Darryl Strawberry may have received his big break as a member of the New York Mets during the 1980s, but it appears his loyalty lies with the Mets’ crosstown rival in the Bronx.
In an interview on WABC radio’s The Bernie and Sid Show Tuesday afternoon, the four-time world champion discussed his appreciation for George Steinbrenner’s Yankees, and his disdain for the Fred Wilpon-Sandy Alderson-led Mets.
“[Steinbrenner] was a father, he was a father to the hopeless,” said Strawberry, who won three World Series titles with the Yankees from 1996 to 1999. “He would go get players that nobody else would touch. He just loved us. He was different than anybody I’d ever experienced.
“He was probably the greatest owner that ever will be in sports because he loved people and loved his players. Everyone that put a Yankee uniform on is family to him. He doesn’t turn his back on his players, like the other organization across town. It’s just the reality.”
Before joining the Yankees in 1996, Strawberry spent the first eight years of his career in Queens with the Mets, and helped the franchise win a dramatic World Series over the Boston Red Sox in 1986. While that team won a Major League-best 108 games during the regular season, their legacy is somewhat shrouded by admitted drug and alcohol abuse on and off the field.
According to Strawberry, the Mets have not made enough of an effort to acknowledge the team or its players.
“The players on the ’86 championship team, we don’t even deal with the Mets. It’s not Fred Wilpon, it’s the new thing,” Strawberry said. “I’d never go back, I’d rather stay with the Yankees than ever go back to the Mets.
“It hurts us. It hurts what they’ve done to players. I’ve seen what they did to Ray Knight, what they did to Gary Carter. It really hurts. Those were key players that gave so much. They laid their life out for the organization.”
The entire interview, which explains Strawberry’s life before and after baseball, can be accessed here.