Strawberry keeping an eye on 2006 Mets
Former Mets great answers fans' questions during Web chat
Darryl Strawberry, who is the Mets' all-time career leader in home runs, RBIs and runs, answered questions from fans during a live web chat Tuesday. Strawberry talked about who he thinks will break his Mets records and some of the best moments from his 17-year career.
Dan_DeVito: Darryl, I have a hitting question. Why is it bad to lean back while you are swinging? I hear it can make you lose power and tend to hit a lot of ground balls? And one more, when you start to load, at what point should the pitcher be at?
Darryl Strawberry: It is not good to lean back because you lose your balance and you are not able to stay on the ball. When you start to load, the pitcher should be close to his delivery.
metsseaver41p: Do you think the Mets of the '80s should have had more success than they ultimately did?
Strawberry: There is no question we should have had more success. We gave away too many games early during some of those years.
skids99: Who was the toughest pitcher you faced?
Strawberry: No question, Nolan Ryan.
metsseaver41p: In the 10th inning with two outs, Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, did you really think that you still had a shot to win the game?
Strawberry: Actually, no way. But, only by faith, we were able to pull it out.
skids99: Do you regret leaving the Mets for Los Angeles?
Strawberry: Of course. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. But now, it is nice to be back home.
Misha_Berkowitz: Thank you so much for taking time to reach out to your fans. We are so proud of your perseverance as a ballplayer and as a cancer survivor.
Strawberry: Thank you so much, Misha.
metsseaver41p: Do you have any aspirations to become a coach or manager?
Strawberry: No, not a coach or a manager. But, I am motivated to work with younger players during this upcoming season.
Base_Ball_4: What does it feel like to still be the all-time Mets leader in home runs, RBIs, and runs? How do you think the Mets will finish this year?
Strawberry: Yes, that still feels really cool to have those records still in place. And second, if everyone stays healthy, and they have a good chemistry, they have a really solid chance of being successful.
wrathofwright5: I am 15 years old and I am a die-hard Mets fan as well as a very serious baseball player. Can give me any advice or tips that helped you during your years as a ballplayer?
Strawberry: What helped me is that I stayed focused on my fundamentals. So, don't give up and stay focused!
buddah33: Darryl, tell me how it felt in the New York area to win a World Series and how far do you think this year's team can go?
Strawberry: There is no greater place to win the World Series. And, this current team can go as far as they want to go.
Jeffrey_Pannullo: What are your feelings on Carlos Beltran? Do you think he will hit his stride in his second season with the Mets or do you think that what we saw last year is what we can expect going forward?
Strawberry: I believe Beltran will be the player to break all my records with the Mets. I think this year will be a more relaxing year for him as he gets more comfortable in New York City.
Base_Ball: If you could change anything in your career what would it be?
Strawberry: Not leaving New York.
dstrawforpresident: I was at the Yankee vs. White Sox game on Aug 6, 1996, when you belted three home runs and almost had a fourth. What was that experience like?
Strawberry: First, love your handle. Second, I had a lot of fun hitting three, but four would have been great.
Steven_Clark: Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?
Strawberry: My biggest inspiration growing up was my mom.
metsman3106: How are you feeling these days? Hope everything is going great with you and your family.
Strawberry: I feel great. My kids are doing very well. I love them very much. Thank you for asking.
roberto6: Did you enjoy your time in Los Angeles?
Strawberry: No. It wasn't as exciting as New York.
mike_k: Do you consider yourself more of a Met or Yankee at heart?
Strawberry: Of course, more of a Met!
dylans2185113: What was your favorite element of the game -- running, hitting, catching, throwing, or any other aspects of the game?
Strawberry: Running was first because I really enjoyed stealing bases and making things happen for the team. And then hitting. When I didn't want to run, I wanted to hit it out of the ballpark!
wrightstuff0903: What was the most memorable home run of your Mets career?
Strawberry: In St. Louis. Hitting it off the clock in Busch Stadium.
skids99: Looking back now, who was the most important player on the '86 Mets team?
Strawberry: The whole team.
freddymets4life: Who is your favorite Mets player from the current team?
Strawberry: Jose Reyes and David Wright. Because they come from the farm system like the way we came through.
jojosmojo: Mets prospect Lastings Milledge has often been compared to you. Have you seen him play, and what kind of pressure must it place on him to be compared to you?
Strawberry: Yes, I have seen him play. He has a chance to be a great ballplayer. But, sure, he does have a lot of pressure on him if he is being compared to me.
no1mtsfan: What do you think of manager Willie Randolph?
Strawberry: Randolph is the perfect manager for this club. He is a New Yorker!
roberto6: How is Doc Gooden doing?
Strawberry: He is doing well. Keep him in your prayers.
victor_faconti: What was your favorite park to play in?
Strawberry: Shea Stadium. That is where I had the most success.
oneeyejak: Can you describe what it's like to face Ryan?
Strawberry: It was a living nightmare. But, it was fun.
Base_Ball: What was your favorite year that you played for the Mets?
Strawberry: 1986 of course!
acnefree: Who was your best friend in the Major Leagues?
Strawberry: My best friend in the Major Leagues was Eric Davis.
roberto6: Are you cancer free?
Strawberry: Yes, for six years now.
nomarfna87: Darryl, I hope to become a sports broadcaster one day. I want to know, do you get along with broadcasters?
Strawberry: I got along with them great, as long as I continued to hit home runs.
no1mtsfan: What do you think of Wright? Do you think he can be as good of a ballplayer as you? Even better?
Strawberry: I think he has a great chance to become one of the best players to come through the Mets farm system. Yes, I think he can be as good as me.
cjordan13: We attend the same church in Tampa, Fla. We've never met but, I want to say God bless you Mr. Strawberry!
Strawberry: Thank you very much.
victor_faconti: Who is your pick for the Super Bowl?
Strawberry: Steelers. Go Pittsburgh!
David_Schnitzer: Did you ever get hot-footed by Roger McDowell?
Strawberry: No. But, he got everyone else. I was one of the lucky ones.
met204: What was harder -- winning the World Series or battling cancer?
Strawberry: Battling cancer was harder.
mizzoutep: Loved to watch you play, Straw. Who do you think is the best hitter in baseball right now?
Strawberry: Thank you so much. In my opinion, Alex Rodriguez is the best hitter in baseball right now.
schwarzhund: What was your favorite place to play on the road?
Strawberry: Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.
ethanial: Was there a teammate or coach in particular that helped you in your career?
Strawberry: My first coach, Jim Frye, helped me a lot. It was my rookie year so he helped me understand what it takes to be successful at the Major League level.
Richard_Shea: Will you be at Spring Training in Tampa this year?
Strawberry: I will be visiting Spring Training in Port St. Lucie with the Mets.
Ken_Miller: It is known that the '86 team had a swagger and arrogance to them. Do you feel that type of attitude was key to your success? Should more ballclubs have that attitude?
Strawberry: I think that was the biggest key to our success. Everyone hated us and we loved it. Yes, more clubs should have it, but you have to have a certain chemistry. That's what we had.
belton2: Do you think Barry Bonds will break Hank Aaron's home run record?
Strawberry: I believe he will break the record if his knees hold up and he stays healthy.
bob_kelly: Of your 17-year career, who was your favorite teammate?
Strawberry: My favorite teammate was Derek Jeter. True class.
acnefree: Do you think your son DJ has a shot at going to the NBA?
Strawberry: That is not up to me, that is up to him. And I wish him the very best in his college career.
dec2three198five33: I'm a third-year college baseball player at John Jay College in the city. Hopefully I will get looked at during my upcoming season. What advice can you give me in regards to playing in front of scouts at the game?
Strawberry: Have fun and don't try too hard just because the scouts are there. They are human too. And don't worry. Play hard and keep it simple.
Base_Ball: How do you feel about a new ballpark for the team?
Strawberry: It's about time. And it's going to be great for the players and for the fans. But, I will always love Shea Stadium.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.