This New York Post story on Doc Gooden is just very sad. We can all go on about "he made his bed and now he has to sleep in it" and "he broke the law" etcetera etcetera. But when someone loses control and lets a gift go bad, it's probably the worst kind of loss in the world.
It was thrilling to see Gooden come back in '96 after his drug suspension and pitch well, but it brings a sickening feeling to see how his life has gone since his retirement. It would be nice to still be able to think of Doc as the untouchable young stud on ESPN Classic and the happy-looking dude on old baseball cards and Starting Lineup figurines--not a recurring addict looking regretfully back on his unfulfiled promise and a mess of a life.
Who knows; if not for the drugs, we might be talking about him like we talk about Maddux and Clemens. Or he might be in the Hall already.