DARRYL STRAWBERRY keeps striking out – even if his days on the baseball diamond are long over. The former Mets and Yankees slugger is in trouble with the law again, this time for concocting a phony tale about a stolen SUV, Florida police said yesterday. Delray Beach police charged Strawberry with filing a false report over the missing SUV, which turned up – with his wallet – behind a bar in Lake Worth, Fla. The troubled former jock – who’s struggled with cocaine, colon cancer and paying his taxes – had reported the rented Nissan Murano stolen on Sept. 17, claiming it disappeared during a cigarette run to a convenience store. But a store surveillance tape showed Strawberry driving away in a different car, said police spokesman Jeff Messer.
He admitted lying to cops, Messer said, and was charged with a misdemeanor. Strawberry told the Daily News yesterday that the whole incident was a “misunderstanding” – and gave a different account than cops. He said the trouble started when he lent the SUV to a male friend he knows from Alcoholics Anonymous. He said the man in turn lent the SUV to a woman Strawberry doesn’t know. That’s when, Strawberry said, he filed a police report. “It was a mistake on my part,” Strawberry said. “I should have never loaned this guy my car to begin with. He’s no longer my friend.