A sober Dwight Gooden hopes to earn the trust and potentially a position with Mets, for whom he pitched 11 seasons.
Gooden, who the Post noted worked out with a Japanese club for a couple of weeks, hopes to earn a spot as a special instructor with the Mets.
“That would really be great, [to be an instructor] I would love that, but I understand I have to earn the Mets’ trust back and I’m trying to do that.”
I totally get that.
Gooden has put on weight since many fans and onlookers alike became alarmed at his emaciated appearance at Met functions.
“You take 10 teeth out you are going to lose weight, but I’m eating too good now, I need to lose some weight.’’
Gooden has suffered through a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and has endured the trials and tribulations that come with addiction and recovery since his playing days.
These days, Gooden, 53, appears to be in full recovery and spends much of his time watching his son, a three-sport star at Maryland.
Gooden burst onto the scene in 1984, winning 17 games while striking out 276 batters to set a rookie record, earning him NL Rooke-of-the-Year honors and finished second in the Cy-Young voting. He also made his presence know at the 1984 All-Star game in which he struck out the side.
Dr. K or simply Doc, followed that up with one of the great seasons of all-time. His WHIP was .965; ERA+ 229. More simply, he dominated, winning 24 games and losing just four while pitching to a 1.53 ERA and striking out 268 batters, becoming the youngest pitcher ever to capture the Cy-Young Award.
While Gooden would have productive seasons—he won 15 or more games four more times—he was never able to recapture that dominance as drugs and alcohol took their toll. By 1995, he was suspended and the Mets decided to part ways.
Gooden would re-emerge to pitch a no-hitter in Yankee pinstripes, but was never the same great pitcher that captured the heart of New Yorkers and had him emblazoned on the side of skyscrapers. Overall, he won 194 games over a 16-year career, 157 of those with the Amazins.
While recovery is a process, Gooden seems to be in good health and hopes that will lead to Mets welcoming him into their inner-circle and appointing him a position, similar to the one he once held with the Yankees after he retired in 2000.
“I’m a Met fan,” Gooden finished with. “I’ll always be a Met fan at heart and I worked for Mr. Steinbrenner [with the Yankees} for six years.”