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Strawberry on Gooden: 'Have to try something before he's dead'

Darryl Strawberry is trying to save 1986 New York Mets teammate Dwight Gooden before it's too late.

Strawberry believes Gooden has relapsed into the drug use that derailed his playing career.

The duo, who were the subject of the ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary "Doc & Darryl", were recently scheduled to make a joint public appearance, but Gooden was a no-show.

"He's a complete junkie-addict," Strawberry told the New York's Daily News about Gooden. "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."

"Doc & Darryl", which debuted on ESPN last month, had the two talking in depth about their rise to stardom as the Mets won the 1986 World Series, and then their downward spirals as each battled addictions.

The two have been linked since they first entered the majors.

Both were selected by the Mets in the first round of their respective drafts -- Strawberry No.1 overall in 1980 and Gooden fifth overall in 1982. Strawberry won Rookie of the Year honors in 1983 and was followed by Gooden in 1984. Gooden set the major league rookie record with 276 strikeouts.

Strawberry still holds the Mets record for home runs with 252. He also ranks in the franchise's top five in RBIs, runs scored, slugging percentage and stolen bases.

Gooden ranks second in Mets history to Tom Seaver with 157 wins and 1,875 strikeouts, and he is the Mets' all-time leader in win percentage and fewest home runs allowed per nine innings.

Despite all their on-field success, each battled off-the-field demons, and while Strawberry in recent years has seemingly cleaned up his act, Gooden apparently is still struggling.

"I have to try something before he's dead," Strawberry told the Daily News.

Related Topics:
sportsespnmlbcocainedrugsdoc goodenaddictiondarryl strawberrycokenew york mets
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