October 28, 2016
        Ten Contenders will compete for Best Documentary Short Subject                "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster        

Darryl Strawberry will return on Celebrity Apprentice


Baseball great Darryl Strawberry rocked The Celebrity Apprentice last night by volunteering to get fired by Donald Trump in the boardroom. He said he was just too exhausted to continue and his teammates should get to stay on. Trump wasn’t pleased with this work ethic, but he obliged and fired Strawberry from the charity competition.

They seem to have mended fences, because Strawberry revealed Trump invited him to return before the season ends. “I believe that Mr. Trump totally has a good feeling toward me because after all, I do come back,” Strawberry said in a conference call with the media. “He invited me back for the final two. I won’t talk about who’s there but I came back and participated in the final two to help out in the last task. He thanked me for coming back and told me I was a good sport. He also donated $25,000 to my charity.”

At least The Darryl Strawberry Foundation didn’t come up empty handed because of Strawberry’s departure. The athlete hopes his fans understand his reasons. “I just think I hit a point in the show where it had been a long year for me. I’d been tremendously busy the whole year. I was on a book tour all year. I was working in baseball here with the Mets and I had put on my own golf outing in September every year in New York. 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, I never give up because I’m standing here talking to you.”

On the Celebrity version of Trump’s reality show, two teams of celebrities compete in the business world to win money for the charities of their choice. The corporate schedule is a shock to most famous people’s systems.

“It’s a grueling schedule,” Strawberry revealed. “It’s a wakeup call at every morning at 5:30, 6 o’clock you have to be up and on your feet and ready to start moving and putting things in motion. You’re up early, you’re eating breakfast on the go, you’re eatting lunch on the go. Everything is on the go, day in day out. Of course, we’re all fighting for a great cause which we all support. We have our different causes we support but it is a grind. It’s not an everyday average thing for celebrities that are used to getting up. Me, if I’m teeing off at 8 o’clock I’m getting up early but if I’m not, there’s no reason to me in a hurry to get out.”

The men lost last night’s challenge so one of them would have to be fired. Olympic runner Michael Johnson was in charge of their losing project, but Strawberry just didn’t want to see Johnson take the fall.

“It all falls down on the project manager. Now, if the project manager really wanted to get fired, he would throw his own self under the bus. I believe Michael didn’t want to get fired. I believe he did a good job trying to keep us together as the group because we had lost the last task. When Mr. Trump came to me, it was an opportunity for me to stick up for my teammates. I don’t think a lot of people would have stuck up. Everybody has a tendency for throwing each other under the bus from time to time because nobody wants to leave. I felt like I’m exhausted, Michael pulled the team together and we thought we had a pretty good task and we should’ve won, but of course we didn’t. So someone has to move on. In my case, I figured I’ll be the one to depart and let the team go forth.”

A cancer survivor, Strawberry was quick to assure his fans that there were no health factors involved with his exhaustion. “I’m totally healthy. No question about it. Everything is well physically, mentally, emotionally in my life. I just hit a wall being run down from the whole year. A lot of people on the show probably hadn’t had the year I had. My year was exhausting. I was already on the book tour like I said so I was pretty much busy throughout the whole year.”

Now that he is off Celebrity Apprentice. Strawberry will relax the way he knows how. “Playing golf. That’s what I do. I play golf and I have my foundation here in St. Louis with me and my wife. We raise money. We continue to raise money for our foundation and help the families of the children that are affected by autism.”

The Celebrity Apprentice airs Sunday nights on NBC.

Photo courtesy of NBC.

About Fred Topel

Fred Topel has been an entertainment journalist in Los Angeles since 1999, for websites like Daily Radar, About.com, Crave Online and Sci Fi Wire. Follow his celebrity encounters on Twitter @FredTopel.

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