This is an interesting, sometimes compelling and mostly easy to read book about Darryl Strawberry his life, and that era of baseball although, in many ways though this is a very hard book to review. Darryl is not an unlikable person' In fact you root for him. But he is not a good person and you have to take on faith that he has changed.
The book starts off with a horrific scene with Darryl's father holding a gun on the family and his brother holding a knife trying to get their violent father out of the house. The effects of having a violent rule parent are prominently displayed throughout the book.
Darryl explains how and why that he was drawn to drugs and drinking. How he cheated on his wives, broke the law, found drugs and was very irresponsible.
Darryl does explain the atmosphere of major league baseball on the mid-80s with girls, alcohol and drugs all over the place. Many times he describes coming to the field with a huge hangover and taking handfuls of amphetamines to get through the game. Darryl saw all of baseball like this. I don't know if it was or if that is just how Darryl saw it. It was interesting to read about the attitude of the Mets of that era, especially David Come and Keith Hernandez. Davey Johnson, who seemed to ignore these problems, does not come across well. But the book gives reasons why Frank Cashen decided to break up a successful team. Even now, he seems to finds some self worth because he was a great player, not because he was a decent person, he didn't try to be. Darryl became violent with his own wives, as his father had, and that stops me from liking him but I never stop rotting for him. He went in and out of rehab, more times than you can count, and you wonder how seriously he took it. He turned his back on judges and parole officers who tried to help him and one of his wives! He often sobered up for years, but could not stay sober. These stories were hard to get through sometimes. But you do hoping for a happy ending. Darryl never seeks, voluntarily, professional help and dismisses it when he is compelled to go.
One story, Darryl writes, when he was on probation he was accused of stopping the car and soliciting an undercover police woman. Darryl explains that he was innocent of the solicitation charges. He was married man, why was he stopping his car? Here's also carrying cocaine on him and was arrested for that. He spent a lot of time in jail including charges related to felony tax evasion which he does blame on other people.
Throughout the book Darryl describe relationship with God which he feels has helped them become a better person, a better husband, and sober. But this is only for the last two years, since 2006. Strawberry ends the book with great optimism, a new wife, and an opportunity to help children who really need him.
The final chapter of this book is not yet written.