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Past book reviews & discussions > Discussion of "The Bad Guys Won!"

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message 1: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13598 comments Mod
Share your thoughts on the May book, The Bad Guys Won! The Bad Guys Won! by Jeff Pearlman


message 2: by Michael Linn (new)

Michael Linn | 11236 comments Just got it yesterday & will tear into it , but I can imagine some of what`s in there..... give me a couple of minutes
Mike Linn
I can`t believe I need another bookcase


message 3: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13598 comments Mod
One reason I like e-books. The cloud holds a LOT more books!


message 4: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8656 comments Mod
I am up to the NLCS already. Everyone here knows my general opinion of the New York national league ball club but I will admit that this book has me laughing about the team's antics. It is amazing what guys used to get away with so I'm glad that office cleaned up the game as much as they could.


message 5: by Lance (last edited May 07, 2018 09:07AM) (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13598 comments Mod
Here's an ironic twist...I read most of the beer drinking stories while I was on the deck of the ship with the beach chairs, sipping a beer. Guess it's a good thing I wasn't on a plane!


message 6: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8656 comments Mod
Touché. It is amazing how much these players got away with before drug testing became a staple of the game. I'm wondering how rampant the boozing is with guys knowing how it effects their bodies on game day.


message 7: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13598 comments Mod
It was mentioned in this book but was even more widespread earlier - amphetomines or "greenies". Plus the cocaine - look at the sentences talking about some of Keith Henandez's habits in the dugout...mainly to mask drug use.


message 8: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 18501 comments FYI Dick Hayhurst's Bullpen Gospel's is on sale for $1.99 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Bullpen-Gospel...


message 9: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8656 comments Mod
Hernandez was borderline hof early in career. Perhaps if gen didn't do all of those amphetamines mentioned he may have gotten there. I must admit, as much as I detest the Metropolitans, this group pulled some epic stunts and enjoyed every bit of it.


message 10: by Lance (last edited May 07, 2018 11:19AM) (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13598 comments Mod
As I am writing my review now (the more I thought about , the more I decided to give this five stars instead of the initial four), I am thinking about the baseball sections instead of the player stories. There are some parts that I forgot about - and I will mention a couple.

One - something I remembered about game 6 that many don't, but it really did end up being big - Jim Rice not scoring on Dwight Evans' double in the first inning. Much like Lonnie Smith 5 years later, that run could have been huge for the Red Sox. I realize that Rice was slow, but unlike Smith, there wasn't any tricks played or other distraction that wouldn't let him know that he could have easily scored.

Two - the obsession that the Mets had with Mike Scott doctoring the ball bordered on obscene. It's a wonder they didn't do worse in the NLCS with how they concentrated on what Scott did instead of what they were doing. Good thing for them they didn't need a game 7.

Third - I made a note with a crack about today's game. One of the reasons given for the release of George Foster is that he struck out more than 100 time in each of his full seasons with the Mets. I noted that if he was doing that in today's game, he would be considered a contact hitter if only just breaking 100.

He was probably the least liked of all the guys on that team - even less than Carter. I was surprised at all the venom thrown at Carter by players of both the Mets and the Expos. I never thought he came off that selfish. I guess it helps to have that good image with the press.


message 11: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8656 comments Mod
I was a just a little younger than you when this happened ;) but the obsession with Mike Scott does sound obscene. And my question is if it was obvious that he doctored the ball, why didn't the umps or league office have the cojones to do anything about it. Is this in response to the Houston Police 4, Mets 0 incident or was the league run by a bunch of softies?


message 12: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 18501 comments Lance wrote: "As I am writing my review now (the more I thought about , the more I decided to give this five stars instead of the initial four), I am thinking about the baseball sections instead of the player st..."
I haven't read the book but i can tell you I have heard numerous stories about The Kid Gary Cater and the most dangerous thing being caught between him and a TV cameraman.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Harold wrote: "Lance wrote: "As I am writing my review now (the more I thought about , the more I decided to give this five stars instead of the initial four), I am thinking about the baseball sections instead of..."

On the other hand, if Carter was a nice guy who didn't abuse drugs, alcohol and women to excess, he may have been disliked by those who did. I have seen that happen in some clubhouses--the degenerates resent the guys who don't party with them.

Also, a clean image in the press is often a target on the back of some players--like Steve Garvey. Everybody seems to hate the All-American guys, especially if they see signs of them not being the golden boy the press makes them out to be.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Brina wrote: "Hernandez was borderline hof early in career. Perhaps if gen didn't do all of those amphetamines mentioned he may have gotten there. I must admit, as much as I detest the Metropolitans, this group ..."

Perhaps without the greenies, he wouldn't have stayed in the game very long.

But I agree Brina, it's surprising the damage physically gifted guys are willing to do to their bodies (knowing that they make a living based on those gifted bodies) in the name of fun. And they always seem to boast about the amount of abuse they can take and still perform the next day.

When I went into the Air Force as a doctor they gave us some lectures on the mind set of hot-shot fighter pilots. This is the same Right Stuff mentality--I can get away with doing all this abuse to my body and still be the best because I, of course, have the Right Stuff. Now I wouldn't advise you to do it (of course, because you don't have the Right Stuff you miserable peckerwood), wink, wink, but I was able to do it.

But they all end up paying for it, sooner or later. And, like you said, Keither possibly snorted himself out of a HOF plaque.

When my kids were growing up I never hesitated to use the back of a baseball card as a cautionary tale--showing what happened to the stats when the guys were using drugs--Hernandez, Strawberry and Gooden were always great teaching aids.


message 15: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8656 comments Mod
When Tuffy Rhodes in his one shining moment hit three opening day homers off of Gooden, I could tell the end of the road was near. The flip side is the Mets thought that Mitchell from the ghetto was a bad influence on their two wholesome African American stars and shipped him out. Mitchell went on to enjoy an MVP season not doing drugs, and Dr K and the Straw went downhill from there.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Brina wrote: "When Tuffy Rhodes in his one shining moment hit three opening day homers off of Gooden, I could tell the end of the road was near. The flip side is the Mets thought that Mitchell from the ghetto wa..."

Maybe New York was the worst possible place for those two guys. I have read that Strawberry seemed to have finally turned his life around but that Gooden is a very sad case--I saw a video of an interview with him from last year and he showed signs of dementia. He's only in his early to mid-50s I think.


message 17: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 18501 comments Doug wrote: "Harold wrote: "Lance wrote: "As I am writing my review now (the more I thought about , the more I decided to give this five stars instead of the initial four), I am thinking about the baseball sect..." Great example


message 18: by Michael Linn (new)

Michael Linn | 11236 comments Doug wrote: "Brina wrote: "When Tuffy Rhodes in his one shining moment hit three opening day homers off of Gooden, I could tell the end of the road was near. The flip side is the Mets thought that Mitchell from..."

Gooden is but 53 & I saw a piece with him & Strawberry sitting in a diner & Straw looked fine but Gooden looked stoned at the very least
Mike Linn


message 19: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 18501 comments I wish everyone here watched Brian Kenny's show on MBL Network at 4Pm everyday. The first segment discussed Buster Olney's opinions in the article above. They all agreed what the problem was but the remedies were limited. Dan Dowd(Former Rockies GM and former assistant Indians GM) said it's all about reworking the monetary reward system in the game. He says GM's look at WPA, win probability added to value a player's worth. He says right now KO's have lost their negative meaning and players are not penalized in the metric determining the WAP. Smoltz and Dowd waxed nostalgic about how embarrassed a player was who had 100 KO's a year or how poorly thought of(maybe lost his job) if he hit .220. But now the .220 hitter points to his 30 home runs and says no big deal about my BA. Of course they also pointed out the unwillingness of players to beat the shift by hitting the opposite way. No one wanted lower mounds. Smoltz suggested limiting pitchers to 12 on a roster. Brian Kenny said you should eliminate errors entirely because the determination is so subjective)other than when the first baseman drops the throw for example). He says anything put in play is a hit. That would put more value into a player's WPA. Even Dowd wondered aloud maybe that made sense. But all felt this was years in the making and unless there are rules changed or the value system changes, it will be with us for along time and it makes for a no action game. This show is fascinating. It is the only analytical baseball show I can find that makes you think. I realize that "kill the error" is a bit hard to accept but the discussion was so apropos of our discussion today that I had to sahre it.


message 20: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8656 comments Mod
Amazing. Can we send that to the commish and see if what he thinks about it? 4 is tricky because that is when I pick up the kids from school. I will have to look if it's rerun at night or early in the morning. Anyway, Cubs about to start and hopefully a team like the Marlins can be a tonic for this rough week.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Harold wrote: "I wish everyone here watched Brian Kenny's show on MBL Network at 4Pm everyday. The first segment discussed Buster Olney's opinions in the article above. They all agreed what the problem was but th..."

Interesting food for thought, but the thing on the errors is ridiculous. Anyone who has ever listened to a Little Leaguer tell other kids he's hitting .900 (because every ball he puts in play gets him on first because no one can catch) or watches a high school dad on the scorebook write his kid in an extra two-hundred points on the B.A. by turning every error into a hit knows it is hugely subjective, but to eliminate errors altogether would distort true value and make historical comparisons impossible.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Back to the book, I was thinking about the Gary Carter thing last night. I'll admit I never followed his career closely and don't know enough about him, but I was always under the impression that he was one of the game's good guys. He always seem to hustle and, when I did pay attention, he seemed to come through with more than his share of clutch hits. He always was willing to do a good interview with the media.

I'm not sure being ill-thought of by a bunch of cheaters, drug-abusers and moral degenerates is necessarily a bad thing for someone's character.

Maybe they all hated him because their lives disintegrated due to all their excesses and his didn't (until he died of cancer).


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

The other thing on the "bad guy" image. As we said earlier, they always pay eventually; someone always has to pay.

Unfortunately, the order of paying for the sins of these guys is invariably: 1) their wives, 2) their kids, 3) the team, and finally (when most people have turned their attention to other teams), the players themselves.

I just finished an interesting book on the 1993 Phillies and the roid-abusing, hard-partying Macho Row of Dykstra, Williams, Daulton, etc. Virtually everyone of those guys (other than Kruk who developed a good on-screen shtick) wrecked their families, bodies and ended up hitting rock bottom not long after leaving the game.


message 24: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13598 comments Mod
Couple more thoughts on the book. One, it seemed like Gooden was treated with kid gloves for most of the book until he missed the celebration parade. Having read his memior, I think he is actually harder on himself for that and the whole year more than Pearlman is, who never is easy on anyone. Although his performance wasn't typical for Doc that year, it seems that just off this book his life wasn't quite the mess we found it it would become. Most of that vitriol is saved for Strawberry.

Two, did anyone else get the impression that Cashen was clueless as to what else was going on? Whether it was Gooden, the Houston nightclub incident or other stuff, he always seemed so shocked when something went wrong.

Three (okay it will be more than a couple), did anyone else get the impression that management really didn't want to deal with Kevin Mitchell's personality and almost blamed HIM for the problems, especially Strawberry's? They only dealt him away and he becomes a league MVP. While McReynolds was a decent player, they lost something when they got rid of Mitchell


message 25: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13598 comments Mod
Doug wrote: "The other thing on the "bad guy" image. As we said earlier, they always pay eventually; someone always has to pay.

Unfortunately, the order of paying for the sins of these guys is invariably: 1) t..."


I read that book too and was not impressed. The author came across as so rah rah for that team. He condemns all PED users but it was okay Dykstra did so then because it helped the Phillies?


message 26: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8656 comments Mod
Couldn't agree more and that's an interesting point Doug. I think at least 60 percent of sports marriages end in divorce so why these guys ruin their bodies at the expense of their families is beyond me. The book on the 93 Phils sounds fun.


message 27: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13598 comments Mod
But is that much worse than the divorce rate in general? Plus many wives will stay in that marriage for other reasons. #1 example is from another sport - Janay Rice. #2 example is a baseball wife - Claire Ruth. They have their reasons, but I don't think kt's all that different for athletes as it is for regular people.

And speaking of wives - how about Lisa Strawberry? I don't want to write the word I thought Pearlman described her as in case Mendel reads this thread


message 28: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 18501 comments The point I was trying to make about Gary Carter was that teammates didn't like him because he tried to take the glory for wins and success at the expense of the team. In other words they felt he was out for himself above the team.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Lance wrote: "But is that much worse than the divorce rate in general? Plus many wives will stay in that marriage for other reasons. #1 example is from another sport - Janay Rice. #2 example is a baseball wife -..."

I think the main difference is that in sports marriages the husband is on the road (with his over-aged frat brothers and plenty of unsupervised free time at nights) half the year. That and the fact that there seems to be an endless supply of women who find rich, young athletic males very attractive (at least after a few beers) whether they are married to someone else or not.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Harold wrote: "The point I was trying to make about Gary Carter was that teammates didn't like him because he tried to take the glory for wins and success at the expense of the team. In other words they felt he w..."

Good point Harold. A lot of times that perceived quality can also be a popularity contest and filed under team chemistry.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Lance wrote: "Couple more thoughts on the book. One, it seemed like Gooden was treated with kid gloves for most of the book until he missed the celebration parade. Having read his memior, I think he is actually ..."

I think management (and college football and basketball coaches) are always shocked when their best players are discovered in bad situations. Of course these micromanagers know exactly what is going on--most of the time you would have to be blind and deaf not to know. But they always come across as shocked and disappointed in public.

They will always excuse the best players but marginal ones are made an example of. Like when the Yankees traded Billy Martin after Mickey and Whitey tied one on too many times.

Sometimes they do make mistakes, like when Houston dumped Joe Morgan because the racist manager said he was a bad influence on Jim Wynn.

I agree that they missed the boat on Kevin Mitchell--I enjoyed the years he had with Cincinnati. I don't remember any attitude or behavior problems then (long after a lot of the Mets' golden boys had faded away).


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