Remembering Mets History (1989) The Ugly Darryl Strawberry vs Keith Hernandez Fight
Spring Training 1989: As the Mets were getting ready to take their team photo for the 1989 season things got heated up pretty quickly.
At the time the reigning NL Eastern Champs, were looking forward to another good year with hopes of capturing another Championship. Darryl Strawberry was the NL's reigning HR Leader & was in the last year of his contract.
Darryl wanted a big pay out, he & the Mets were far apart in a highly publicized negotiation. He wanted an extension through 1992. At the time he was making $1.4 million & if the Mets picked up his option he would make $1.8 million in 1990 & be eligible for free agency. Strawberry's agent suggested he walk out of camp which he did later in the day.
wants an extension, he should keep it out of the press."
Even Gary Carter mentioned, that nobody put a gun to Strawberry's head to sign the deal, four years ago.
For the team picture, Mets legendary PR man, Jay Horowitz, put Hernandez & Strawberry next to each other. Strawberry refused to kneel or sit next to Hernandez saying "I'd rather sit next to my friends".
Hernandez says "Why don't you grow up, you big baby".
Strawberry then shouted at Hernandez " I've been tired of you for years". Straw then went to punch Hernandez, but missed. He had to be restrained by Terry Leach & Bobby Ojeda. Meanwhile Gary Carter held back Hernandez. Straw then shouted at Gary Carter "Your next".
Eventually order is restored, Straw & Hernandez were put in the same row for the photo, with Carter & Howard Johnson between them. .
After the shoot & the argument, Gary Carter joked "Let's take another picture".
The next day the two kissed & made up for the photo op.
Strawberry played in one more season with Mets & then went on to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1991 for three years. Injuries & personal issues limited him to just 43 games in 1992 & 32 games in 1993.