Davey Johnson Says Strawberry Was Toughest '86 Met To Deal With

1986 Mets Manager Joined Joe & Evan

Joe & Evan
June 01, 2018 - 1:14 pm



By WFAN.com

The last time the Mets won a World Series in 1986, Davey Johnson was the manager. It might be the most memorable team in franchise history. Johnson joined WFAN's Joe & Evan Friday as he promotes his new book, "Davey Johnson: My Wild Ride In Baseball and Beyond." 

The 1986 team was full of characters and some guys who had boatloads of talent, but enjoyed the nightlife a bit too much at times. One guy in particular was the toughest to deal with though.

"Probably Darryl Strawberry. He would come in late sometimes and gleary-eyed and stuff," said Johnson on WFAN Friday. "He supported an orphanage out in Queens. With all the fines I had to put on him, I let him donate the money to an orphanage. He made a lot of guys lives a lot easier. He was tough. I admired his ability so much and I just wanted him to just live up...he had tremendous potential. He had great years and probably some better years with the Yankees, but just a great talent. I used to love just watching him play. He hit balls farther over the left field wall than most right-hand hitters could even dream about."

Johnson managed the Mets from 1984-1990. Frank Cashen was the GM then, and he would not sign free agents, which Johnson wasn't fond of. 

"Even when I was there, he would never sign a free agent," Johnson said. "When Andre Dawson became available, I said we could use that guy, it's only going to be $500K to sign him. It's a great. 'We don't sign free agents.' To me, he would have been a big help. All the time I'm there, no free agents. That's the only one I asked him to make. I had no say in any of the trades. I would never come out publicly and disagree with a trade they made because I just wanted to do the things for the guy above me, my GM." 

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Johnson also was a winner with the Orioles where he managed some pretty good teams, including the 1996 team that got robbed with the "Jeffrey Maier" game, which left Johnson with a tremendous quote to the umpire that called it a home run for Derek Jeter.

"I still don't understand how the umpire Garcia sitting right next to Torasco and I'm 350 feet away, I can see it crystal clear. I said 'are you blind or a Yankee fan?' That cost me."

In other news, Johnson was actually a part of WFAN when he was managing. He did a show with Howie Rose.

"I love WFAN," said Johnson. "I would listen all the time after the game, all the way home. The next day when I did the show, I knew all the answers. This is the question asked the other day, this is why they're so dumb, they didn't know he had a broken leg in the dugout. I really loved it because it was a way for me to answer back to the fans. You can get criticism and some of it can be justified. A lot of it isn't because they don't have the facts that you have. The FAN was really great for me. It made my job easier."