Strawberry had a similar career path to Gooden. He won the Rookie of the Year award a year before Gooden, and he, too, battled substance abuse problems during his playing career. As a result, the two former Mets phenoms have forever been linked, with many assuming they were best friends. That wasn’t exactly the case, though. Gooden was actually closer with Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, and Mookie Wilson.
So now there is a war of words between the two. Gooden has rebuked Strawberry on several occasions since Daryl’s comments, saying he's "fine," and said earlier on Monday that he and Strawberry's friendship is over for him going public with his comments. Gooden blamed photos of himself looking frail on recent surgeries and a foot infection.
This is one story you would like to just end quietly, after so much drama. Thirty-plus years after they took Flushing by storm, more than 15 years since both retired, Doc and Darryl still can grab our attention. Both enjoyed stardom, both battled extensively with alcohol and drugs and wound up serving time in Florida prisons. Both traveling the same road and now trying to move in different directions. It’s a sad statement on how easily celebrity and fame can corrupt young sports superstars. Here we are so many years later watching a sad drama still grabbing our attention.