Tuesday, August 23, 2005

My Public Service Announcement

If you're a parent with a teenage son or daughter, print this post out and stick it on his or her pillow tonight...

Excerpts from Dick Schaap's October 2, 1985 television news package for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings:

"He is larger than life, towering over New York, the city's most exciting athlete and baseball's most exciting pitcher, the 'Natural' incarnate, so gifted and wise at his craft it's almost impossible to believe Dwight Gooden is only 20."

"He is the youngest man to win 20 games in a season, the youngest to lead the league in strike outs, the youngest to play in the All-Star game, the youngest to be rookie of the year. And when the season ends he will become almost certainly the youngest to win the symbol of pitching excellence, the Cy Young Award."

"If he stays healthy, Gooden could end up with a room full of Cy Young awards. Cy Young, incidentally, didn't win his first major league game till he was 23 years old. Gooden could win 100 by the time he's 23. Then all he'll have to do is win 20 games a year for 20 years and he'll break Cy Young's record."

Excerpts from today's New York Daily News article, about Gooden's fleeing the law while the officer held his license right outside the stopped car:

"Former baseball star Dwight Gooden was being sought by police Tuesday on a felony warrant after he allegedly drove away from an officer who stopped him on suspicion of drunken driving. Gooden, 41, left the scene of the traffic stop early Monday after refusing to get out his 2004 BMW to take a field sobriety test, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said."

"The officer stopped Gooden's car because he was weaving in traffic near downtown Tampa, McElroy said. Gooden, a Tampa native and resident, has a history of drug abuse and is awaiting trial on a domestic violence charge...Gooden handed the officer his driver's license but refused two requests to get out of the car, McElroy said. He then drove off with the officer still holding his license."

"Gooden was arrested by Tampa police in 2002 on a drunken driving charge, but later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and received a year probation. He was arrested in March and charged with hitting his live-in girlfriend in the face during an argument. He was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, and the case is pending."

"During his playing days, Gooden was suspended for 60 days in 1994 for testing positive for cocaine while with the Mets. He tested positive for cocaine again while on suspension and was sidelined for the 1995 season."

"Gooden's disappearance is reminiscent of the 2001 disappearance of his friend and former teammate Darryl Strawberry, who was missing for four days after he walked away from a drug treatment center where he was under house arrest."

For more on Doc's one-time greatness, see the Sports Guy's latest ESPN Magazine column. And remember to say no to drugs, kiddos.

9 Comments:

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put em both in the hole...jeez what a waste...makes me sad

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

so let me get this straight, steroids, a substance that can make you more powerful, help u recover quicker from injuries or bruises = 10 game suspension, cocaine, a substance that is totally supah sweet, makes u wanna sniff the foul line and grind with chicks = 60 games, i hope that was not his first offense, otherwise, thats craisins. was it?? i cant remember '94, was on my 2nd tour in 'Nam

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger MDS said...

One thing I've always wondered is why some drug addicts who play sports, like Mickey Mantle, are beloved, while other drug addicts who play sports, like Dwight Gooden, are despised.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger ethan said...

mds - for the same reason our country accepts booze and caffeine, but not any other mind altering drug.

 
At 4:52 PM, Blogger John Howard said...

Peter Jennings? Dick Schaap? What do I care what those guys had to say, they're both dead. Gooden might not be far behind, for all I know. He never got that roomful of Cy Youngs, but it was fun to be a Mets fan in the mid 80s.

 
At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Greg said...

Gooden's decline actually coincides more with his shoulder injury than it does with his coke problems, which given his heavy usage while still a growing and developing pitcher probably shouldn't have come as much of a surprise either...

 
At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Greg said...

Poor choice of words there with "usage".... referring to his arm of course...

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

And don't forget, Greg, he had do-nothing Melly Stotts as his pitching coach, who has an amazing talent for being considered good at his job despite being terrible at his job. I'd assume Mel fucked Doc up big time in addition to the shoulder and the blow.

I once saw Doc peeing at a urinal, I pulled up next to him and he said, "Look, bro, if you want an autograph you either gotta get me a pen or get me some snow."

 
At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Greg said...

Wasn't it Mel's brilliant idea to have Gooden work on not having to overpower hitters so that he wouldn't blow out his arm? Funny how letting him throw 250+ innings (I think it was actually in the 270-280 range but don't have it in front of me right now) as a 20 year old didn't seem contrary to that idea.... I totally agree about Mel... I can only read "he just couldn't handle the pressure of pitching in New York" so many times before I start looking at the guy who's minding the store...I think we've actually discussed this in the past...

 

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