Monday, March 3, 2008

Strawberry Is Back!

Here are a few words I never thought I’d hear: Darryl Strawberry is a Met again.

The organization announced on Monday that Strawberry will return to the team this season, after nearly 20 years away, serving in a variety of positions, including as an outfielder instructor this spring. And despite my general penchant for cynicism, I couldn't be happier for one of my former heroes.

Darryl, you’ve paid your debts and have earned a chance to return home.

Strawberry, soon to be 46, apparently looked in “near playing shape” early Monday when he met with the press. 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.

Cheers, Darryl. Now go teach Fernando Martinez how to play like you, circa 1985, and conduct himself like you, circa 2008.