In 2003, he was arrested on battery charges and accused of abusing his second wife, Nicole. A year later, after refusing to abide by a legal agreement related to the subsequent divorce, he was forced to serve two and a half months in jail and two and a half months in rehab.
If They Only Knew, the book he authored about his experiences with ascension, living in different dimensions, reincarnation, out-of-body experiences and numerology, came next, in 2007.
Reaction from fans and the media was swift and derisive. An earlier headline in Deadspin, a blog that often traffics in the misery of athletes, prophetically summed up what everybody had come to believe: that Daulton not only had some run-of-the-mill (though serious) substance-abuse and romantic problems, but that “Darren Daulton Is Freaking Insane.”
DESPITE THE DENTAL TRAUMA, Dutch looks healthy and sturdy, deeply tanned and fit. He attributes his well-being to sit-ups and push-ups and riding a bike four days a week at the gym, a regimen he considers a necessary evil: “The worst part of the gym is walking in; the best part is walking out.”
Remarkably, considering the abuse he’s inflicted upon himself, he looks a decade younger than his near half-century, better than he does on television, where he can seem tentative and inexpressive and where the lighting accentuates his thinning hair.
All in all, Double D checks out dandy on the corporeal front. But the toothache aftershocks threaten to make the task of assessing the state of Darren Daulton’s psyche more challenging than it already is.
And make no mistake, that’s why I’m here.
With Daulton’s new media gigs, hope is running high among his friends that this latest life is the magic bullet, the one that will banish forever his reputation as a screwup.
But there remain the skeptics, and though it wasn’t said to me explicitly, there’s only one reason I’d go to Florida to visit a ballplayer who hasn’t stepped to the plate since 1997, and that’s to answer one question:
Is Darren Daulton still whacked-out?