Five innings. Three hits. One run, earned. Two walks. Five strikeouts.
And one dustup with a security guard.
Dwight Gooden’s major league debut, which occurred 36 years ago Tuesday at the (still standing!) Astrodome, didn’t fully prepare us for what the 19-year-old would bring to baseball in both that 1984 season and, even more so, 1985. He pitched well enough to beat the Astros, 3-2, yet he didn’t dominate them, as he would start to do to opponents shortly after with regularity.
Instead, this much-hyped arrival wound up serving as a soft opening for the greatness of the man who would come to be known as Dr. K, or just Doc. And the behind-the-scenes story of that day underlined how, despite his obvious athletic prowess, Gooden always carried himself with a likeable, underdog quality, one that compels us to root for him, still, against his demons.
“I was so nervous, so anxious that day,” Gooden recalled in a recent telephone interview. “I had lunch with my parents at the hotel restaurant, and then the bus wasn’t leaving until 5 o’clock. At 3 o’clock, I remember asking the hotel concierge, ‘How far is the Astrodome? How can I get there?’ It was about three miles away. I actually walked to the Astrodome.
“There was an 8-foot fence [around the ballpark]. I didn’t know how to get in, so I climbed the fence. A security guard saw me and said, ‘What are you doing, son?’ ”
Thankfully for Gooden, Mets trainer Steve Garland already was working in the visitors’ clubhouse and vouched for the identity of that night’s starting pitcher.
“Pitching in your first start, and you get busted by a security guard,” Gooden said, laughing. “I’ve never been so nervous in my life.”
After the Mets didn’t score off Astros starter Bob Knepper in the top of the first, Gooden began his major league career by inducing Houston’s first two batters, Bill Doran and Terry Puhl, to ground out to his second baseman and that night’s leadoff hitter, Ron Gardenhire.
“It was fun to stand back there and watch him throw, that’s for sure,” Gardenhire said last week.
Gardenhire first saw Gooden pitch in the fall of 1983, when the Mets promoted the right-hander from Single-A Lynchburg all the way to Triple-A Tidewater to help Davey Johnson’s Tides win the Triple-A World Series. Hence Gardenhire wasn’t surprised when Johnson, having been promoted to Mets manager, pushed for the young Gooden to join his club.
“He was a big, tall kid with a long arm, and he could really wing it,” Gardenhire said. “He was the nicest kid, the greatest personality in the world, but on the mound, he was fierce. Why wouldn’t you be if you were him?”
Gooden recalled the third out of that first inning, a strikeout of Dickie Thon for his first big-league K, as a turning point. “I was able to relax after that,” he said.
Interestingly, Mets reliever Dick Tidrow, who later helped the Giants win three World Series as a front-office executive, nearly blew the 3-1 lead he inherited, only to see Mets left fielder George Foster keep it at 3-2 by throwing out Jose Cruz at home in the sixth inning.
In his next start, as Gooden noted, he suffered his first loss, 11-2 to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
“Just that fast, I learned how the game will humble you,” he said.
By the end of the season, though, he had compiled a 2.60 ERA and 276 strikeouts in his 218 innings, and that served as a mere appetizer for his historic 1985 (a 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts in 276 innings).
His roller-coaster ride since then, his drug addiction resulting in many arrests and even time in jail, has been well-documented. We keep cheering Doc on. Especially those of us of a certain age who remember how exciting it was when he took the mound in Houston — even if we didn’t know the adventure he endured that very day.
This week’s Pop Quiz Question came from Harry Sapienza of Minneapolis: In the 2018 film “Green Book,” some characters watch Game 6 of the 1962 World Series. Name the pitcher, a future Hall of Famer, who lost that game.
In the spirit of people turning to Strat-O-Matic baseball during this shutdown, old pal Josh Lewin, whom you remember from his days as Howie Rose’s partner in the Mets broadcast booth as well as a Fox “Game of the Week” guy, is running a podcast, “The Throwback League”, which pits World Series champions, and selected pennant winners, from 1974 through 2006 against each other. My money is on the 1998 Yankees.
Your Pop Quiz answer is Whitey Ford.
If you have a tidbit that connects baseball with popular culture, please send it to me at [email protected]
Not all quarantines are as unique as Kristin Cavallari and husband Jay Cutler’s.
The Nashville-based couple had been documenting their experience in the Bahamas, where they spent the past few weeks with their three kids and close friends, Justin Anderson and Austin Rhodes, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Three weeks of isolation, man,” hairstylist Anderson posted Wednesday to Instagram. “This island family has figured out our groove. Fitness is a priority so we alternate kid duty to get our sweat on each morning.”
The group faced some social media backlash to their sun-splashed Instagram posts.
He added, “This is where we happen to be isolated, don’t compare your situation or say something sh—y and judgmental — just be positive bc i genuinely believe that being positive is what we all need right now.”
Anderson, who also appears in E!’s “Very Cavallari,” had starred in several island workout clips with Cavallari, including Sunday’s installment. As of Monday, however, it appears he and Rhodes made it back to Tennessee, as featured on his Instagram story.
Cavallari, 33, also confirmed Tuesday morning she and her family had made it home as well.
“We had a short window to get out of the Bahamas so we jumped all over it,” the Uncommon James designer posted on her story.
Cavallari and Cutler initially started posting from their spring break getaway in mid-March, with the former Bears quarterback, 36, introducing fans to his volleyball pal, Molten.
The Prime Minister of the Bahamas announced on March 23 the “closing of all airports and seaports of The Bahamas to incoming international flights carrying visitors,” per the US Embassy’s website. Information regarding private and commercial charters was also listed, urging US citizens in the Bahamas to “leave as soon as possible.”
On Monday, “the Bahamas’ House of Assembly passed a resolution to extend the current emergency powers orders to combat the spread of COVID-19 until April 30 – including airport restrictions,” the site also noted.
As of Monday, the Bahamas has 33 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 339 people in quarantine.
As if lockdown isn’t difficult enough, this week we are facing record pollen levels for the time of year. Which is really bad news if you suffer from hay fever.
But, as well as the annoyance of sniffling, sneezing and itching, are there any additional dangers that come with having hay fever during the coronavirus pandemic?
If you suffer from seasonal allergies relating to tree or grass pollen, spring and early summer can be a nightmare. And if you have asthma too, hay fever can be a trigger for an attack.
This is worrying at the moment because we know that people with asthma are higher risk when it comes to coronavirus, and may be more susceptible to developing more severe symptoms.
However, this doesn’t mean that hay fever alone is a risk factor for coronavirus. The key thing is to avoid setting off an asthma attack, so managing your symptoms is key.
‘If you have hay fever and get COVID-19, then you could be more at risk of both setting off your asthma symptoms,’ reads the advice on the Asthma UK website.
‘So we are asking everyone with hay fever and asthma to make sure you’re taking your asthma medicines as prescribed, control your hay fever symptoms with your medicines and take steps to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19 by staying at home.’
Is it safe to take antihistamines as normal?
Dr Aragona Giuseppe, GP and medical advisor at Prescription Doctor, says it’s more important than ever for hay fever sufferers to make sure they are taking their medication to control their allergies.
‘I have seen rumours flying about this week that those who take antihistamines will be more at risk of infection of covid-19, however this should be no cause for concern,’ Dr Aragona tells Metro.co.uk.
‘You can carry on taking antihistamines without any worry that this is making you more susceptible to the virus or compromising your immune system.’
Dr Aragona does admit that while antihistamines have long been praised as an effective and safe way to control allergies, their long-term effects on the immune system are unknown. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking them if you have hay fever.
‘I would advise that if you do suffer with severe hay fever reactions to take the anti-allergy medicines, as these should help with repetitive and violent sneezing that comes with the allergies.
‘This is important because if you do carry the virus it will transmit further through the sheer power of a sneeze, meaning it could potentially infect those you come in close proximity with, or even those you think you are standing far enough away from.’
Sneezes travel further than you think, so you don’t want to be having explosive sneezing fits in public places if you can help it. Even if you are asymptomatic, you could be a carrier of coronavirus, so the more you sneeze, the more you might put others at risk.
‘If you can, sneeze into your elbow, use tissues and ensure you are washing your hands or using hand-sanitiser straight after,’ adds Dr Aragona.
How do you tell the difference between hay fever and coronavirus?
Unhelpfully, some of the symptoms of hay fever and coronavirus do overlap. Particularly the cough.
But there are enough differences to tell them apart and put your mind at ease.
‘Allergy symptoms don’t usually include a sore throat, a dry cough, achiness or a high fever which are all key symptoms of Covid-19,’ says Dr Aragona. ‘Furthermore, allergy symptoms will typically include itchiness such as itchy eyes, itchy nose and an itchy throat, which aren’t signs of coronavirus infection.’
Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust chairman Tony Shepherd has defended the spending of the organisation as it bids to ward off insolvency, saying coronavirus and its financial impact was "nothing we could have predicted".
The SCG emailed its more than 18,000 members last week telling them it could not afford to refund them as it faced a “desperate situation” brought on by COVID-19 and its impact on sport.
The SCG’s finances are hurting without sport being played.Credit:AAP
It is a devastating turn of events for one of Sydney’s most prestigious and powerful institutions, which has a 13-year waitlist to join as a member and boasts as trustees broadcaster Alan Jones, Harvey Norman chief executive Katie Page and corporate heavyweight Shepherd.
Sources told the Herald the situation was so bleak that there had even been difficulty paying suppliers but Shepherd said he had been assured they were being paid, insisting funds had not completely dried up.
“We are not broke,” he said on Tuesday. “We are working on a skeleton crew. We’ve got enough money to keep going but we can’t afford to repay or members or anything like that. We need that cash.
“We’re being prudent because we don’t know how long this crisis is going to last. It’s nothing that we could have predicted, it’s nothing that we could have protected ourselves against.”
Tony Shepherd.Credit:Brook Mitchell
Shepherd said what small surplus the SCG usually made it tipped back into maintaining and improving its facilities including the famous cricket ground itself and its stands.
Financial records show the government statutory body’s total revenue for 2018/19 was $109m, $24m of which came via memberships, and as at February 28, 2019 it had $18.2m in cash. Instead of a small profit the costs of relocating member facilities and tenants such as NRL premiers Sydney Roosters during the $800m rebuild of Allianz Stadium contributed to an operating loss of $27m. According to its most recent annual report, operating expenses totalled $88m and $19m was paid to executives and staff including CEO Kerrie Mather, whose base salary was $523,752.
To confront the current predicament, executives have taken pay cuts, Shepherd said, while others including about 600 match-day casuals now find themselves out of work.
“We are not a profit-making organisation,” Shepherd said. “What we try and do is try and provide the best facilities we can within a budget so that sports can continue to play there.
“Some of those old stands … like the Members Stand and the Ladies Stand and the Churchill/Brewongle and the O’Reilly require a lot of maintenance just to keep them going. The old ones are over 100 years old. And we’ve also got to look after the field. This year we replaced all of the grass at the SCG – that doesn’t come cheaply.
“When the two stadiums are up and running we’re running over $1 billion in assets. We do not get the gate [revenue] – it goes to the clubs and codes. We make our money out of food and beverage, the members and a little bit of corporate and advertising.”
With the old Allianz Stadium demolished and out of action until the new 45,000-seat venue is completed, Shepherd conceded the shutdown of sport at the SCG was a “double whammy for members”, who can pay one-off amounts of $11,000 and annual fees to have full access to the precinct.
Members, however, have been told they can't be refunded "given the complexity of our current financial position and the absolute need to keep the SCG functioning as it has since the 1850s".
Asked whether the Trust would need a bailout from the state government to remain afloat, Shepherd was confident it wouldn't but that it would depend on how long sport remains suspended.
"We’ll make it but we don’t have money coming out of our ears, that’s for sure," he said.
The Queen musical ran from 2002 to 2014 at the Dominion Theatre in London. But has since had a revival in the form of a UK tour. Sadly, We Will Rock You’s 2020 UK tour has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, new and extra dates have been announced for 2021, starting in Cardiff on January 18 and finishing in Southsea in June. More to follow…
18/01/2021 – 23/01/2021 Cardiff: Wales Millennium Centre
A couple of weeks ago, Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin gave an update on his writing progress with The Winds of Winter. He wrote on his blog: “I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone. Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day.”
The 71-year-old author added: “Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms…
“But maybe not as grim as they may become here.”
Since he has been writing every day, fans have speculated that The Winds of Winter is almost finished.
ASOIAF expert BryndenBFish tweeted: “Call me an optimist, but I like to think he’s polishing WINDS to an even better sheen than DANCE.”
Winds of Winter release: George RR Martin reveals ‘SILVER LINING’
While in December, the insider tweeted: “I think 2020 will be the year TWOW gets published. I have faith in my sources.”
This week a fan asked: “Are you maybe hinting at something fairly imminent?”
To which BryndenBFish replied: “Look, I, of course, know absolutely nothing, but GRRM sequestering himself up in his mountain cabin for months seems an indication that he’s close to being done.
“It’s what he did when he was wrapping up DANCE and FIRE AND BLOOD.”
But let’s not forget that in his latest blog post Martin pointed out that WorldCon New Zealand, which was his personal deadline to finish The Winds of Winter, is no longer happening physically in late July.
Instead, the sci-fi convention will take place in an online format.
Martin wrote in response: “If there is a silver lining in these clouds, this will give me more time to finish WINDS OF WINTER.
“I continue to write every day, up here in my mountain fastness.”
DON’T MISS… Winds of Winter: George RR Martin says certain castle on Wall features [INTERVIEW] Game of Thrones theory: Winds of Winter will replace Jon Dany romance [THEORY] Winds of Winter: Why George RR Martin failed to meet 2015 deadline [DEADLINE]
ASOIAF expert BryndenBFish tweeted: “That said, he said that the cancellation of WorldCon would give him more time to finish WINDS.
“So, he may not be done within the next three months.
“But that may not impact …”
So by the sounds of it, Martin is either approaching the end of The Winds of Winter or he is using the extra time to really polish the book.
But what about a 2020 release date?
Well, BryndenBFish is confident of one for this year and his sources have revealed that there are two under consideration.
He tweeted: “I’ve heard a few [release] dates tossed around by industry people.
“The most compelling, believable one has it that GRRM currently has [redacted] with an expected publication date of [redacted].”
Reese Witherspoon let a bit of her inner Elle Woods shine while getting some fresh air with her three family dogs and son Tennessee.
Despite the strict lockdown order in place for Los Angeles, Witherspoon has been maintaining her exercise routine, which includes heading out to walk her adorable pooches Lou, Pepper, and Hank. Tennessee joined his mom to help keep the pups in check as the pair took a stroll around their neighborhood.
Witherspoon opted for sporty, all-black attire with a black sweatshirt and matching athletic shorts along with simple black sneakers in addition to a matching cap pulled down low over her blonde hair. Her eyes masked behind a pair of reflective aviator shades, she could have been mistaken for Miss Woods incognito, especially with the hot pink bag slung around her body.
In fact, save for the breed of dogs she had been walking, she could have been mistaken for Elle herself adopting a more low-key workout look.
Witherspoon and her husband Jim Toth are currently living in their west Los Angeles home while self-isolating together as a precaution against the spread of novel coronavirus.
"Everybody has a room that has a little area and there’s a privacy sign there, so when the privacy sign is on and your headphones are on, you can’t interrupt," Witherspoon told Miley Cyrus during a recent episode of the pop star's Bright Minded talk show of the family's quarantine "regulations."
"You have to have rules," she explained. "We have guidelines on the wall for our family, just so we respect each other’s space."
We're definitely hoping Reese pulls out some additional candy pink looks or accessories on future dog walks, because the color certainly adds a bit of pop to her overall vibe. And we could all use some brightness right now.
Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Commissioning Editor at Stylist. Follow her on Twitter
Were you in the middle of applying for a new role before the coronavirus pandemic hit, or are you now looking to find a new job? It’s a difficult time for job seekers, but don’t panic – hope is definitely not lost. Here, careers coach and author Alexa Schoen offers her advice on how to keep aiming for your dream job during this time.
There’s no denying that the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on every area of our lives. In just a few short weeks, the global outbreak and subsequent UK lockdown has changed the way we live dramatically, and there’s a lot of uncertainty around when things will return to “normal” (as well as what that “new normal” might look like).
Of course, a main area of our lives that has been impacted is work. A huge number of us are now adapting to working from home, juggling the need to look presentable for Zoom meetings with the desire to stay nestled in our pyjamas all day, as well as learning how to be productive and manage our time effectively outside of the office.
Unfortunately, many of us have also faced redundancies or job cuts, as the UK economy struggles to stay stable during the crisis, with lockdown reportedly costing £2.4bn a day. And this struggle means it’s a difficult time to be looking for a new job, with fewer roles now being made available.
New figures from CV-Library, one of the biggest job search sites in the UK, found a 15% drop in job postings between February and March this year, alongside a 10% drop in applications.
However, while it might not be an ideal time to be looking for a new role, it’s certainly not an impossible one – and there are still nuggets of good news to be found, with some industries actually advertising more job vacancies this year compared to 2019. According to CV-Library, there has been a 103% rise in job vacancies in the public sector and a 98% rise in advertised roles in agriculture, followed by a 17% rise in social care roles, a 2.9% rise in education roles and a 2.1% rise in distribution roles.
Plus, the pandemic is giving us more time and space to consider what we actually want out of our jobs, as well as what the next step in our career might look like. Perhaps we’ve volunteered to help our local community and found it so rewarding we want to move into the social care sector, or maybe we’ve flourished working from home and want to find a job that allows us to work remotely.
If you’re actively seeking a new role, or you’re keen to explore new ventures, or even if you were interviewing for jobs before the crisis hit, don’t panic – hope is certainly not lost. Below, we’ve asked careers coach and author Alexa Shoen to share her best advice for job seeking during the coronavirus pandemic, from how to apply for your dream role to how often you should be following up with an employer.
Finding a new job during coronavirus
Careers coach and author of Entry Level Boss Alexa Shoen shares her advice.
If you were waiting to hear back on an application – or were in the middle of the interview process – before coronavirus…
● Follow up on your applications using the context of Covid-19. Now’s the time to get curious and think critically about how the pandemic may have impacted the businesses you’ve spoken to already. If you have a great idea for how to add value during this era, you should check in and say so. Everyone’s trying to come up with a new plan right now – including your dream employer.
●Consider the kind of work they’re doing and adjust your expectations accordingly. Some companies are undergoing massive pivots right now or figuring out how to shift their business models for the rest of the year – and it might mean less hiring or it might mean more hiring. It’s OK to ask if the hiring process is still happening. And if it’s bad news: let go, gracefully, of conversations with those companies that are going through a hard time. You can always start the conversation again a few months from now.
●Connect with anyone you’ve spoken to during your interview process on LinkedIn or Twitter. Doing so offers them a gentle reminder that you exist, which is great. Plus, if you’ve already built rapport during an interview, that rapport doesn’t just go away. Don’t be afraid to add a new person to your network right now. The world might feel like it’s on pause, but building on promising new connections is always a good use of time.
If you’re just starting your job search right now…
●Target employers in the right industries. Make a list of businesses that do well – or maybe even do better – if we’re all living indoors: the delivery services, video streaming platforms, childhood education products, home fitness, and many more. Which one makes the most sense for you? Where can you help?
●Be very, very clear on how you can provide value to a business. Fill in this sentence: “I am a [Professional Something] who specialises in [An Area of Expertise] in order to help businesses [Make Money or Work More Efficiently in This Very Specific Way].” Don’t be afraid to tell an employer exactly how you’re going to help them stay in business right now. That’s invaluable stuff!
If you were thinking about a career change this year but are still currently employed in a job you don’t necessarily love…
●Use this time to uplevel. What skill would make you ridiculously employable six months from now? Is it a specific software you’ve been meaning to learn? Is it HR knowledge about how the furlough scheme actually works? Is it supply chain research about how to manufacture products less expensively? Pick your area and put on your research hat.
●Reach out to a dream mentor. Studies show that 70-80% of jobs never actually get posted online – they get filled through personal contacts first. We all have that one person we’ve been dying to get a meeting with, and now might be a perfectly good time to just go for it. Introduce yourself via email and ask out a dream mentor for a virtual 30-minute meeting.
●Reassess and reframe. You’re not failing yourself if you swore up and down you were going to leave that wretched office before the summer and now you’re going to stick around a little while longer. This is a pandemic, my friend – you’re allowed to change your mind and change your plans. Now’s not the time to be hard on yourself.
Remember: you will find your way. Take baby steps forward whenever you can. Back away from the laptop on the days when you can’t be forward-thinking and proactive, and you’ll manage to get through this and stick to your landing on the other side. Good luck.
Alexa Shoen is a career coach and the author of #ENTRYLEVELBOSS: A 9-Step Guide For Finding A Job You Like (And Actually Getting Hired To Do It), published by Scribe 16 April. You can also follow Alexa on Instagram and Twitter and find out more here