Darryl Strawberry is Fired from Celebrity Apprentice
Darryl Strawberry is Fired from Celebrity Apprentice
On March 28th, Darryl Strawberry was ousted from the latest episode of Celebrity Apprentice. In Episode 9.03, the all-star teams created a four-page advertorial for a new product from Norton 360 and LifeLock called RockSolid. On each team, one celebrity had to be the product spokesperson and one celebrity had to appear in the advertorial. The women's project manager had her hands full and became exhausted when egos started to flare. The men used their star power for their advertorial but were hindered by one teammate's technological incompetence. In the end, each team had a very different interpretation of the task. Norton 360 and LifeLock executives chose their favorite, sending one team to victory while the other team headed to the boardroom and, after a surprise turn of events, it was Darryl Strawberry who was fired. Here is what Darryl had to say upon leaving the show:

So obviously last night on the show we saw some of the rationale behind your decision. But can you tell us in a little bit more detail why you decided to leave the show?

Darryl Strawberry: Well, first of all, I would just like to say thank you. I'm grateful for being on the show. I'm grateful to Mr. Donald Trump for giving me an opportunity to be on the Celebrity Apprentice. And a lot of my reasons coming to last night of leaving the show is just being exhausted. Of course we're playing for charity, no question about it. I have a Foundation for Children with Autism. And I do extremely well raising money for children with autism. I just think I hit a point in the show, and it has been a long year for me. I've been tremendously busy the whole year. I was on a book tour all year. I was working in baseball a year with the Mets and I put on my own golf outing in September every year in New York. So, you know, I just hit a point where I was totally exhausted. I was running around and I just had nothing left in the tank. It wasn't anything personal. It wasn't about quitting. It wasn't about giving up because I never quit, never give up because I'm standing here today talking to you.

Right. You know, obviously those are all valid reasons. But obviously you mentioned two that you really - you held your teammates in pretty high regard and Michael in particular really gave a pretty compelling reason to stay on the show. So talk a little bit about, you know, your thought process and sort of sticking up for your teammates and making sure that Michael would be around for another week.

Darryl Strawberry: Well, you know, what happened though. We lost a task before that. And everybody was in disarray. And Michael Johnson came and I picked Michael Johnson and that had a lot of reason for me, you know, firing myself because I was the one telling I really thought Michael Johnson was the one. So I'm actually for, you know, for that. I mean we did have the group and I thought Michael Johnson would pull us back together which he did pull us back together for the task. And I just thought it was just an opportunity, you know, where Mr. Donald Trump came to me, it was an opportunity for me to stick up for my teammates, you know. II don't think a lot of people, you know, would have, you know, stepped up. Everybody was, you know, kind of throwing - have a tendency of throwing each other under the bus from time to time because nobody wants to leave. So, you know, I feel like, you know, I'm exhausted. You know, Michael Johnson pulled the team together and we thought we had a pretty good task and we should have won. And unfortunately we didn't. The ladies won. So someone has to move on. So in my case I figured, you know, I'll be the one to depart and let the team go forth.

Right. And just a quick follow up. You mentioned that you have had a long year. But I mean in terms of your health and that, I mean are you okay? I mean are there any other issues as far as that goes or just you said...

Darryl Strawberry: No. I'm totally healthy. No question about it. Everything is well physically, mentally, emotionally in my life. I just hit a wall of being run down from a whole year. I think a lot of times you see a lot of people that are on the show probably haven't had the year I had. So my year was exhausting. I was already on the book tour like I said so I was pretty much busy throughout the whole year.

It seems Cyndi Lauper - at this point in the competition, Cyndi Lauper is sort of the sore thorn in the side for the women and Bret Michaels and Blago -- Rod Blagojevich -- seem to have different styles for annoying the men; where Bret seems to be antagonistic quietly, Blago is passive aggressive. And I was wondering if you could talk about their styles in this competition.

Darryl Strawberry: Well there's definitely two different styles. I think Bret Michaels is used to TVs around him. I think he feels very comfortable in it. And Bret Michaels is like a good friend of mine. So me and him became close. And I got to say it's annoying, you know, at first I didn't know what's wrong with his disguise; he's like this all the time because he's a rocker. But that's just his style. The Governor, who knows what to say about him? I tried to explain to him this is not a show about telling everybody you're innocent or not. And I said you're making yourself look crazy on TV, which is happening because everybody's questioning and asking about it. But deep down inside he's a very nice guy. I give him a lot of credit for being able to come on the show like this. And of course they have two different styles and different approaches towards the show. And then it's just a matter of, you know, reality TV for me. You know, what kind of person you want to present yourself as far as the public because you know it's going nationwide and how do you want to look. I mean, you know, different people have different styles and their styles are either more of an aggressive style and who want to be in the spotlight a little bit more. You know, me, I was more of a laid back type of person and, you know, I just wanted to follow the project manager.

That's fun. Which one of the women is the most formidable in your opinion?

Darryl Strawberry: Well, you know, me personally I always thought Summer Sanders was the toughest. I love Summer Sanders. I think she's very, very bright. She's a go-getter. She has a great attitude and, you know, I was real happy for her that she won the task because I know what type of person she is, Summer was. And I thought very highly of Summer Sanders.

What made you want to be a part of Celebrity Apprentice this season?

Darryl Strawberry: Well, I was playing Joe Torre's golf tournament and Mr. Donald Trump was there and Mr. Donald Trump said I was coming on the show. And I said no, no, no I'm not. He goes yes you are. And I was no I'm not. You know. And his guy kept asking me that he wants me to come on the show. So that made me a part of The Apprentice.

All right. Sounds great. Well, if you were a project manager in the last task, would you have made Curtis Stone the face of that advertorial or would have went with somebody like Goldberg?

Darryl Strawberry: No I wouldn't have made Curtis the face of it. I think Mr. Donald Trump truly pointed that out that you had a couple more famous faces. Michael Johnson went with Curtis because he's current. He didn't go with Bret Michaels or myself or Bill because we were (a pass) and himself. But I think, you know, it'd have made a bigger difference and bigger splash, you know, with someone that most people knew, especially in Lifelock. I think it would have made a big difference to them. Why he - I think they were questioning why wasn't some of these big celebrities used in the cover of that task.

Yeah. Well, speaking of Bill, what are your thoughts on him so far in the competition? Because it's kind of weird because he's such a enormous guy but he's just very under the radar so far.

Darryl Strawberry: Who's that?

Goldberg.

Darryl Strawberry: Bill? Oh Bill stays completely - Bill was more of a type of person to just stay completely out of the way. He stayed behind the scenes. I don't know what happens after this point. I know when I was there, he was, you know, he just did his work and did what he was asked to do and kept his mouth shut. He didn't say - he didn't say much in the boardroom. You know, he just kind of kept his mouth shut about things and he just - he went about his business.

Do you think at the end of the day that Mr. Trump was understanding your decision to leave?

Darryl Strawberry: Well, I hope so. Like I said before, I don't know if most of the people that were there understand my schedule was grueling. It wasn't anything personal. I just hit a wall. And I - you know, I think Mr. Donald Trump was shocked because I - you know, I am a New Yorker and he's a New Yorker and he definitely liked me and everything. And I respect him, you know, for that that and I'm grateful for that. But it's grueling and it's a lot on your feet and it's a lot that you have to do with it. And I just didn't have the energy anymore.

Donald said in the boardroom that other people who had wanted to leave the show had gone on to regret it. Do you have any regrets about your decision?

Darryl Strawberry: No. Not at all. You know, if I hadn't been so exhausted, there's no question, I would have - I'd continue to participate in it. I don't - I think others might have - I don't know how they left the show and was it because of attitude? I didn't leave with an attitude. I didn't leave with disliking anyone. You know, I left in good grace, you know, for myself.

Yeah.

Darryl Strawberry: And I felt great about that because I was a team player the whole time. I wasn't selfish. It wasn't about me. And it was about the team. So I have no regrets, no feelings for that.

Sharon said in last night's episode that the girls could end up kind of disliking each other because they were all so competitive. Do you think the same could happen to the boys?

Darryl Strawberry: I think so on the show - I mean I think that's the way the show is designed. You know, it's a very competitive show. I remember when we all first got there; we all liked each other. But I remember after the first episode, you know, we all had one - everybody had different feelings sort of, you know.

Yeah.

Darryl Strawberry: It comes down to - it comes down to, you know, being a cutthroat situation, you know. Who's going to throw who under bus when it comes - when we get into the boardroom in front of Mr. Donald Trump. You know, the question is going to be asked and, you know, what are we going to say? You know, and as you can see, you know, every time you looked up, you know, doing the (Mr. McCatz), you know, and there were comments about, you know, Bret Michaels and there were comments about the Governor. You know, a lot of time they want to portray themselves as doing what they wanted to do in their way. But I don't think anyone ever listened to them. But when you have a project manager, it's his job to run the project.

Yeah. Just finally then, knowing you've done Celebrity Apprentice, would you ever consider doing another reality show?

Darryl Strawberry: No. I'm done. That's it. That's all I can do. That's all they'll get me on is that one there and that was because of Mr. Donald Trump. It had nothing to do with anybody else.

When did you start feeling exhausted? Was it right from the beginning or after the first loss?

Darryl Strawberry: Well, when did I start feeling my thoughts?

No. Exhausted.

Darryl Strawberry: No. No, it was - that was right after the - it was doing that task, you know, after we - doing that task. I mean it's a grueling schedule. It's a wakeup call every morning at 5:30, 6:00 you got to be up and on your feet and ready to start moving and putting things into motion. And I - in the middle of that task, I just kind of felt I was just - I had hit a wall. I was running into a wall. I knew I - my year had been long and, you know, it was a lot of work and you get stressed. You know, I didn't want to get stressed out and start coming off the wrong way. You know, and that's when I realized, you know, it's more important for me to, you know, to continue to show class and step up and do what I thought was the right thing to move forward and step out.

That makes sense. Now, Trump mentioned if it wasn't you, Michael would have been fired. Do you agree with his decision or should it have been Rod or someone else?

Darryl Strawberry: You know, I mean I totally agree because it all falls down on the project manager on those particular decisions. But it depends on which project manager - now if the project manager really wanted to get fired, he would throw - he would throw his own self under the bus. But, you know, I believe Michael Johnson didn't want to get fired and I believe he was - you know, I believe he did a good job of trying to keep us together as a group because we had lost the last task. And I just figured, you know, why not me? Why not me take the opportunity? Because as you can see, I said I was totally exhausted and I figured they, you know, they need to go forward. If they're going to go forward, they need to have strength to go forward and I didn't want to be a weak link.

Okay. Excuse me. Final thing. You talked about how you presented on TV. I wanted to know how do you feel about them showing you smoking? Were you surprised at that?

Darryl Strawberry: Very surprised.

I was surprised too.

Darryl Strawberry: Very surprised. But, you know, that's a habit I have, you know. I'm not going to deny it, you know. Just, you know, TV - I'd rather smoke than to come out of my mouth filthy.

Trump did say that the two people that had quit before, he wasn't really a huge fan of. They would keep being trying to get in contact with him. Do you think that even though you left in good graces that Trump will have good feelings for you and not ill feelings?

Darryl Strawberry: Yeah. I believe so. I believe that Mr. Donald Trump truly has a good feeling for me. Because, you know, after all I do come back - he invited me back for the final two, you know, which I won't talk about who's there. But I came back and participated in that and - of the final two to help out in the last task. And, you know, he thanked me for coming back and told me I was a good sport. And he also donated $25,000 to my charity.

Well great. And also you said you've been - you were completely exhausted. What are you going to do to relax now that you're off Celebrity Apprentice and your book tour is over and all that? How are you going to relax?

Darryl Strawberry: Relax? Playing golf. You know, that's what I do. And I play golf and I have my foundation here in St. Louis where I live with me and my wife and we raise money and for the - we continue to raise money for, you know, our foundation and help the families and the children that are affected with autism.

Great. And one last question. What would you like to wish the rest of the people that are still on Celebrity Apprentice?

Darryl Strawberry: I'd like to wish all of them all the best. Have fun. Try not to be too hard on each other. And try not to be so much - show too much drama, you know, in their personalities. Because it makes celebrities look like they're very high maintenance and it makes some of the women look like they're just divas and also some of the guys.

Darryl Strawberry: I'm doing great. Good morning.

You were on both baseball teams, Mets and Yankees, and then you did Celebrity Apprentice. What was the difference working on the different sports team versus a business team?

Darryl Strawberry: Well it was more easier playing on the business team and being on the business team on the ball field because you don't really have to do a task more than anything. And you're not really dealing with, like I said, a lot of the drama with personalities. You're dealing with different personalities. But when you're on the ball field, you have the group you're there to win. And I think in the show its just a little bit more competition I think. You know, others are competing against each other, which is just sometimes very difficult to deal with, you know, when you compete against each other like that. So it was just one of those things.

Okay. And what was it like working with such a diverse group of business people? I mean you had Governors and singers and all sorts of different people. What was it like working with such a diverse group?

Darryl Strawberry: It was pretty interesting, you know, especially with the Governor. The Governor was pretty interesting. I, you know, had a few conversations with the Governor and, you know, he wanted to - you know, I told him when I first saw him on TV I thought he was the most arrogant person I ever seen here in front of the camera and tried to tell him he's guilty, he's not guilty. I said that I think - and I deal with media a lot of times and I said the most important thing you could ever done was got in front of the camera and says, you know, I made some mistakes and I need to ask you guys for forgiveness. And, you know, but he still continues to believe that he was innocent, you know, and he was playing it out on the show. And I don't think that show was the place for him to be playing out his innocence.

I was wondering, under the three project managers you worked under, Bret, Sinbad and Michael, who was the strongest leader?

Darryl Strawberry: Who was the strongest?

Yeah. Who is the strongest leader?

Darryl Strawberry: I would have to say Michael Johnson was at the time. I mean Sinbad has the personality of fun and joking and keep everybody loose with humor. But as far as, you know, as far as the project focus, that really focused in on the project, Michael Johnson did. I think he focused real hard on what the project should be about. And he tried to really put it together as well as he could and keep everybody involved. I think, you know, you know, it was a hard time for Sinbad dealing with Bret Michaels in that task because, you know, I don't know if Bret Michaels was having an off moment or - I guess Sinbad is, you know, like I said, his humor of laughing and joking, I don't think a lot of people took that too well of him doing that during the middle of that task.

And when you started the show, did you expect it to be difficult or were you surprised?

Darryl Strawberry: No, I mean I expected it to be difficult. I expected it to be a challenge. I expected it to be what Mr. Donald Trump said when we all sat in front of him. He says, you know, you guys like each other right now but when the show starts, you're not going to like each other too much. So I believed that was going to take place and it did take place.

And real quick, since you took the fall for the guy's team, especially Michael, are you hoping that a guy ends up winning or someone on the girl's team?

Darryl Strawberry: I hope one of the guys end up winning. No question. I mean I wasn't never there a part of the girl's team. If I would have been, you know, on their team, it'd have been a different story. But I was not on their team and it was the guys - you know, the guys against the girls so of course I want one of the guys to win.

I was kind of wondering if you could run us through the typical schedule on the Celebrity Apprentice. You know, day in, day out. You were saying you got to get up at 6:00 am each morning. What else do you have to do throughout the day? I mean it looks really stressful.

Darryl Strawberry: Yeah. Day in and day out it is. You know, you're up early. You're eating breakfast on the go. You're eating lunch on the go. Everything is on the go. You're on the move day in and day out. Of course, you know, we're there - we're all fighting, you know, fighting for a great cause, which we all support. You know, have our different cause that we support. But it is a grind. And it's not your every day - it's not an every day average thing for a celebrity.

Yeah.

Darryl Strawberry: That's used to being - used to getting up at - well, for me I get up - if I'm teeing off at 8 o'clock, I'm getting up early. But if I'm not, there's no reason for me to be in a hurry to get out.

Yeah. I remember you saying that on the episode last night. Like you are like oh, you know, typically celebrities always get up around noon or something, you know, so.

Darryl Strawberry: Yeah. Well you have a different - a different schedule. And of course I know rockers usually have a different schedule. I know 6 o'clock getting up for Bret Michaels, everybody's complaining, a lot of times where's Bret Michaels, where's Bret Michaels. But he's a rocker. He's probably not getting in until like 6 o'clock, 7 o'clock in the morning.

Yeah. Exactly. And I also wanted to ask you - I mean how is being part of a team, playing a team sport for so long, how did that help you with this particular, you know, task on the Celebrity Apprentice and everything like that? I mean did you find yourself being able to understand your teammates better because you're used to playing a team sport?

Darryl Strawberry: It was very easy for me. It was very easy. It wasn't complicated at all for me to understand. You know, being a team player and playing because playing team sports, you know, that I played all my - all of my life. You know, it's different if you never participated on a team and you've been an individual. And I think a lot of times that's what happens, you know, when you get on a show like this. If you never been in a group of teams, you're going to deal with personalities and you're going to have different conflicts.

Absolutely. Do you think the personalities that you dealt with on this show were much stronger than the ones you dealt with throughout your baseball career or anything?

Darryl Strawberry: Not at all.

No.

Darryl Strawberry: More - I just think this was more drama than, you know, what it is to being a baseball player because we might have to say what we have to say and we pick our place to say it and we move on from there. You know, this here you got to - this here you don't move on. I think sometimes people hold, you know, things that you say gets taken very personal.

More grudges on here.

Darryl Strawberry: Yeah. No question. Definitely grudges.

I wanted to know if you were chosen as a project manager, how would you have done it differently?

Darryl Strawberry: If I was chosen project manager, I would have no question involved everybody. I wouldn't have never, you know, put anyone to the side about their opinions. Because I think everybody should be able to have a part in. I think sometimes guys felt left out and I think that's where the problem comes. You know, I think I wouldn't - you wouldn't - I wouldn't have never left anybody out. I would have had Bret in. I would have had the Governor in, Bill, everybody would be on, you know, bringing their opinions to the table and let's agree as a team. Of course the project manager is going to be the one responsible for it so why not involve everybody and make everybody feel comfortable.

Excellent. And one more thing, when we spoke to Sinbad, his front-runner was Holly. How well do you think she'll do?

Darryl Strawberry: I think Holly will do well. I think Holly is strong. I think she's poised. I think Holly laid back from the first couple series and I think she'll probably pick up the pace and do - I think she'll do well.

Before we end, Darryl, is there anything else you wanted to add?

Darryl Strawberry: No. I'd just like to say thank you guys. And like I said, for The Apprentice, I really enjoyed myself and all and the way the show has shown. And of course I really like the way I presented myself as a person on the show. And I will always be grateful to Mr. Trump for allowing me to be a part of it.

Celebrity Apprentice airs on NBC Sunday nights from 9:00 until 11:00 pm.