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Gooden Will Break Your Heart

Mike SteffanosTuesday, March 14, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

I'll never forget the excitement that Doc Gooden brought to the Mets as a 19-year-old rookie in '84. The team had been so bad for so long, and it just seemed hopeless that things would ever change. It was Gooden that brought the buzz and excitement back to Shea, setting a new rookie strikeout record and winning rookie of the year. The next year he proved it was no fluke by being the youngest pitcher ever to win the Cy Young. With his filthy stuff and tremendous poise at such a young age, Doc seemed too good to be true. Little did we know...

AP: Doc Arrested
Dwight Gooden was arrested today for violating probation from his November incident with police. According to Jo Ellyn Rackleff, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections:

He went to his regular meeting with his probation officer, admitted to the officer that he had used cocaine. She did a drug screen, and he tested positive for cocaine.

Some will take his admitting cocaine use as a cry for help. As someone who battled his own demons, I don't know. I do know that one day you either wise up or you die, and I've seen it go both ways for those I care about.

Gooden will be held without bond.

Yahoo Sports: Brian Bannister
As reported earlier, Brian Bannister had another great outing for the Mets today. Some quotes from Bannister and manager Willie Randolph:

My changeup is still my pitch in development. We threw some effective ones today. It's not my go-to pitch or my two-strike pitch. My bread and butter is still back and forth with the cutter and fastball, then finishing guys with the curveball.

I like what I've seen from him all spring, actually. He threw the ball well today, and I like the way he carries himself. If he continues to pitch well, he obviously has a chance.

For what it's worth, I've heard Bannister has a fantastic curveball. With a fastball around 90, he should have enough to compete at the major league level, particularly if he can develop a good changeup. There's always room for the guys who really know how to pitch, especially ones that possess an outstanding pitch like Bannister's curve.

Mets.com: Lastings Impressions
Speaking of prospects making an impression this spring, Lastings Milledge is making it as hard as he can on the Mets to keep him down on the farm.

Mets.com: Looking For a Leftie
Marty Noble also reports on the search for a reliever that will be effective against lefties. None of the candidates currently in camp are distinguishing themselves, and Noble speculates Aaron Heilman might be pushed back into a role that he's been trying to escape.

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