Bill Baer

FLUSHING, NY - UNDATED:  Dwight Gooden #16 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during a game at Shea Stadium circa 1984-1994 in Flushing, New York.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Report: Darryl Strawberry trying everything to help Dwight “Doc” Gooden overcome cocaine addiction

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Dwight Gooden debuted in 1984 with the Mets and quickly burst onto the scene as one of the best pitchers in baseball. He won the ’84 National League Rookie of the Year Award, then followed up by winning the NL Cy Young Award in ’85. Though he would go on to post a few more great seasons, his career would ultimately be derailed by an addiction to alcohol and cocaine.

Gooden tested positive for cocaine in spring training ahead of the 1987 season as well as in the strike-shortened ’94 season. In 2006, Gooden was arrested for violating his probation and showed up high on cocaine to a meeting with his probation officer.

Gooden’s battle with cocaine continues, and former teammate Darryl Strawberry is doing everything he can to help Gooden, according to a report from John Harper of the New York Daily News. Strawberry said, “I have to try something before he’s dead.”

Strawberry continued, “He’s a complete junkie-addict. 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,” Strawberry said.

Harper has more details about Gooden’s cocaine habit. It’s tough to read. And it sounds like there aren’t too many people left in Gooden’s corner to help him. Strawberry has battled cocaine addiction over the years as well, so the fact that he has so adamantly gone public with this issue shows how few options he feels he has left to help his friend and former teammate. Here’s hoping Gooden can get the help he needs.

The Cardinals tied the single-season record for pinch-hit home runs at 14

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 21: Jeremy Hazelbaker #41 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 21, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals won 9-0. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images
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Jeremy Hazelbaker pinch-hit for Cardinals starter Mike Leake in the eighth inning and drilled a two-run home run off of the facade of the second deck at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday. That marks the Cardinals’ 14th pinch-hit home run of the season, tying the major league record also held by the 2001 Diamondbacks and Giants, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Nationals (11) are the only other team with double-digit pinch-hit home runs this season.

The Cardinals as a team cranked out four home runs in a 9-0 rout of the Phillies. Though the Cubs lost on Sunday, the Cardinals are still 12 games out of first place in the NL Central, a likely insurmountable lead. However, the Cardinals are 1.5 games ahead of the Marlins for the second NL Wild Card slot.

Those days off seemed to do Justin Upton some good

DETROIT, MI - JULY 18: Justin Upton #8 of the Detroit Tigers hits a solo home run during the second inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 18, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
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Tigers outfielder Justin Upton was benched for three days last week, an attempt by manager Brad Ausmus to change the downward momentum of the three-time All-Star’s season. He did not start on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, though he did enter Wednesday’s game as a defensive replacement and Thursday’s game as a pinch-runner.

Upton returned to the Tigers’ lineup on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with a double. On Sunday afternoon, in the series finale against the Red Sox, Upton went 2-for-4 with a pair of three-run homers. They weren’t cheapies, either; they were smoked. According to Statcast, the two dingers combined to travel 890 feet in projected distance.

The Tigers won 10-5, keeping pace with the Indians who also won on Sunday. They’re seven games out of first place in the AL Central and three games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. A late season rebirth for Upton could be just what the doctor ordered for the Tigers.