Here’s the latest development in the sad saga of former Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden.
According to the Associated Press via NBCSports.com, Gooden was sentenced to five years’ probation yesterday after pleading guilty in New Jersey to child endangerment. He was also ordered to undergo outpatient drug treatment.
The charges date back to a March 2010 traffic accident where Gooden was under the influence of cocaine with his then 5-year-old son riding in the back seat without a seat belt. Fortunately nobody was hurt in the accident.
Gooden, now 46 years old, could have faced up to three years in state prison. He has routinely wasted second chance after second chance during his life, so I’m not expecting things to suddenly change now, though I’d be thrilled if he finally turned his life around.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.