Dwight Gooden, seen here in May when the Mets celebrated the 30th anniversary of the ’86 champs, skipped a scheduled appearance at a WFAN event Thursday night.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, August 19, 2016, 12:56 PM
Darryl Strawberry admits that he’s concerned for Doc Gooden’s life after the latter didn’t attend a scheduled appearance on Thursday night.
The star-crossed former teammates with the Mets and Yankees were slated to be interviewed together in a WFAN live interview hosted by Joe Benigno.
According to CBS radio’s website, Strawberry expressed his concern when asked by an audience member at the Adorama Live Theater about Gooden.
“I’m worried. A lot,” Strawberry said Thursday night. “It’s a real struggle. It’s very difficult to talk about because I know the drill, I know the deal. It’s very sad. It’s hard. ‘Cause even though we weren’t as close, like everybody wanted to make us out to be, he’s a friend. And it’s a very challenging, very difficult time of his life. It’s tough.
Darryl Strawberry (l.) expressed his concern for his ex-teammate during Thursday night’s event.
“It’s really, really, really tough to sit here and just know that he was supposed to be here, too, and he’s not here. It’s really tough. And I think a lot of times people just keep thinking it’s all right, and it’s not all right. My fear is that — 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 soon before it’s too late.”
WFAN VP of programming Mark Chernoff said one of Gooden’s reps called to inform the station “at the last minute” that Gooden would be late for what was slated to be a 75-minute appearance, before calling back shortly thereafter and saying that the former pitcher wouldn’t attend at all.
No specific reason was given, Chernoff added, for Gooden’s absence.
Strawberry said “I’m worried. A lot” during the event.
The duo were featured in a recent ESPN 30-for-30 documentary entitled “Doc and Darryl,” depicting their lengthy histories with drug and alcohol abuse and various other crimes.
Gooden, who did not return a phone call Friday from the Daily News, acknowledged in the film that he still struggles with the urges of addiction.
Gooden won the National League Cy Young Award with the Mets in 1985 and the World Series with them the following year before his career was derailed by a series of suspensions and arrests stemming from substance abuse.
Gooden and Strawberry were members of the Mets’ 1986 championship squad and the 1996 World Series club with the Yankees, and both players attended the anniversary celebrations for those respective teams in recent weeks.