Judge: Gooden Can Go but Must Stay Away From Ex

Dwight Gooden (search) can be released without bail on charges that he punched his ex-wife in the face, but must stay away from the woman, a judge ruled Monday.

The former star pitcher for the New York Mets and Yankees was held without bail since his arrest Sunday to give his ex-wife, Monique Moore (search), a chance to appear in court and contest his release, Judge Walter Heinrich said. She did not appear during the brief hearing.

Gooden appeared via a video hookup from the Hillsborough County Jail. It usually takes a few hours for prisoners to be released. His attorney, Peter Hobson, refused comment after the hearing.

Gooden, a special assistant for the New York Yankees (search), was arrested by Tampa police early Sunday. Police say Moore threw a telephone handset at Gooden and he punched her in the face, bruising her. The Yankees had no comment.

Gooden spent 16 seasons in the major leagues pitching for the Mets, Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Devil Rays before retiring in March 2001 with a career record of 194-112 and a 3.51 ERA.

He became the youngest Cy Young Award (search) winner at age 20 in 1985 with the Mets, then helped them win the World Series a year later.

In 1994, Gooden was suspended for 60 days for testing positive for cocaine. He tested positive for cocaine again while on suspension and was sidelined for the 1995 season.

Gooden also was involved in a scuffle with Tampa police after a traffic stop in 1986. He was arrested for drunken driving in 2002 in Tampa, along with having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle and driving with a suspended license. Another suspended-license arrest followed in 2003.