Dwight Gooden’s autobiography is coming out. Not surprisingly, it sounds like a grim read

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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.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?