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‘Doc’ Gooden flames out again

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EDITORIAL : What’s Doc Gooden thinking when he gets arrested in a hoity-toity Bergen County town on charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident — with his 5-year-old son in the car, unrestrained, no less? Not again. Not days before the 2010 baseball season, when Doc and former bad bud Darryl Strawberry are to be inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame.

Dwight Gooden, now 45 years old, a phenom turned felon, was nabbed by police after he smacked into a car in front of him on Old Mill Road, reportedly while taking his son to school.

C’mon, Doc. Even L.T. and Mike Tyson straightened out their lives. What is going on here?

It happened during the morning rush in Franklin Lakes, details of which were ferreted out by The charges are serious: driving under the influence, DWI with a child passenger, child endangerment, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and more.

George Steinbrenner gave Doc another a chance after earlier brushes, first with drugs. “The Doctor” went on to pitch a no-hitter for the Yankees. This year, the Mets invited him to spring training as a team adviser — making him the only former Metropolitan with three World Series rings.

By 2000, he had punched a cop, rehabbed for cocaine, been accused of rape, got suspended for failing drug tests, and wasted time at the Betty Ford Center. But there was more to come: reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, bolting a traffic stop with alcoholon his breath, smacking his fiance.

It finally caught up with Gooden — or so it seemed — when he spent eight months in jail for showing up high on coke for a sitdown with his parole officer four years ago.

How do you get through to this kind of personality? Where’s the key?  What in his makeup makes him act the hoodlum?

Good thing the three strikers and yer out rule doesn’t apply here.

Former Mets and Yankees ace Dwight “Doc” Gooden was busted again — this time in New Jersey after getting into a car crash while under the influence of drugs with a child in his vehicle, authorities said.

Gooden, 45, was arrested Tuesday in Franklin Lakes at about 8:50 a.m. after crashing into another car along Old Mill Road, reported today.

The former major league pitcher, who has served time behind bars for drug abuse, was released on his own recognizance.


Gooden, who has a 5-year-old son named Dylan, was charged with being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, endangering the welfare of a child, DWI with a child passenger, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, reckless driving, failure to keep right, and failure to notify change of address regarding driver’s license, police said.

Police in the posh suburb did not identify the boy in the car and declined to say what drugs were involved.

The Mets had invited Gooden, who took a job as senior vice-president with the minor league Newark Bears last year, to spring training this year to serve as a team adviser.

The three-time World Series champion has a history of drug abuse and a lengthy rap sheet dating to his playing days in the 1980s.

In 1986, Gooden pleaded no contest to battery on an officer and resisting arrest after getting into a scuffle with Tampa police officers. He was sentenced to three years’ probation.

A year later, he tested positive for cocaine and went to drug rehab for 28 days.

In 1992, Gooden was one of three players accused of raping a 31-year-old woman at a home he rented in Florida for spring training. The charge was later dropped

Two years later, he was suspended for 60 days after violating Majorl League baseball’s drug program by failing two substance abuse tests. Gooden eventually checked into the Betty Ford Center, but failed more tests after returning. As a result, baseball suspended him for the 1995 season.

In 2002, Gooden pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving after he was arrested in Tampa. A year later, he was busted for driving with a suspended license after a traffic stop in Tampa.

In 2005, he was arrested at his Tampa home for allegedly hitting his fiancee. He was charged with misdemeanor battery. Also that year, Gooden was accused of fleeing from a traffic stop in Tampa after being pulled over for driving erratically and reeking of alcohol.

Gooden was busted again in 2006 for violating his probation after he appeared high on cocaine at a scheduled meeting with his probation officer. He spent eight months in jail for that violation.

After being honored with the Mets as the 1984 Rookie of the Year and the 1985 NL Cy Young Award winner, after winning nearly 200 games — including the no-no — before returning, Gooden was looking at a career that would escort him into the Hall of Fame.

Now he’s just another career criminal on a fast track back to incarceration.

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