When I went to see Doc Gooden today, I didn’t know what I was going to find. This was going to be the first time I was going to see him since his so-called disappearance last week. I was pleasantly surprised that he actually looked decent. Not the Doc Gooden we all have seen in the past but also not the skeletal figure we have seen in the last couple of weeks. It’s difficult to write this column, because as most fans know, I sincerely love Dwight Gooden as a brother and always will.
Ray Negron: Doc, I have seen more love for you with this situation, than I have seen in 15 or 20 years. How do you feel about that?
Dwight Gooden: It’s a great feeling and it’s very touching. You are not talking about Doc Gooden the baseball player. You are talking about Doc Gooden the person. It is very touching. It’s a great feeling to have and I appreciate it very much.
RN: Dwight, will you use this to keep going forward in your battle for recovery?
DG: I do that every day. I went through almost everything in life. I lost my mom. I lost my dad. I lost George Steinbrenner. Now with the speedbumps in the roadway with people saying things I didn’t do. I am thankful for all the support I can get. And I appreciate the fans for it.
RN: Dwight, when you go through the 12-step program, one of the most important things is anonymity. How do you feel about what Darryl Strawberry said?
DG: That’s the tough part. Even when go to Out for Cure, there’s always someone there who is not as well as they should be with anonymity. But what you talk about is yourself, so you know there might be something that might get out. But what I have to stress is anonymity because when it’s someone you care about and they go back and talk about it. That’s the issue.
RN: Will you eventually forgive Strawberry and the others, we are talking about?
DG: I have forgiven them already. I learned to forgive and it’s really for me to move on. I have too much going on. I have seven kids. I have two grandkids. I have my brother with me right now. I have a lot on my plate. I have my own recovery. So I have to forgive those people. I know they make mistakes. They are not perfect. I forgive them.
RN: Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Yankees President Randy Levine have both extended hands out. How do you feel about that?
DG: That’s great. I was once a Met and once a Yankee and I appreciate to be remembered when my career was over. They appreciate me, not as a player, but me and my family as people. That means a lot to me.
RN: New York, Major League Baseball and people in general all want to love Dwight Gooden and are in Dwight Gooden’s corner. That means you have a responsibility to them all the time and in essence, you and these fans will always be together. Do you agree?
DG: My responsibility to them is always being honest. If I do something, I go out and admit it. I don’t want to hide from anything. I am not perfect and I am going to make mistakes. But it’s what you do with those mistakes – help myself and help others – is what really counts.
RN: They are talking about you getting involved with productions and film making. This is something that you wanted to do, since I have known you. How do you feel about that?
DG: I am finally going to do things, I wanted to do. I always did things for others and now all my kids are grown, except two. I am going to do things with my life I enjoy. I never had a true hobby. One thing about filmmaking is it always has been a hobby. Working with you Ray, I learned things of what you did with your movies. I fulfilled my baseball dreams, but I want to live my other dream and it’s always been production.
RN: New York, America, and the world loves Dwight Gooden. Don’t give up on them.
DG: I will never give up on them. I never gave up on myself, number one. I always had them in my heart and they have been in my corner.
RN: Dr. K, Dwight Gooden. Thank you.
This interview can be heard during Impact on WPAT 930 AM tomorrow from 6 to 7 PM.
Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, “Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers.” He also writes for NEWSMAX. He is also the host of Impact on 930 AM WPAT every Wednesday from 6 to 7 pm.