Man, this was tough to narrow down to 10; the Mets have been quite an embarrassing organization. But I said 10, so 10 it will be! And this doesn’t even include all of the embarrassing trades they have made over the years, or on-the-field blunders (Luis Castillo, we’re looking at you!). Enjoy while you’re under quarantine.
Cleon Jones (1975)
Police in Florida charged Jones with indecent exposure after finding him in a van with a woman who was not his wife. If that was not embarrassing enough for Jones, Mets chairman M. Donald Grant (who basically ran the team) forced Jones to make a public apology in front of the media with his wife by his side. It was an incident with racial overtones evident not just in hindsight.
Ron Darling, Bobby Ojeda, Tim Teufel, Rick Aguilera (1986)
The four players were arrested after an alleged brawl with off-duty police officers outside a bar in Houston. They would get their revenge on the city come October of that magical year.
Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez (1989)
The two stars famously came to blows while posing for the official team photo during Spring Training.
David Cone (1989)
Cone was allegedly caught “warming up” in the bullpen. Look it up yourself — this is a family website!
Dwight Gooden, Darryl Boston, Vince Coleman (1991)
And for that reason, I won’t get into the accusations against this trio, but you can read the disturbing alleged details here.
Vince Coleman (1993)
Making a quick return to the list, the speedster threw a bunch of firecrackers at fans outside Dodger Stadium. He was rightfully arrested.
Bret Saberhagen (1993)
For some reason, Saberhagen decided to spray bleach on reporters in the clubhouse. Maybe it was because he was a moron?
Bobby Bonilla (1994)
Everything about Bonilla was embarrassing, but none more so than threatening WABC-TV reporter and my former colleague Art McFarland, one of the kinder men I’ve met in the business.
Steve Phillips (1998)
The Mets suspended their GM (calling it a “leave of absence”) after he was accused of sexual harassment. And that wasn’t even the embarrassing part — eight days later, the Mets reinstated him. Where was #MeToo when Mets fans needed it?!
Bobby Bonilla, Ricky Hernandez (1999)
While their teammates were busy losing the NLCS, these two geniuses were busy player cards in the clubhouse.
Ten already? Okay, here are five more:
Mike Piazza (2002)
Piazza held a bizarre news conference to announce that indeed, he was not gay. It came after manager Bobby Valentine (by the way, his mustache fiasco does not make this list because it was more funny than it was embarrassing) implied an unnamed player on the team was gay. Why Piazza thought Valentine was outing him, we’ll never know.
Ryan Church (2008)
After a frightening on-field collision, the Mets forced Church to fly on an airplane and play in several games. He was later diagnosed with a concussion. To make matters even more embarrassing, after trading him the following year, Mets manager Jerry Manuel questioned Church’s toughness for not playing through his head injury.
Willie Randolph (2008)
Just before embarking on a cross-country flight, Randolph inquired of GM Omar Minaya if his job was safe. Sure, he was told. A couple of days later, his firing was announcing at three o’clock in the morning. If that doesn’t say class, what does?
Omar Minaya (2009)
At a news conference announcing the firing of vice president of player personnel Tony Bernazard for ripping off his shirt and challenging minor leaguers to a fight (oh, another embarrassing moment), Minaya decided to attack the messenger — the reporter who broke the story. He implied ESPN’s Adam Rubin was out to get Bernazard because he wanted his job. Minaya was just terrible. How is he back with the team?!
Francisco Rodriguez (2010)
K-Rod decided it would be a good idea to punch his father-in-law at Citi Field, outside the team’s Family Lounge, in front of the wives and children of his teammates. Good man.
Huh, still not done? Let’s just keep going:
Wilmer Flores (2015)
Everyone knew the Mets were trading Flores on that fateful July night in 2015 — well, everyone except Flores and manager Terry Collins, who never received a phone call from GM Sandy Alderson telling him that he might want to pull Flores from the game. When word spread through the stands at Citi Field and eventually to the Mets dugout, Flores famously cried on the field. Anderson later backed out of the deal (man, the Mets have had some embarrassing GMs).
Jason Vargas/Mickey Callaway (2019)
The terrible pitcher and terrible manager threatened Newsday reporter Tim Healy for daring to say “see you tomorrow, Mickey” to Callaway. To make matters even more embarrassing, it took several attempts and several days for both idiots to apologize.
Jim Gosger, Jessie Hudson (2019)
During the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Mets, the team killed off these two very living human beings, including them among the members of that team who have passed.
Roger McDowell (1987)
McDowell spits on two unsuspecting fans after a game. Those two fine fellows initially blamed Keith Hernandez, whom they later learned was an innocent man. As payback, they helped him move apartments.
Mug shots courtesy Ultimate Mets Database.