Mike Puma previews Doc Gooden’s forthcoming autobiography. We all know the contours of the story: kid ace dominates one year, wins the World Series the next, then pisses away most of his promise on drugs before a nice little late comeback with the Yankees. But this promises to give us more details about it all:
Gooden describes his mental state in the hours after the Mets won the title as desperately seeking drugs. Partying at a seedy housing project near Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, Gooden even turned down sex to continue doing lines of cocaine with his dealer.
“This is where the coke was, so this is where I wanted to be,” Gooden writes.
It comes out June 14th, but I just can’t do it. Gooden broke in when I was 11 and had his otherworldly 1985 season when I turned 12. I didn’t consider him a hero or anything, but I was fascinated by him and thrilled by his performances and would do things like project his 1985 season forward over 18 years or so, imagining him rewriting every modern pitching record. I wasn’t too clear about how players peaked and declined then, and the idea that they could throw their careers down the toilet like Gooden did wasn’t anything I even considered at the time. When it happened it was one of the most depressing things ever. It still depresses me to think about it.