Late last week and over the weekend Darryl Strawberry voiced public concern about former Mets teammate Doc Gooden‘s struggles with addiction, saying he was worried about Gooden, calling him “a complete junkie-addict” and saying that Gooden’s son had reached out to Strawberry for help.
Today Gooden himself spoke, calling in to WNYM radio to respond:
“The Darryl thing hurt me a lot because I had just though we re-established our relationship. I forgave him for a lot of stuff. I never threw him under the bus, never said anything about him publicly. For him to say that stuff, you have to draw a line somewhere and I guess do a better choice of picking friends.”
Gooden went on to say that, while he was an addict, he was healthy and that he not actively using drugs.
It’s a fool’s errand to look in from the outside in such situations and pretend to know what’s really going on. Strawberry’s concern for Gooden came off as genuine, but it’s also possible that Strawberry doesn’t know what’s really going on with Gooden and/or that sharing his concerns constituted something of an invasion of Gooden’s privacy. Likewise, Gooden may be legitimately upset about Strawberry’s comments and the public nature of all of this but may, like a lot of people struggling with addition, be denying that he’s going through a rough period when he really is. We have no idea what the truth of all of this is and, really, it’s not our business, even if love and admiration we have for the ballplayers involved cause us to become invested.
For what it’s worth, Gooden’s son, Dwight Gooden Jr., released a statement last night:
“On behalf of myself and my brothers and sisters we would like to thank Darryl (Strawberry), Janice (Roots), members of the media, friends and most of all, the fans for their concern for our father’s health. His problems have been well documented and publicized through the years. At this time our only concern is his health and that he takes care of himself. There has not been a single day that our love for him or his love for us has ever wavered. One thing that has always been constant has been our father’s determination to provide for us regardless of what was going on in his life. He has always provided for us and has always been there for us.”
With that, here’s hoping for the best for everyone involved.