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August 15 , 2010

The Bad Guys Won


Once upon a time, twenty-four grown men would play baseball together, eat together, carouse together, and brawl together. Alas, those hard-partying warriors have been replaced by GameBoy-obsessed, laptop-carrying, corporate soldiers who would rather punch a clock than a drinking buddy. But it wasn't always this way ...

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In The Bad Guys Won, award-winning former Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jeff Pearlman returns to an innocent time when a city worshipped a man named Mookie and the Yankess were the second-best team in New York. So it was in 1986, when the New York Mets – the last of baseball's live-like-rock-star teams – won the World Series and captured the hearts (and other select body parts) of fans everywhere.

But their greatness on the field was nearly eclipsed by how bad they were off it. Led by the indomitable Keith Hernandez and the young dynamic duo of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, along with the gallant Scum Bunch, the Amazin's won 108 regular-season games, while leaving a wide trail of wreckage in their wake – hotel rooms, charter planes, a bar in Houston, and most famously Bill Buckner and the eternally cursed Boston Red Sox. With an unforgettable cast of characters – Doc, Straw, the Kid, Nails, Mex, and manager Davey Johnson (as well as innumerable groupies) – The Bad Guys Won immortalizes baseball's last great wild bunch of explores what could have been, what should have been, and thanks to a tragic dismantling of the club, what never was.

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