Stop Making Me Defend Lenny Dykstra!

It pains me to have to write this; after all, the 1986 World Series, best remembered for the  potential Series-winning game the Red Sox choked away for good when the ball rolled under Bill Buckner’s legs (it wasn’t Bill fault, but never mind), is one of the traumas of my life. That was a thoroughly dislikable (but great) Mets team that won in 1986, and centerfielder Lenny Dykstra was the worst of them.  Still, the perfidy, venality and cruelty of another member of that team requires me to take Lenny’s side.

Dykstra was an obnoxious player and has been in constant trouble since his retirement. In a new book released this week, “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game,”  Dykstra’s team mate, turned broadcaster Ron Darling  (he’s on the left above, Lenny’s on the right) claims that Dykstra used racial epithets to unsettle Boston Red Sox pitcher Oil Can Boyd, an African American, before Game #3 of the 1986 World Series. Darling has now  repeated the accusation on three radio shows this week, as he wrote that Dykstra was “shouting every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in his [Boyd’s] direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff” when he was in the on-deck circle before leading off the game.

Dykstra denies it vehemently , Boyd says he never heard any slurs, and so far, at least, other ex-Mets Dwight Gooden, Kevin Mitchell and Darryl Strawberry also say they never heard Dykstra direct the slurs at Boyd, and none have confirmed Darling’s claim.

I’m sure the crude and boorish Dykstra was a major league jerk  to have to be around in 1986, especially for a squeaky clean Yalie like Darling, but the guy is trying to rebuild his life. Unlike Darling, Dykstra is broke. In  2011, he was sentenced to house arrest after a bankruptcy fraud indictment, was indicted for drug possession and grand theft auto,  and was jailed awaiting trial because he couldn’t post the $500,000 bail. He also couldn’t afford a lawyer, and had to make do with a public defender. Lenny pleaded no contest to three grand theft auto charges and one count of filing a false financial report in 2012. He spent almost three years in prison.

Now he’s a chastened old man, trying to survive. Being labeled a racist in public is one more burden he doesn’t need, especially when the Angry Left will generate a campaign to destroy anyone it deems unfit to exist in 2019. It is despicable, and truly kicking a man while he’s down, for Darling to strike at his struggling ex-team mate just to sell his book, and especially so if nobody but Darling was aware of Dykstra’s alleged efforts to denigrate Boyd. If a racial slur falls in a ballpark 40 years ago and nobody hears it but Ron Darling, did it really fall?

I hope Lenny sues.

15 thoughts on “Stop Making Me Defend Lenny Dykstra!

  1. So, Ron, if you go to an Ivy League school on an athletic scholarship, are you really Ivy League smart? Or not?

  2. This supposedly happened in 1986, no? Television existed in 1986, no? If so, and this was a World Series game, there would be film of the game, along sound, no? If so, wouldn’t a perusal of archival footage of the game prove or disprove the allegation? I am too lazy to find the footage but it would seem to me that game film footage either exonerates or crucifies Dykstra.

    The New York Post article has this from Boyd:

    “I’m warming up for a ballgame and I’m preparing to go out and try to get the New York Mets out one at a time and that’s all that’s on my mind. To see any kind of gestures made toward me coming from the opposing dugout, I didn’t see anything like that nor was I looking for anything like that. This is all new to me.”

    I am inclined to believe Boyd.


  3. I really dislike these delayed witchhunts, perhaps even hate. If you object to something or someone, be a man (or woman as the case may be) and say something when it happens. Silence is usually assent.

    If it was not important within a handful of years to stand up for it, you have absolutely NO right to destroy someone 20, 30, 40 years later. Waiting that long makes you complicit, not some kind of ‘woke’ hero. Social assassination should have an expiration date. I do not believe any accuser who waited that long. Throwing people under the bus is the opposite of making you look good.

    And Boyd would have had a drunken reason to overreact and make a mess. Not believable that way either.

    • Delayed witch-hunt (bad on both counts) – check!
      Silence usually assent – check!
      No tangible proof – check!
      Unspoken Ancient history makes speaker complicit – check!
      Social assassination requires “expiration date” – check!
      Throwing others under the bus reflects on thrower – check
      Additional unproven/unlikely accusation – check
      mariedowd – check, check, check, check, check, check and check!

  4. Why do you play to the stereotypical public view of public defenders as being inept? Most of the public defenders I know are hard-working and good attorneys. But they get a bad rap in the public’s eye as being ineffectual, and your comment here about them plays right into that.

    • How so? I was a public defender for awhile. I have nothing but respect for the essentail job they do, but I know the drawbacks. If you can afford it, you still want a private attorney. They tend to be more experienced and have more resources. Dykstra’s a celebrity. Do you think OJ would have gotten off with a public defender/

      • I spent nine years as a public defender. In my opinion, OJ got acquitted more because of incompetent prosecutors and a horrible judge than because of his of defense counsel. I think a lot of people base their opinions on public defenders based on media, including movies like “My Cousin Vinny.”

        • Well, since the public in general is ignorant as can be about the law and justice system in general, that’s to be expected. You can’t honestly discount the “Dream Team” and its work in getting OJ off. Barry Scheck made DNA evidence seem like voodoo. Furmin fell into a trap. Cochran’s goading of his young black adversary triggered the glove fiasco. The defense team got away with changing OJ’s residence. As you know, Public Defenders carry too large a caseload, and one has pot luck in whether a lawyer is skillful or less than…you can’t credibly argue that there is no benefit from a high-priced, hand-picked attorney.

  5. The saddest and more unethical part is, this isn’t even about Dykstra. It is about Darling selling books via virtue signaling while pleasing his masters at nutty Left ESPN. If this is what it takes to sell more books (at the expense of others who can’t afford the personal hit), maybe Darling needs to check his conscience and greed-o-meter.

    • Blowing the lead wasn’t Buckner’s fault.

      1. Manager John Mcnamara had replaced BB all season at first in the 9th with defensive specialist Dave Stapleton. Buckner was a liability because of various leg injuries. But in THIS game, Mac, an idiot, decided Buckner should be on the field when the Sox won.
      2. Closer Calvin Schiraldi, a rookie, had been great down the stretch, but shaky in the play-offs and World Series. H ewas spooked, and was lucky to get two hard hit outs. Then he gave up three hits in a row before the manager pulled him for vteran Bob Stanley, who had been brilliant in the post=season and should have been pitching the inning from the start.
      3. The tying run came in when a pitch got by catcher Rich Gedman. It was inexplicably called a wild pitch, put any half-mobile catcher would have stopped it. Gedman was a good hitter, had a good arm, but he was the worst pitch-blocking catcher the Sox have had since the 60’s. That passed ball–which is waht it was, allowed the winning run to get into scoring position.
      4. THEN the ball got past Buckner.

      Blame list: 1) MacNamara 2) Schiraldi 3) Gedman.

      • Ah, gotcha. I misread what you wrote, thinking you were absolving Buckner for his error. It always seemed to me that Buckner got a raw deal, being blamed for the loss, when losing that game was a team effort.

  6. I was a high school baseball player and Houston Astros fan in 86 so after the ridiculously crazy NLCS where we blew a 3-1 lead in the 9th to the Mets I was rooting for and became a Red Sox fan as my second favorite team. I remember saying after the Buckner play “that wasn’t all his fault! That guy shouldn’t have been in scoring position!” Buckner was a rock solid MLB player and people spoil his career by a play that shouldn’t have lost the game for the Red Sox. If not for the Mets scoring, the error would be a meaningless footnote in history. Few people are aware enough to assign at least equal blame to Gedman and McNamara for that game.

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