Earlier this week former Mets star Dwight Gooden missed a scheduled WFAN appearance alongside former teammate Darryl Strawberry, leading to speculation that the former Cy Young winner was again using drugs. There were similar indications during ESPN's recently 30 for 30 sports documentary.
While speaking to John Harper of the New York Daily News, Strawberry called Gooden a "complete junkie-addict" in need of help. From Harper:
"He's a complete junkie-addict," Strawberry said. "I've been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won't listen. He thinks he can manipulate and BS his way through everything. His son called me to beg me to help his dad before he dies.
"The condition Doc is in, it's bad, it's horrible. It's like cocaine poison. I feel like I've got to get it out there because nobody else is doing anything to help him, and it might be the only way to stop him."
Janice Roots, a woman who lived with Gooden for four years, told Harper that Gooden has "morphed into a cocaine monster" since January 2014. Gooden's mother passed away in July and Roots says not many people showed up to the funeral, causing her to worry that Gooden doesn't have a good support system.
Gooden, now 51, made an appearance at Yankee Stadium last week for the team's 1996 World Series team reunion. He looked frail and underweight -- "I don't think he weighs 150 pounds soaking wet right now," Strawberry said to Harper -- which led to more speculation. Here's video of the ceremony (Gooden's appearance is at the 17:07 mark) and here's a photo:
Both Gooden and Strawberry have battled drug addiction throughout their lives. Gooden even spent some time in prison as a result. Strawberry seems to have been able to stay sober. Gooden's friends say they are going public with his problems because they care about him and want him to get better.