After Doc Gooden failed to show up for multiple public appearances, former teammate Darryl Strawberry decided to take matters into his own hands. He reached out to the New York Daily News, saying that Gooden is “a complete junkie-addict” and that he needs to get help before he dies.
For some people, this was news. For others, not so much.
“Have I known about his problems? Yes. He’s had them off and on over the last year or so,” Boomer and Carton co-host Craig Carton said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “He was supposed to do a radio station event for us locally at WFAN, and Dwight didn’t make that event. So of course the first thing everybody thinks is the worst thing possible. I talked to him over the weekend. We’ve texted all day today. I can’t tell you that he or isn’t, but I can tell you (there’s) huge concerns from those close to him . . . that he’s succumb to the addictions again. But I can’t vouch for that 100 percent. In a weird way, it takes an addict to know an addict, so Darryl obviously has a lot of credibility in the regard, and he’s worried about him. Those closest to Doc think that one day (they) will wake up and read about him being found somewhere not alive. That’s the biggest fear of all.”
Gooden and Strawberry, of course, were featured in a 30 for 30 documentary, “Doc and Darryl,” in June. Gooden, 51, and Strawberry, 54, won two World Series together – one with the Mets in 1986 and one with the Yankees in 1996. Strawberry won two other world championships with the Yankees in 1998 and 1999 before retiring. Gooden won another ring with the Yankees in 2000 before doing the same.
At one time, both were among the best players in baseball. They also both battled drug addictions. Gooden, it seems, still is.
“Darryl, I think, as at a stage of his life where he has conquered the demons,” Carton said. “He doesn’t wake up every day jones-ing for a fix. I don’t think the same is true for Doc. I think he fights it every day, like a lot of addicts do. I think every clean day is a sigh of relief and a good day, but I think it comes with a lot of work.”
Gooden is not happy with Strawberry and said that he – Gooden – needs to do a better job of picking friends.
“He and Darryl are not very close, so Darryl, I think, is taking some liberties here and making some assumptions without knowing exactly what’s going on,” Carton said. “That doesn’t mean that he’s wrong. But I know that he’s livid with Darryl over Darryl’s assertion that he’s doing drugs again.”
Carton idolized Gooden as a kid. He doesn’t want to believe that his boyhood hero is in trouble, but deep down, he thinks he is.
“If I was talking about someone I didn’t know,” Carton said, “all the signs point to the fact that he’s in trouble.”