The terminally trouble former Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden is in hot water again, writes Newsday’s Jim Bambauch.
The former Mets and Yankees pitcher, 40, was arrested early yesterday morning on a domestic violence battery charge that stemmed from a disagreement with Monique Moore, his ex-wife, according to a Tampa police spokeswoman.
Gooden spent last night at Orient Road Jail and will face a Hillsborough County judge this morning to set bond, a spokesman for the Hillsborough sheriff’s office said.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who banned Gooden from Yankees premises for five months after his February 2002 arrest for drunken driving, declined to comment last night. “He’s gathering the facts, and until he knows what happened, he has nothing to say,” said Steinbrenner’s publicist, Howard Rubenstein.
Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said it was unclear what started the argument at the Harbour Island apartment late Saturday. McElroy said it escalated when Moore threw a telephone handset at Gooden, who then punched her in the face.
When police responded to Moore’s 911 call, her face was bruised but she declined to be treated, McElroy said. Gooden was arrested at 12:44 a.m. and entered jail at 1:51.
Florida law states that anyone who is arrested on a domestic violence charge must stay overnight before facing a judge to have bond set, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said. Because Gooden was arrested after midnight Sunday, he stayed in jail all day.
Gooden, who has worked in various roles for the Yankees since his retirement in 2001, has been as visible as ever at Legends Field this spring training. Gooden is in uniform for home games, hangs out in the clubhouse and works with the pitchers on the side field.
Steinbrenner has always had a soft spot for Gooden, who grew up in Tampa, but soured on him after his drunken driving arrest. Steinbrenner banned him from the Yankees’ complex until the charges were dismissed in June 2002. Gooden spent the 2003 season as the pitching coach for Class A Tampa, then received more clout in the organization after his nephew, Gary Sheffield, signed as a free agent. Gooden currently is a special assistant, working primarily in player development for the Yankees.