Dwight “Doc” Gooden is one of those guys you listen to whenever he speaks because you simply never know what new information he’s going to reveal.
Gooden, who won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1984 and the Cy Young in 1985, is known as much for his battle with substance abuse as he is for the major league success he enjoyed. The former Mets ace has opened up about his drug problems a few times over the years, and he touched on a number of topics in a recent interview with The New York Times.
Gooden was asked in the interview about his relationship with Darryl Strawberry, who had a similar career path. Strawberry won the Rookie of the Year award before Gooden, and he, too, battled substance abuse problems during his playing career. As a result, the two former Mets phenoms have forever been linked, with many assuming they were best friends. That wasn’t exactly the case, though.
“The media made it seem like we were closer than we really were,” Gooden told The New York Times. “You had two young, very successful black players — he was Rookie of the Year ’83, I was ’84. But I was actually closer with Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Mookie Wilson. In 2010, Darryl really crossed the line, calling my family and saying a lot of negative things about me, stuff that wasn’t true. I always considered him a friend. The things he was doing really do not fit the definition of a friend.”
Gooden went on to note that he never once said anything negative publicly about Strawberry, but that he needed to speak out in order to move on.
Gooden also discussed the time he spent on the TV series Celebrity Rehab in 2011. He was asked whether former major leaguer Lenny Dykstra, who was sentenced to three years in prison in March 2012, really tried to spring him from the show against his will.
“He brought two pretty big guys with him. It was weird; they had on black suits. I said: ‘No, no, Lenny. I need to be here; you gotta go or they’re gonna call the cops.’ That was the last time I talked to Lenny,” Gooden reportedly said.
Hopefully this isn’t the last time we hear from Gooden. He probably has plenty of more stories to tell.
Photo via Facebook/Dwight Gooden