The new “30 for 30” film “Doc & Darryl” finds the two former teammates meeting in a Queens diner. Darryl Strawberry is clean and sober, and he dedicates his time to other addicts. Dwight Gooden is fidgety and appears anxious. The question of his sobriety is never addressed.
Asked by TheWrap how his former teammate was doing in his years-long battle with cocaine and alcohol, Strawberry said this: “I know it wasn’t [addressed], and clearly they didn’t probably want to expose that. It seemed like it was a difficult time — I don’t know if it is.”
TheWrap reached out to film co-director Michael Bonfiglio to find out if Gooden was ever asked directly about his current state of sobriety, but we did not immediately receive a response.
“I know I love him right where he’s at,” Strawberry continued his response. “Because, you know what, people loved me right where I was at. And I think that’s what we’ve got to always look at.”
“It’s a struggle, life is a challenge,” the tall lefty added.
Both Strawberry and Gooden have struggled with substance abuse — and the consequences were far harsher than just losing out on (even more) promising playing careers. Strawberry had several run-ins with the law, including serving 11 months in prison in 2002 and 2003 for violating probation on cocaine possession charges. Gooden’s legal trouble included spending seven months in jail in 2006 on a cocaine charge and receiving five years of probation on a child engagement charge. Prosecutors said he was on cocaine when his car collided with another while Gooden’s son was in the car with no seat belt. No one was injured.
Strawberry, who has turned his life around and preaches through his Strawberry Ministries (both he and wife Tracy are pastors) said those outside the sports world could learn quite a bit from the “30 for 30” film — a subject matter that he says hits close to home in the entertainment world.
“This still could be an example to Hollywood, too,” he said.
“Hopefully they will watch this and realize that this is real, because they have some of the same struggles we have: High-profile life, money, everything,” Strawberry went on. “[They] have everything, but have nothing, and end up getting into drugs.”
Strawberry, who says baseball is now “nowhere” in his life, is happy to share his story — good and bad — and he’s happy to help. He’s also quite pleased with how “Doc & Darryl” turned out.
“I thought they did an incredible, incredible job of showing not baseball players, but human beings,” Strawberry said.
“Doc & Darryl” debuts tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN.