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Gooden back in trouble with law

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Dwight "Doc" Gooden, the Tampa native, Hillsborough High standout and former Cy Young Award winner, faces trouble again after being arrested Tuesday and charged with driving under the influence of drugs and leaving the scene of an accident, according to Franklin Lakes police.

His 5-year-old son, Dylan, was in the car.

Gooden also was charged with child endangerment and motor vehicle violations, authorities said. They wouldn't release details, including the type of drugs.

In a brief interview with the Record of Bergen County, Gooden vowed not to let his arrest erase the progress he has made since 2006, when he served seven months in jail for violating the terms of his probation by using cocaine.

"I'm not going to let one day of bad judgment ruin four good years" of sobriety, he said.

According to the accident report, Gooden, 45, struck a 2009 Mercedes from behind Tuesday morning. The driver of the sedan, Ronald Schmidt of Franklin Lakes, was unhurt.

"I looked at him right away," Schmidt, 71, told the Record. "I'm an avid sports fan. I said, 'Dwight Gooden, right?' He shook my hand and I shook his hand. We introduced ourselves. It was just two people out of the car and just saying 'Hi' after the accident."

Gooden was driving a 2007 Chrysler Aspen sport utility vehicle registered to Carl S. Calise of Old Tappan, N.J. Calise could not be reached for comment.

Gooden was released on his own recognizance.

According to the Record, Dylan was not restrained in the vehicle and hit his head. The extent of the injury is not known.

A three-time World Series champion, Gooden's once-promising career has been blighted by drug abuse and run-ins with the law. He spent time in five rehabs and endured assorted legal woes tied to years of drinking and drug use.

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE TWEAKED: Major League Baseball made one slight change to the postseason schedule and held off on major revisions.

The awkward off day between Games 4 and 5 of the League Championship Series will be eliminated. Instead, there will be another off day between the division series and the start of the LCS, the commissioner's office said. The overall length of the postseason will not be shortened and the first round will remain best-of-five at least through 2011.

SIGN OVER WRIGLEY: Cubs owner Tom Ricketts isn't opposed to putting up a Toyota sign at Wrigley Field. The team has been working on a sponsorship deal with the troubled automaker that would place a sign over the leftfield bleachers.

CARDINALS: All-Star catcher Yadier Molina left the game against the Orioles in the second inning with a strained right oblique and will be reevaluated today. First baseman Albert Pujols returned after having an MRI exam and receiving an anti-inflammatory injection on his back.

CUBS: Right-handed reliever Angel Guzman had arthroscopic surgery to repair a career-threatening right shoulder injury.

D'BACKS: Rightfielder Justin Upton left the game against the White Sox in the second inning with a sprained left ankle. Upton, 22, the younger brother of Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton said he didn't expect to miss much time.

MARLINS: Outfielder Mike Stanton, 20, considered one of baseball's best prospects, was reassigned to minor-league camp.

METS: Shortstop Jose Reyes was back in camp and working out for the first time in 19 days after being sidelined because of a hyperactive thyroid.

RED SOX: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia said he was fine one day after landing awkwardly on his left wrist.

ROYALS: Left-handed pitching prospect Danny Duffy, 21, has left baseball, saying he wants to reassess his priorities.

Gooden back in trouble with law 03/24/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 25, 2010 12:10am]
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