Darryl Strawberry has a book coming out in April, which makes this a good time for him to comment on steroids. Right? Hey, couldn't hurt sales.
This by no means should surprise, but Strawberry would have taken steroids had they been available when he played. In copious amounts. That's about the only illegal substance that our Straw hasn't tried, and I get the feeling he's feeling left out. From the New York Daily News:
"Hell, yeah, I would have used it. Are you kidding me?" Strawberry said in Mets camp, as he kicked off a week as a guest instructor. Strawberry made the statement while throwing his support behind Alex Rodriguez. "I have a hard time with the union when one player out of 104 players' names comes out and it's Alex Rodriguez, on testing that was done that there was supposed to be confidentiality," Strawberry said. "Obviously somebody has had it out for him. It's not fair.
"If you're going to name one, why don't you name all of them? That's the only problem I have with this situation. They have put him in a situation where it's just him alone against the world. That's not fair because he's not the only one. He's taking the bullet for everybody. He admitted he was wrong and everything. I think that should be enough for everybody."
Strawberry's book, Straw, Finding My Way, will be out April 28. There's some frank discussion about drugs, drinking, sex, and abuse he and his siblings suffered as children. Here's a couple of excerpts from the book, published by Harper Collins:
"I'd started drinking with some of the boys in my rookie year, trying to fit in and be one of the guys. This year I started to drink more heavily. Now I wasn't drinking just to party. I was drinking to try to feel happy about myself for a few hours, drinking to forget about my frustrations at home and in the ballpark. Anybody who's been there can tell you that's a different kind of drinking.
Oh, who am I kidding? We also had help in the form of amphetamines. We called them beans, greens or greenies. And they were as routine a part of our equipment as bats and balls. We kept candy jars full of them in our lockers.
Oh yeah, we were the boys of summer. The drunk, speed-freak, sneaking-a-smoke boys of summer. More like the juvenile delinquents of summer.
Kevin Mitchell was a thug. There's no other way to put it. He grew up in the ghetto of San Diego, where real gang warfare was an everyday thing on the streets. Mitch was shot in the back when he was a teenager, and a stepbrother was shot and killed in a gang throw-down. When he came into baseball, he was still basically a gangbanger in uniform. Mitch didn't have a medium setting on his dial. When a scuffle broke out he went straight to the kill setting. ... Even those of us on the same team with him were kind of terrified of Mitch. I got into a scrap with him once in the minor leagues, when a bunch of us were shooting hoops and talking trash at each other the way guys do. He exploded into a completely berserk rage at something I said, knocked me down with fists that were like sledgehammers, then went off to grab a bat to finish the job. Me and the rest of the guys didn't wait around for him to come back.
Sometimes we didn't even wait for the game to be over before we got the party started. To protect the guilty, I won't say his name, but I remember one time we were playing at the old San Diego stadium and one of my teammates spotted this girl in the stands. They made eye contact and they both knew what they wanted. At some point in the game he disappeared from the dugout between innings. The girl met him in the clubhouse and they had a quickie. He came strolling back to the dugout with a happy, silly grin and cracked us all up.