortalized 86 Mets.

As an avid Mets fan since their creation this was a great ride down memory lane. It was fun reading about Keith and the boys. The 69 Mets were phenomenal and exciting, but these boys broke a mold. The sad part was seeing the beginning of the end for 2 potential Hall of Famers-Gooden and Strawberry. Sits up there with "Boys of Summer, " and "Ball Four." Great time to read baseball books since season delayed.
Elizabeth Raines
The Motley Crue of baseball.
This book was average and I guess it will hold me over until baseball is back, whenever that will be. The writing was all over the place, there was no real pace to it and a bunch of skipping around. The game parts were boring, I’m more of a visual person so don’t think I’m hating on the sport. I felt a lot for this team reading it, I was rooting for them even though they’re the bad guys.
Jon Whitehead
Aug 10, 2020 rated it liked it
So, first, I really enjoyed reading this book. I am a big baseball fan, and especially a fan of baseball in my youth. I am also a big fan of Jeff Pearlman's, he is a dynamite writer, and his wit and research into his writing glows on the page. Second, in The Bad Guys Won! I was concerned about some the language he uses in the book to describe players and interactions on the team. I know he learned from this book, but in reflection, it's a little 'blue'. ...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.
Frank Settineri
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a Mets fan most of my life and was only vaguely aware of all the shenanigans the team did both on and off the field. I never knew they were thrown out of a bar in Houston and told they coule never return. My heros - Mookie, Gary, Ray, Darryl, Doc, Keith, Nails, Wally, Davey and all the guys - are brought to life in an unprecedented expose that is quite a wild ride. ...more
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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

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