After Gooden did not show up for a scheduled radio appearance in New York last week, Strawberry, the former Mets and Yankees slugger who also has struggled with addiction, told the Daily News that Gooden, 51, is a "junkie-addict" and that he was revealing this to the public because he believes that Gooden's life is in danger unless he gets help now. Gooden responded angrily to WNYM radio host Joe Piscopo on Monday and in the New York Post on Tuesday.
"The Darryl thing hurt me a lot, because I had just thought we re-established our relationship," Gooden told Piscopo. "I forgave him for a lot of stuff. I never threw him under the bus, never said anything about him publicly. For him to say that stuff, you have to draw a line somewhere and I guess do a better choice of picking friends."
Gooden continued in the Post, calling what Strawberry said "hitting below the belt."
"Unfortunately I have to forgive him, but I don't have to deal with him," Gooden said. "So the relationship between Doc and Darryl is completely over. Everyone has a line they draw. This has been going on since '84 -- taking shots and then deny it."
Gooden has had documented issues with cocaine since his playing days and has appeared in public recently looking thinner than usual. After Strawberry's comments, Dwight Gooden Jr., one of the pitcher's seven children, released a statement that spoke for the Gooden family.
"His problems have been well documented and publicized through the years. At this time our only concern is his health and that he takes care of himself," the statement read.
The Yankees were in Seattle to play the Mariners on Tuesday, and manager Joe Girardi was asked if he was worried about the well-being of Gooden, his former Yankees teammate.
"I'm not going to publicly comment on that," Girardi said. "I care about all of my ex-teammates. We've seen some things that have happened that are unfortunate, but I care about them all."
Girardi was also asked about the feud between Gooden and Strawberry.
"Friends all the time have spats," Girardi said. "It's unfortunate that sometimes they become public. Friends all the time have spats. I think it will work its way out. I think they both love each other and it will work its way out."