Darryl Strawberry doubled down on his concern for former Mets teammate Doc Gooden on Sunday.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Strawberry said Gooden is dealing with a cocaine problem, and called him “a complete junkie-addict.” He also revealed that he is trying to help Gooden, as someone who has coped with addiction in the past.
“I have to try something before he’s dead,” Strawberry said.
Strawberry expressed concern over Gooden’s well-being earlier in the week after Gooden did not show up for a radio appearance.
Here’s what Strawberry told the Daily News in his interview Sunday:
I’ve been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won’t listen. He thinks he can manipulate and BS his way through everything. His son called me to beg me to help his dad before he dies. The condition Doc is in, it’s bad, it’s horrible. It’s like cocaine poison. I feel like I’ve got to get it out there because nobody else is doing anything to help him, and it might be the only way to stop him.
On Monday, Gooden responded with his frustration over Strawberry’s comments.
“The Darryl thing hurt me a lot because I had just thought we re-established our relationship,” Gooden told WNYM’s Joe Piscopo. “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.”
There have also been some more concerning reports in the story about Gooden’s cocaine use from those close to him.
Gooden's son, Dwight Gooden Jr., also released a statement on behalf his family, thanking Strawberry and others.
“His problems have been well documented and publicized through the years,” Gooden Jr. said. “At this time, our only concern is his health and that he takes care of himself. “We, as a family, are currently planning his best course of action and thank you all for your concern, messages and prayers.”
Gooden insisted in an interview with the Daily News on Monday that he wasn’t in trouble.
“I'm doing fine. There's a lot more to the story than you'd think. I respect you for coming by, it's your job,” Gooden said. “But I'm going to make a written statement. It'll be best for my family and for me. I'm doing good. Unfortunately I just have to deal with this mess. It happens.”
Gooden and Strawberry played together with the Mets from 1984–1990, and again with the Yankees from 1996—97.
– Kenny Ducey