Darryl Strawberry smiled, hugged his wife, thanked a guard and drove away from prison, beginning what his lawyer hopes will be a drug-free life.
The eight-time all-star was released from Gainesville (Fla.) Correctional Institution yesterday after serving 11 months of an 18-month prison sentence for violating probation on cocaine possession charges.
After saying "Thank you" to a guard, he and his wife got into a silver Lincoln Navigator, which was driven by another man, and drove off, getting only about a half-mile away before they had to turn back -- Strawberry had forgotten his personal belongings. A guard handed him a plastic bag and he was off again.
According to Florida Department of Corrections records, Strawberry is moving back in with his wife, Charisse, and his three children at a gated community in Lutz, Fla.
Although Strawberry was sentenced to 18 months in prison, he received credit for the 122 days he spent in a county jail awaiting sentencing and under Florida law, he only had to serve 85 percent of his sentence.
"I just wish Darryl the best," Yankees Manager Joe Torre said. "I don't know what the next step is for him. I'm certainly happy he's out early and can get his life on the right path."
Strawberry's imprisonment stemmed from a 1999 arrest for cocaine possession in Tampa. He later pleaded no contest to the charge and received probation, which he violated six times before being sentenced to prison by Hillsborough Circuit Court Judge Ralph Steinberg last April 29.
Strawberry, 41, has served his entire sentence at the Gainesville prison, a minimum- and medium-security corrections facility about 135 miles north of Tampa. Corrections officials have said he was a model inmate and had no disciplinary infractions.
Real Madrid Wins, 3-1
Raul Gonzalez scored twice and Luis Figo once to lead defending champion Real Madrid over visiting Manchester United, 3-1, in the first leg of their European Champions Cup quarterfinal.
Figo scored in the 12th minute, and Gonzalez added goals in the 28th and 49th. Ruud van Nistelrooy scored Manchester United's goal in the 52nd. The second leg of the home-and-home, total-goals series is April 23 in Manchester.
In yesterday's other quarterfinal, Ajax Amsterdam and AC Milan played a scoreless tie in the Netherlands. Today Valencia is at Inter Milan and Barcelona is at Juventus.
Figo put Real Madrid ahead when he curled the ball toward goal with what initially looked like a cross, but Fabian Barthez was well off his line and the ball sailed over the goalkeeper's head.
Gonzalez got his first goal off a pass from Zinedine Zidane, catching Rio Ferdinand and beating Barthez at his near post. Gonzalez's second goal came on a long shot after a feed from Figo.
Van Nistelrooy got his 11th goal of the competition on a header after goalkeeper Iker Casillas parried the initial shot by Ryan Giggs.
Surgery for Ivanisevic
Goran Ivanisevic will have left foot surgery today after stepping on a sharp object on a Florida beach. The injury forced the 2000 Wimbledon champion to skip last weekend's Davis Cup quarterfinals, in which Croatia lost to Spain, 5-0.
Austin to NBA
Mississippi State center Mario Austin signed with an agent and plans to enter the NBA draft. He will be represented by Bill Duffy, said Nicole Grubbs, a spokeswoman for BDA Sports Management.
Austin, a 6-foot-9, 255-pound junior, averaged 15.5 points and 7.7 rebounds this season. He missed the team's first six games after the NCAA reopened a two-year-old case regarding his initial eligibility.
Ex-Bears Chairman Dies
Ed McCaskey, a former singer who married George Halas's daughter and went on to become Chicago Bears chairman, died. He was 83. In 1967, McCaskey became vice president and treasurer and held that position for 17 years until Halas's death in 1983, when he became chairman of the board.