Dwight Gooden: ‘I Don’t Do Cocaine’

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 1984: Pitcher Dwight Gooden #16 and outfielder Darryl Strawberry #18 of the New York Mets look on from the dugout during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium in August 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Darryl Strawberry labeled Dwight Gooden “a complete junkie-addict” to the New York Daily News. Dwight Gooden characterizes Darryl Strawberry as something less than a friend in response.

Gooden released a statement on the article describing him as a cocaine user on a fast lane to the graveyard:

Darryl Strawberry and I played together for the New York Mets and the New York Yankees during some of the greatest seasons those baseball clubs ever had.

I had always been supportive of Darryl, during his best and worst days. I recall the times he was in prison, and I was there for him. I recall the times he struggled with his own addiction, and I was there for him then, too.

I had never failed to be there for Darryl Strawberry. I don’t do cocaine and have not for years.

Last Thursday night, I was unable to attend an event at WFAN with Darryl. There were plenty of times when Darryl was unable to attend events as well. No one, most of all me, made any big deal out of Darryl’s absence, nor should they have had.

But Darryl has always made our differences personal, going back to our days with the Mets.

I had hoped we could keep these differences between us. But Darryl could not manage to do that. I am sorry for his inability to show more character and strength. While I was there for him, he obviously was never there for me.

Strawberry and Gooden broke into the majors with the Mets in the mid-1980s, with Rookie of the Year honors going to the former in 1983 and the latter in 1984. Both players experienced a somewhat similar career trajectory, enjoying massive success early only to plays as shells of their former selves by 30 or so.

Chemical dependency sidetracked their careers but the pair reunited on the New York Yankees in the mid-1990s to win a title together long after their halcyon days with the Mets. Gooden and Strawberry also reunited for an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Doc and Darryl that chronicled their issues with narcotics.


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