baseball

Dwight Gooden Continues His Recovery and Hopes The Same For Baseball

Doc Gooden has battled the demons with a history of alcohol and substance abuse. There are setbacks and the Cy Young Award pitcher of the Mets, who had a revival with the Yankees, is still coping and in therapy.

Rich Mancuso/The New York Extra

Late last year, Gooden, was arrested, not far from his home in Piscataway, New Jersey.  He was driving, incoherent, and pulled over by police officials. 

 For Gooden, who has been in and out of rehab the past few years, this was another setback. The demons still haunt the All-Star pitcher. perhaps, as many say, the best Mets pitcher next to Tom Seaver.

Rich Mancuso /The New York Extra

But for those who care, and many do, Dwight Gooden is fighting those demons and helping others to deal with alcohol, substance abuse, and the awareness of mental illness.  

Tuesday night, at the Regal Theatre in Times Square, there was Doc. He was part of a panel after viewing a screening of  “The Way Back” a Warner Brothers film starring Ben Alfleck that hits the screens on March 6th.

The synapsis:

Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) once had a life filled with promise. In high school, he was a basketball phenom with a full university scholarship, when suddenly, for reasons unknown, he walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Now years later, Jack is spiraling down, triggered by an unspeakable loss, and drowning in the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life. When he is asked to coach the basketball team at his alma mater, which has fallen far since his glory days, he reluctantly accepts, surprising no one more than himself. As the boys start to come together as a team and win. He would relapse, was dismissed as the coach, and entered therapy.  

“Mine was drugs, his was alcohol, the same thing,” Gooden said. 

The real Dwight Gooden, he  was speaking from experience. He bonded with Eric Kussin, Founder and CEO of “We’re All A Little Crazy” an organization that takes a message across the board in getting the message towards mental health awareness and substance abuse. 

They go under #Same Here.  Gooden, has made another rebound and is doing well. Next week, the Mets will welcome him for a week at their spring training complex in Port St. Lucie Florida. 

 He could relate to the trials and tribulations, a basketball coach, fighting the demons and  using sports as an outlet. There was a correlation here, Gooden and baseball as his outlet. This coach and basketball as the outlet.

“Getting back to something he truly loved,” Gooden said.  “ He had to fill that void. Once he went to treatment, he found peace and a way to forgive himself with alcohol.”

“Forgive,” Gooden said.

 He has seen that with family, friends,  more so, after his latest setbacks. Getting out there to the public, as he did Tuesday night, is the Dwight Gooden approach to feeling better and informing those about a way to seek help.

They relate to the athlete. They relate to the  exploits of Dwight Gooden. They understand the demons, a part of mental illness that are a part of the drug and alcohol abuse syndrome.

“With me spending time with my kids and grandkids, I can be there with my grand kids,” Gooden said. “That is part of his outlet. So are school activities, or sports.” 

So, Dwight Gooden continues with his recovery. He remains a part of the Mets family and baseball is his passion. This recent signal-cheating scandal, that has rocked Major League Baseball, is causing opinions and lots of that controversy.

The game could be in trouble. Dwight Gooden with 16- years of stardom and the accolades has his opinion.

“Cheating always been a part  of the game,” he said. “Technology,  unfortunately, makes it tougher with cameras and all that stuff. During my time third base coach, first base coach, tried to get the signs and motion to the hitter.”

That wasn’t fair, and cheating for the most part is a part of every sport if they don’t get caught red handed.  But the use of technology made it easier for the Houston Astros. 

By all means, this story is far from over. It has more drama than the upcoming Presidential election, and has the attention with a 2020 season ready to commence in five weeks. 

“For me, I’m ready for them to move on from this,” Gooden said.

Technology or not, hitters have a way of knowing what a pitcher is going  to throw. Gooden, discounts all of the buzz about that Jose Altuve walk-off home run off Aroldis Chapman.

The home run of 2019, not 2017, put the Astros in the World Series. The buzzer, Gooden has no theory. The Yankees, according to Gooden, did not hit  and that was a main cause for another postseason series loss to the Astros.

“Good hitters know what you are going to throw,” he said.  

Ask Gooden, the late Rusty Staub, on opposite sides, could always hit a Dwight Gooden heater. At that time, Staub, told Gooden, he was tipping those pitches.  

Years later, though, it’s technology that has caused all of the turmoil. It’s not getting the signs from a coach from that first or third base side. And it has nothing to do with tipping the pitches.

So, Dwight Gooden,and his recovery continues. Baseball had a setback and will eventually recover as the game did once with a nasty steroid scandal. 

Dwight Gooden, he  continues to love the game. That is his outlet.

More info about Eric Kussin: eric@wearreallalittlecrazy.org  #Same Here

Comment: Ring796@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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