Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Brownian Motion

Dwight Gooden Sentenced to Year in Prison

16 posts in this topic

The New York Times

Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

April 5, 2006

Ex-Pitcher Gooden Sentenced to Year in Prison

By DAVID STOUT

Dwight Gooden, the onetime baseball superstar who squandered much of his talent with self-destructive behavior off the field, was sentenced to a year and a day in a Florida state prison today for violating his probation by using cocaine.

Mr. Gooden, 41, was sentenced by Judge Daniel Perry in State Circuit Court in Hillsborough County after expressing remorse over his latest run-in with the law, said Pam Bondi, an assistant states attorney.

Mr. Gooden was on three years' probation for trying to evade a police officer who stopped him on suspicion of drunken driving. In pleading guilty last November to a felony count of fleeing the police, a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving and to an unrelated charge of hitting his girlfriend, he apologized to the court.

But he admitted on March 22 that he had violated his probation by using cocaine, the substance that first started his downward spiral two decades ago. Ms. Bondi said Mr. Gooden will be sent to a prison with a substance-abuse treatment program and could be freed in seven or eight months with credit for time already served.

Mr. Gooden retired from baseball in 2001 after pitching for the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. His career record was 194-112 — impressive enough, to be sure, but far short of what was once expected of him.

Dwight Gooden was the National League Rookie of the Year with the Mets in 1984, with a 17-9 record and a 2.60 earned-run average. That summer, at 19, he was the youngest player ever to appear in an All-Star Game. The next year, he won the Cy Young award with the Mets, winning 24 games.

No one could have known then that his best seasons were already behind him.

Twenty years ago this week, the Mets opened their season at Pittsburgh, and Dwight Gooden earned the victory, the first of 17 for the season, against 6 losses. But his blazing fastball, which had reminded some old-timers of Bob Feller, had obviously lost some of its zip and motion. Opposing hitters learned to wait on it, and he gave up more than a few long home runs.

The Mets won the World Series of 1986, which endures in baseball lore as one that the Boston Red Sox gave away. The Mets triumphed not because of but despite Dwight Gooden, who failed miserably in the playoffs and lost two games in the Series. He never won a post-season game in his career.

The following January, he pleaded no contest to two felony charges of fighting with Tampa police officers after he was stopped for a traffic violation. "I'm happy this is behind me," he said after being put on three years' probation.

But his troubles were only beginning. In April 1987, he tested positive for cocaine use and missed the first two months of the season. Still, he won 15 games and lost just 7. There were more problems, with alcohol as well as drugs. He had a losing record with the Mets from 1992 to 1994 and missed the entire 1995 season.

Gooden fans saw hope for a revival when he played with the Yankees, pitching the only no-hitter of his career at Yankee Stadium in 1996. His off-field problems continued, to the point of monotony.

After retiring as a player, he was briefly a special assistant for the Yankees, but he left that post a year ago. The paperwork on his latest arrest listed him as unemployed.

After Mr. Gooden was arrested last year, his former Yankees manager Joe Torre said, "I'm sure he wishes he could turn the pages back."

The 1986 World Series was perhaps the most poignant moment in Dwight Gooden's career. The Red Sox had a phenomenal young pitcher of their own that season: Roger Clemens. He has kept himself in top condition, which is why he was still pitching well into his 40's.

Roger Clemens will be in the Baseball Hall of Fame one day. Dwight Gooden, whose talent was arguably just as great, probably will not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fuck him.

You will have to commit a crime, and go to prison first!!!

:rhappy: Kidding! :rlol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's amazing (and very sad) how both he and Strawberry just can't seem to get it together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it is a damn shame these guys can't get their lives together. The 80's Mets were an amzing thing to witness, and The Doc was a BIG part of that. In fact I had a Mets Gooden t-shirt and I used to wear it all the time back int he day.

I once saw Doc fall off the mound out at a blustery summer day out at Candelstick one time. The pitch must have travelled a whole 8 feet. The memories....

Doc is just another in the LONG line of faltering major leagers that were not adequately supported by the league over drug and alcohol abuse. This has gone on for FAR too long, but is indeed a part of baseball, akin to the blind eye turned towards steroid use in the 80's and 90's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The two best twenty year-old baseball players I ever saw play: Doc & Cesar Cedeno. Both threw away their talent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pardon my attempt (not seriously) to get this thread moved to the political column, but as far as I'm concerned, in at least one sense, Gooden is a victim of this country's failed drug policies. If drug addiction was treated as a medical problem rather than a criminal one, drug users and society at large would be a lot better off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pardon my attempt (not seriously) to get this thread moved to the political column, but as far as I'm concerned, in at least one sense, Gooden is a victim of this country's failed drug policies. If drug addiction was treated as a medical problem rather than a criminal one, drug users and society at large would be a lot better off.

True, but he did actually commit crimes which is why he was on probation in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No argument there; I agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pardon my attempt (not seriously) to get this thread moved to the political column, but as far as I'm concerned, in at least one sense, Gooden is a victim of this country's failed drug policies. If drug addiction was treated as a medical problem rather than a criminal one, drug users and society at large would be a lot better off.

Right on.

Most addicts relapse in recovery, many quite a few times. Some never make it. People like Gooden & Strawberry may have had all sorts of resources that a guy on the street or a middle-class housewife might not have, but they also had unrelenting public scrutiny... and still do. God help every addict out there if every relapse they ever had was broadcast all over the freakin' world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd think and hope that jazz fans would be even more sensitive to this kind of crap, esp. given the backstory we've encountered once again on Jackie McLean's woes in the 1950s and early 1960s. Look, everybody who has a self-destructive problem with anything--drugs, alcohol, gambling, whatever--has the onus upon themselves to turn the corner on it--every day, for the rest of their lives. But throwing them in the slammer generally doesn't help. Suspending them from playing doesn't help, either. (In fact, I think Strawberry struggled most when he wasn't playing... most of his publicized relapses happened in the off-season or while he was suspended. I always felt that playing made it easier for him to get on with life.)

Rather than say, "F*&% Dwight Gooden," I'd say, "F*&% this culture." It practically breeds addiction these days, if you ask me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd think and hope that jazz fans would be even more sensitive to this kind of crap, esp. given the backstory we've encountered once again on Jackie McLean's woes in the 1950s and early 1960s. Look, everybody who has a self-destructive problem with anything--drugs, alcohol, gambling, whatever--has the onus upon themselves to turn the corner on it--every day, for the rest of their lives. But throwing them in the slammer generally doesn't help. Suspending them from playing doesn't help, either. (In fact, I think Strawberry struggled most when he wasn't playing... most of his publicized relapses happened in the off-season or while he was suspended. I always felt that playing made it easier for him to get on with life.)

Rather than say, "F*&% Dwight Gooden," I'd say, "F*&% this culture." It practically breeds addiction these days, if you ask me.

GOM,

According to the story I read, Goden CHOSE jail. He could have gone to rehab again, with failure resulting in 5 years in jail. He chose to take no rehab and the sure year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd think and hope that jazz fans would be even more sensitive to this kind of crap, esp. given the backstory we've encountered once again on Jackie McLean's woes in the 1950s and early 1960s. Look, everybody who has a self-destructive problem with anything--drugs, alcohol, gambling, whatever--has the onus upon themselves to turn the corner on it--every day, for the rest of their lives. But throwing them in the slammer generally doesn't help. Suspending them from playing doesn't help, either. (In fact, I think Strawberry struggled most when he wasn't playing... most of his publicized relapses happened in the off-season or while he was suspended. I always felt that playing made it easier for him to get on with life.)

Rather than say, "F*&% Dwight Gooden," I'd say, "F*&% this culture." It practically breeds addiction these days, if you ask me.

GOM,

According to the story I read, Goden CHOSE jail. He could have gone to rehab again, with failure resulting in 5 years in jail. He chose to take no rehab and the sure year.

That is correct.

That is what pisses me off. He's more or less saying he expects to screw up again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say, "F*&% this culture."

Could you possibly work that theme into one of your Afterglow shows?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[That is what pisses me off. He's more or less saying he expects to screw up again.

Hey, he knows he's an addict. Reminds me of the times I "tried to quit smoking", but put my ashtrays and lighters in a drawer just in case...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.