Doc Gooden’s letter to his younger self in the Player’s Club a few days ago is the type of thing I love reading. Namely, I enjoyed this part of it:
There is one pitch that will forever haunt you. It will happen during the 1988 NLCS with your team up 4-2. In the 9th inning, you’ll walk John Shelby on four pitches, and then face Mike Scioscia. The guy is not a home run hitter but you should respect him as a veteran with a lot of experience. Everyone in the stadium, including Scioscia, knows that you’re going to throw a fastball. With your first pitch, your instinct will be to try to throw it over the middle to get ahead on the count with a quick strike. What you should do is throw it low and away.
Read that last line again. Throw it low and away.
He of course is talking about the home run that ended the Mets run of dominance, the one pitch that everything changed with.
I’m a big fan of 80’s Mets talk, and was surprised by what a good and reflective writer Gooden actually was in this piece.