Dwight Gooden claims he’s been clean and sober for years, but his old friend Darryl Strawberry thinks things might not be going so great for the former National League Cy Young Award winner. In response to a story in the New York Daily News on Sunday, Gooden’s former team, the New York Yankees have offered to pay for a rehab stint for him.
Strawberry told the Daily News that the Yankees reached out to him after reading the story and asked, “What can we do to help?” Gooden’s former drug counselor, Ron Dock, claims the franchise contacted him as well.
Dock had the following to say:
“The Yankees reached out to be as well as Darryl. They know I have a relationship with Dwight. He was my first client when I became certified as an addiction-and-recovery coach in 1995.
“They said they were willing to pay for Dwight’s treatment, which is a huge gesture on their behalf. They’ve always tried to do right by Dwight, going back to George Steinbrenner when he gave him a chance to play.”
Strawberry believes Gooden is still struggling with cocaine addiction, despite his denial that he’s still using drugs. Still, it’s hard to believe him as in recent photos the man known as “Doc” looks gaunt and unhealthy.
The 51-year-old Gooden won two World Series with the Yankees (1996 and 2000) before retiring in 2001. The Yankees gave him a chance to play in 1996 when most franchises believed him to be an irredeemable problem child. The fact that they are willing to pay for him to get treatment should he need it is an incredible gesture and they should be commended for it.
Hopefully Gooden takes them up on the offer if he is actually still struggling with his addiction.