Spoke with two of my ol’ Bad Guys Won chums tonight, Wally Backman and Doug Sisk.
I’ve said this before—The Bad Guys Won is a flawed book, in that some of the writing if a bit gimmicky and I only interviewed 187 people (or so), but it was written out of love. I mean, I loved the ’86 Mets as a kid, so it was a joy to re-live their exploits as an adult.
I’ve never mentioned this before, but Doug actually got me going. He was one of the first players I called, and he graciously hooked me up with an updated phone/address list of all the players. That was an enormous help—used that to reach out to everyone. I actually started by writing letters, then following up with a call.
At the time, Wally was actually working in the White Sox system, as was Rafael Santana. So I went out to spring training and we sat down after a workout. The interview only lasted about 40 minutes—so-so material from a guy who was tired and probably just wanted to go home. What I remember most from Wally is his story about Bill Robinson, the since-deceased first base coach. Bill would motivate Wally and Lenny Dykstra, the team’s two top-of-the-order runts, by talking dirty to them. “You no good sack of shit … you little motherfucker …”
Wally responded to the words and sentiment in a big way.
Anyhow, found the above video, made me laugh. Let’s Go Mets! was the shit in ’86. Now—not so much.