For those of you not tracking former athletes currently serving prison sentences, Dwight Gooden is about to re-enter the world as a free man after a seven-month stint in jail for cocaine use that violated his probation.
Although he will always be known to baseball fans for his electric performances with the New York Mets as a teenage pitcher out of Tampa, Gooden is just another convicted felon to the state of Florida: inmate No. T47272, scheduled for release Thursday from the Gainesville Correctional Institution.
Believe it or not, I want to send out some positive vibes. Dwight Gooden was that once-in-a-generation pitcher who produced absolute magic every fifth day, the kind of pitcher where you didn't mind if your team lost to him. Couple that with what I believe are excessive penalties against drug possession and the absolutely fucked American prison system, and I have a lot of sympathy for Doc. Wait, what's that?
Gooden's post-prison plans likely include a meeting with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner about a possible coaching job.
Awww, the Yankees? After I just spent a whole paragraph being nice to him? Well… I guess I still wish him the best. But just this once.
(Thanks to Ben Maller.)