In his first documentary, Judd Apatow takes as his subject the baseball players who became monarches of New York, before drugs and alcohol got the better of them
Take two major male stars, surround them with wild and colorful bros, throw in some obstacles and plenty of crazy high jinks and, voil , you have a Judd Apatow movie. However, the latest Apatow effort, co-directed with Michael Bonfiglio, takes all those ingredients and subverts every expectation: Doc& Darrylis an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary debuting on Thursday. It is a sobering look at the parallel tracks toward self-destruction and the different roads toward redemption taken a number of two of baseballs biggest names of the 1980 s, New York Mets team-mates Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry.
In 1983, Strawberry won the National League rookie of the year awarding with a beautiful home-run swinging; Gooden captured the same award in 1984 and a Cy Young award the next year with a flaming fastball and mind-bending curve. The woeful Meets were suddenly transformed into challengers and in 1986 they were the kings of New York and the sports world with their epic 108 -win season and memorable World Series victory.
We were young and had raw talent and loved playing baseball, Strawberry says, looking back fondly at the peaks of those years. We took an organization that was at the bottom and we became two of the biggest young starrings. We stood tall in New York. No one can ever take out what we achieved regardless of our downfall.
The cinema does not soft-pedal the worst of the downfall and Strawberry says he loves it for its unflinching gaze. I loves as it was produced. I wanted it to be honest and clear about how good we were and how our lives were derailed, he says.
Indeed, the dynasty that seemed inevitable never transpired, in large proportion because Gooden and Strawberry soon began losing the bigger game, the one against their inner demons. Both struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, cycling in and out of rehab programs and Major League Baseball suspensions that doomed what had seemed like hall-of-fame careers. Worse, their woes continued well after those careers aimed, with both men landing in prison at different points and apparently headed for tragic endings.
Read more: www.theguardian.com