Irked at Firing, McReynolds, Strawberry Apt to Quit Mets
There’s plenty of guilt to go around in the New York Mets clubhouse over the firing of Manager Davey Johnson.
His players took it personally when Johnson, who led them to a World Series championship in 1986, was replaced Tuesday by Coach Bud Harrelson. Johnson, known for his easy-going approach, was unable to shake the club out of a two-season decline.
The strongest reactions came from Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds, both of whom said they probably will leave the team when their contracts expire. Strawberry’s contract ends after this season, McReynolds’ after next season.
“This pretty much finalizes my future. I can’t see me coming back,” Strawberry told The (Newark) Star Ledger.
McReynolds said, “Davey was a friend, I like him a lot. I can’t see me coming back here after my contract runs out.”
Other players toned down their remarks.
“It’s just a shame we didn’t play better,” pitcher David Cone said. “You cut through all the fat, and that’s what it comes down to. That’s why Davey lost his job.”
“I think we all feel like we let Davey down,” pitcher Ron Darling said. “I think some of us had differences with him, but we respected him.”
Strawberry also praised Johnson.
“Davey did a super job in this organization,” he said. “For us to play the way we’ve played is disgusting.”
Even players who had publicly questioned Johnson’s moves felt guilty that he lost his job over their 20-22 record. The disagreements didn’t seem so pronounced.
“It was like a family relationship,” said Darling, who has bristled over his demotion to the bullpen. “He was always trying to tell me what to do and I was always rebelling. We’ve had our differences.”
Darling said the firing might provide a needed breather for Johnson.
“When you start managing, you age in dog years,” he said.