Mets' Bonilla threatens sports writer

NEW YORK -- Mets right fielder Bobby Bonilla got into a profanity-laced confrontation Saturday with a sports writer who co- authored a book critical of New York's tumultuous 1992 season.

At one point, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Bonilla threatened physical violence against the writer, Bob Klapisch of the New York Daily News. However, Jay Horwitz, the Mets' public relations director, restrained Bonilla and there was no physical contact.


Klapisch, co-author of the recently released 'The Worst Team Money Can Buy,' said the News would file a formal protest with the Mets and the National League on Monday.

'Players can't be allowed to threaten writers,' Klapisch said.

Klapisch was interviewing losing pitcher Dwight Gooden after the Mets' 6-3 loss to the Houston Astros when Bonilla, at a nearby locker, apparently objected to Klapisch's line of questioning.

'He said, 'C'mon, make your first move, come after me, I know you're ready to go,' ' Klapisch said, describing the incident.

The sports writer also said Bonilla told him, 'I'll hurt you. I'll show you The Bronx,' a reference to where Bonilla grew up in New York City.

'This isn't over,' added Bonilla.


Klapisch said he did not know what triggered Bonilla's outburst.

'I was trying to talk with Gooden about when he knew he didn't have it today when the whole thing started,' Klapish said.

Klapisch's book, co-written with former New York Post beat writer John Harper, is highly critical of almost all of the Mets, giving readers a look behind the scenes at personal happenings as well as on- the-field doings of the 1992 squad.

That team had a particularly rocky season -- beginning with rape allegations against three players during spring training and ending with a disappointing 72-90, fifth-place finish.

Bonilla was dogged by boos from Mets fans throughout 1992. He finished with a .249 batting average, 19 homers and 70 RBI before a season-ending injury in September.

At one point in the season, Bonilla took to wearing earplugs, apparently to muffle the boos. Another time, Bonilla angrily phoned the Shea Stadium press box between innings to complain to the official scorer about an error he was assessed.

According to Klapisch, Bonilla, who signed a five-year, $29 million contract prior to the 1992 season, is not a target in the book, although those episodes are chronicled.


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