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Girardi, Jeter sad to hear about Gooden's latest problems

DWIGHT GOODEN, PITCHER Career stats: 194-112, 3.51 ERA

DWIGHT GOODEN, PITCHER
Career stats: 194-112, 3.51 ERA
Mets stats: 157-85, 3.10 ERA
Gooden burst onto the scene in 1984, winning 17 games and leading the majors in strikeouts as a 19-year-old rookie. The following year, he won the NL Cy Young by going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA. In 1986, he helped the Mets win the World Series. Although Gooden's performance on the field and his behavior off the field were the subject of much scrutiny and the source of disappointment among Mets fans, his status as a fan favorite earned him a spot in the Mets' Hall of Fame in 2010. Photo Credit: Newsday / Paul J. Bereswill

TAMPA, Fla. - Joe Girardi has fond memories of playing with Dwight Gooden. How could he not? It was Girardi who caught Gooden's no-hitter in 1996.

That's why the news of Gooden's arrest on Tuesday on charges of driving under the influence of drugs and leaving the scene of an accident in Franklin Lakes, N.J., saddened the Yankees manager when he learned of it last night.

"Your heart goes out to him," Girardi said. "He was a great teammate. Doc and I will always be linked, in a sense. Played on a championship team and had a no-hitter together. Loved playing with Doc. He was fun. He was great to be around, great teammate. You hope everything's OK."

Derek Jeter, also a teammate of Gooden's, said: "It's real unfortunate. Especially in Doc's circumstance. He's had issues in the past and you always pull for him to make it through those issues."

Gooden has not been around the Yankees much in recent years as he has returned to his Mets roots.

Pitching plans

CC Sabathia will pitch Thursday in a minor-league game. Alfredo Aceves and Sergio Mitre will face the Orioles in Sarasota. After meetings Wednesday, Girardi said the Yankees should announce the winner of the fifth-starter derby Thursday. Paging Phil Hughes! "For the most part, we have a pretty good idea of which way we're going," Girardi said. "We're just not quite ready to announce it."

Extra bases

Javier Vazquez pitched six innings and allowed one run on four hits in a 3-1 victory over the Nationals. Vazquez walked none and struck out six . . . Mariano Rivera struck out two in an inning of work . . . Francisco Cervelli made his first appearance as a professional at third base in the eighth inning and handled a hot shot hit by Eric Bruntlett in the ninth.

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