The organization announced on Monday morning that Strawberry will return to the team this season in a variety of functions, including as an outfielder instructor this spring. And despite my general penchant for cynicism, I couldn’t be happier for my former hero.
Darryl, you’ve paid your debts and have earned a chance to return home.
Strawberry, who turns 46 next week apparently looked in “near playing shape” early Monday when he shook hands with a few reporters. Despite a tenure shortened by drugs, legal infractions, and a magnetic attraction to all of life’s downfalls, he remains the Mets’ career leader in homers, RBIs and walks.
It still hurts to think of how good he could have been.
Besides working with outfielders this spring, Strawberry is expected to help at various minor league outposts during the year and also serve the New York Mets in community relations.
We here at Bugs & Cranks have always acknowledged the human side of baseball, and have supported players who have cleaned up and redeemed their careers. And after seeing B&C favorite Josh Hamilton earn his overdue stripes last season, there’s no reason to think Darryl won’t do the same.Cheers, Darryl. Now go teach Fernando Martinez how to play like you, circa 1985, and conduct himself like you, circa 2008.