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.
Marc Carig of Newsday took Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon to the woodshed over the weekend. He, quite justifiably, lambasted them for their inexplicable frugality, their seeming indifference to wanting to put a winning team on the field and, above all else, their unwillingness to level with the fans or the press about the team’s plans or priorities.
Mets ownership is unaccountable, Carig argues, asking everything of fans and giving nothing in the way of a plan or even hope in return:
Mets fans ought to know where their money is going, because it’s clear that much of it isn’t ending up on the field . . . They never talk about money. Whether it’s arrogance or simply negligence, they have no problem asking fans to pony up the cash and never show the willingness to reciprocate.
And they’re not just failing to be forthcoming with the fans. Even the front office is in the dark about the direction of the team at any given time:
According to sources, the front office has only a fuzzy idea of what they actually have to spend in any given offseason. They’re often flying blind, forced to navigate the winter under the weight of an invisible salary cap. This is not the behavior of a franchise that wants to win.
Carig is not a hot take artist and is not usually one to rip a team or its ownership like this. As such, it should not be read as a columnist just looking to bash the Wilpons on a slow news day. To the contrary, this reads like something well-considered and a long time in the works. It has the added benefit of being 100% true and justified. The Mets have been run like a third rate operation for years. Even when the product on the field is good, fans have no confidence that ownership will do what it takes to maintain that success.
All that seems to matter to the Wilpons is the bottom line and everything flows from there. They may as well be making sewing machines or selling furniture.