Dwight Gooden rethinking friendship with Darryl Strawberry after comments
- By ESPN.com news services via ESPN
Aug 22, 2016, 2:12 PM ET
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Dwight Gooden said in a radio interview Monday that he was reevaluating his relationship with Darryl Strawberry because of his former New York Mets teammate's recent comments that the former All-Star pitcher was "a complete junkie-addict."
"The Darryl thing hurt me a lot because I had just thought we reestablished our relationship," Gooden told "The Joe Piscopo Show."
"I forgave him for a lot of stuff. I never threw him under the bus, never said anything about him publicly. For him to say that stuff, you have to draw a line somewhere and I guess do a better choice of picking friends."
Gooden issued a statement later Monday in sharp criticism of Strawberry, calling out his former teammate for repeatedly making "our differences personal, going back to our days with the Mets."
"I had hoped we could keep these differences between us," his statement read, while also vehemently denying Strawberry's allegations he's using cocaine. "But Darryl could not manage to do that. I am sorry for his inability to show more character and strength. While I was there for him, he obviously was never there for me."
Strawberry told ESPN Radio on Monday night that he is trying not to take Gooden's verbal jabs personally, saying people in Gooden's camp are pleased that someone "finally stood up and said something about his issues and his struggles."
"I just felt like I needed to do this," Strawberry said in the interview. "And regardless what anybody else thinks or they can call me whatever they want to call me. As long I've known in my heart that I stepped up to do the right thing to help this man try to save his life, maybe just one day if he gets there and gets a recovery and realizes how good he is, he can come back and say 'thank you, you helped save my life.' "
Strawberry said he is convinced Gooden has relapsed into the drug use that derailed his playing career.
"He's very good at BS'ing, he's very good at blowing smoke up people's behinds and telling them what he wants them to hear," Strawberry said. "If he wants to get well he's going to have to get real. Because this is crunch time for him. This is public for him. Everyone knows that I'm telling the truth."
The duo, who were the subject of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary "Doc & Darryl," were recently scheduled to make a joint public appearance, but Gooden was a no-show.
"He's a complete junkie-addict," Strawberry told New York Daily News about Gooden. "I've been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won't listen."
Strawberry told the newspaper that Gooden's son called him to help his father "before he dies."
Dwight Gooden Jr.?issued a statement to the Daily News on Sunday night, saying between the death of Gooden's mother last month and his father's work schedule, "he has been under an extraordinary amount of stress, pressure and above all sadness." Gooden Jr. said his father was "planning on taking a break from the spotlight to rest and regroup and address his health" and that will be pushed up.
Gooden, after Strawberry and others expressed concern for him following his no-show at last week's event, sent a text to the Daily News that read: "I am fine, just finishing up some minor health issues."
Gooden on Monday again said he was OK.
"Everything's good," he said in the radio interview. "I am healthy. I don't have a drug problem. I mean, I am an addict … that don't mean I'm an active addict."
"Doc & Darryl," which debuted on ESPN last month, featured the two talking in depth about their rise to stardom as the Mets won the 1986 World Series, and then their downward spirals as each battled addictions.
ESPN's Adam Rubin contributed to this report.
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