Among the myriad of moves that led the failure of the ’80’s Mets to repeat their 1986 World Championship, the club’s decision to only offer Series MVP/Eric Davis abuser Ray Knight a one year deal for $800,000 would loom large were it not for the emergence of Howard Johnson. Knight wasn’t present at September 28th’s Shea Stadium shutdown, but the 14 year big league veteran insists to Newsday’s Jim Baumbach there’s no ill will between him and the Mets. Can someone check to see if Kevin McReynolds’ invite was lost in the mail?
Many years later it’s clear to Knight there were other forces at play the winter of 1986-87. He said he received bad advice from his agent. The owners also were later ruled to have colluded against free agents that offseason.
But that didn’t take away the sting of having his World Series ring mailed to him when the rest of the team had a pre-game ceremony. “Those type of things hurt when you’re not able to share in something you fought for,” he said.
Regarding the reunion in 2006, Knight said when he received the invite two months prior to the date he already had a speaking engagement. He experienced a heart attack in 2003 and had agreed to become a spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline, which produced medicine that helped him control his health.
“I committed to do seven dates as a spokesman for them and we were in Houston on that particular weekend,” he said. “I couldn’t not fulfil my obligation. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to come. It was that I had no way to get out of it.”
Knight’s absence from the Shea good-bye ceremonies is another story.
His bosses at the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, where he broadcast Washington Nationals games the past two seasons, gave him the time off. But he said he ultimately chose not to go on principle.
“It was, believe me, much more important to be at Shea than to be at my desk doing commentary for a last place ballclub, but my devotion and loyalty is a part of what I am,” Knight said. “I just didn’t feel like it was right to not be there for the final three games of the season. I already used my allotted days off.”