Dwight Gooden said “I am well” in a text message to Newsday on Saturday afternoon, but the former Mets and Yankees pitcher declined to elaborate in the wake of Darryl Strawberry’s comments this past week expressing concern for his former teammate’s three-decade fight with drug addiction.
Gooden was scheduled to appear with Strawberry at a WFAN function on Thursday night but failed to show. Strawberry said he was worried about Gooden because “my fear — and I know addiction — and my fear is people that don’t change, they die. They die this way. I just hope the light comes on sooner before it’s too late.”
Gooden stayed silent in the 36 hours after that, with his phone rejecting messages. He said in the brief text message exchange on Saturday afternoon that he had not yet read Strawberry’s comments and declined to comment any further until he does so.
A standout Mets pitcher from 1984-1994 who played for the Yankees in 1996, 1997 and 2000, Gooden has made several public appearances this summer related to celebrations honoring the championship teams from the 1986 Mets and 1996 Yankees. Gooden’s relationship with Strawberry also was the focus of an ESPN documentary that debuted this summer. Both men have fought drug addiction during and after their playing careers.
Gooden said in an interview with Newsday last October that he has been clean since March 11, 2012, and that he tries to talk often about his past with other recovering addicts as a way to keep himself on the right path. He also said this about his relationship with Strawberry: “We’re like brothers. One day you hate your brother. The next day you love them. Same thing.”