Lenny Dykstra was an excellent ballplayer for the Mets, a clutch hitter who shined in the postseason. However, from all accounts, he is a nasty person. But is he a racist? He was essentially labeled as such by New York Supreme Court Judge Robert Kalish in a recent case brought by Dykstra and his legal team against ex-teammate and current broadcaster, Ron Darling, for libel.

In his 2019 book, “108 Stitches,” Darling had asserted that Dykstra had verbally harassed Red Sox starter Dennis Boyd with racial epithets as he warmed up prior to game three of the 1986 World Series. Darling had bombarded Boyd with “foul, racist, hateful stuff” according to Darlings’ book.

Kalish ruled for Darling, stating that “Dykstra was infamous for being, among other things, racist, misogynist, and anti-gay.” He specifically cited Dykstras’ own book, “House of Nails,” published in 2016. He further ruled that Dykstras’ “reputation for unsportsmanlike conduct and bigotry is already so tarnished that it cannot be further injured.” Based on this, the Judge dismissed Dykstras’ case without examining the facts of the incident in question.

In a sense, the judge took the easy way out. By using the concept of Dykstras’ reputation being so bad that it couldn’t get worse, the judge did not have to determine the veracity of the alleged incident in 1986.

There were plenty of witnesses around as Boyd warmed up that day, and yet no one has come forward to corroborate Darlings’ accusation. Mets such as Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Mitchell have said they don’t remember hearing anything like the vile language Dykstra is alleged to have shouted to Boyd. Even Boyd himself says he doesn’t remember hearing anything that was out of line that day.

Perhaps the judge issued his ruling on a procedural basis (the reputation is so bad it couldn’t get worse) because he was afraid he might have to rule against Darling.

There are numerous incidents that demonstrate that Dykstra is a handful. There is that 1991 DUI conviction stemming from an automobile accident that resulted in serious injuries to Dykstra and some of his Phillies teammates. There were jail sentences for Dykstra in 2012 stemming from an indecent exposure conviction, a drug conviction, a bankruptcy fraud conviction, even a grand theft auto conviction for a scam aimed at car dealers. Dykstra has also admitted he was a steroid user, and even blackmailed, or tried to blackmail, some umpires into giving him a very tight strike zone. There were numerous other scrapes with either the law or common decency, but nothing noticeably racial in nature.

In applying the racist tag to Dykstra, Judge Kalish referred to Dykstra’s book. I did not actually read the “House of Nails” book, for several reasons including the fact that I was not particularly interested in enriching Dykstra by buying it. I did scan various reviews and comments concerning the book, and I found that Dykstra referred to black teammate Mookie Wilson as having bad breath. That seems to be it, and one would have to have an extremely broad definition of racism for that to be considered racist. Again I did not read the book, but surely any major racist action would have come out in the reviews.

So it’s clear that Dykstra is a major jerk who seems to go out of his way to offend people, but it also seems that he is an equal opportunity jerk who manages to offend lots of people of

9 comments on “Lenny Dykstra is an equal opportunity jerk

  • José

    Can we reevaluate the Dykstra & McDowell for Samuel trade as one of the worst ever for the Mets? After all, who could have guessed Dykstra was about to become a superstar?
    The steroids might have known…

    • Rob

      Jose, To this day i cant see the logic of this trade. Trade a solid centerfielder and reliver for a second baseman to play center and Lenny had better numbers.

      • Mike W

        That was a terrible trade.

        Lenny is a habitual criminal and continues to get in trouble. Look at his rap sheet in his wiki. He is lucky that he hasn’t spent more time in jail. The problem is that he never rehabilitated or expressed real remorse for his wayward life.

        It is sad.

  • JimO

    Dykstra was a good player for the Mets. Probably a better player than person. He is sort of like Elvis: young speedy Dykstra & old heavyset Dykstra.

    • Brian Joura

      Never thought of this comparison before but I dig it. We should call Phillies-era Dykstra jumpsuit for short.

  • TexasGusCC

    The judge did take the easy way out. It’s his job to evaluate the facts of the case and not the innuendos that are in the news. That’s why when juries are chosen, the lawyers ask if anyone has seen news of the case and if they have a preconceived notion of the case. This judge was wrong as no one else recalls the language, especially Boyd, but the writing says that the judge never got to that point. While I think Darling is a likable gentleman on tv, I’m very surprised he added this incident to his book. Did it add to the book?

    That doesn’t mean that Dykstra isn’t a complete tool, because he has no problem being that, but even lowlifes have rights.

    • John Fox

      As has been the case before, we are on the same page on this issue Gus. It’s possible Darling’s mind played tricks on him and he thinks he remembered something that never really happened.

  • MattyMets

    Dykstra is a lowlife and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did this, but Darling probably violated some unwritten bro code by naming him in this way.

    Regarding Juan Samuel, that was indicative of a particular era that really bothered me. It was like defense didn’t matter and we kept plugging in guys where they didn’t belong and it didn’t matter like it was a charity softball game. The Mets also seem to love bringing in star second baseman long after their prime.

  • Edwin e Pena

    Sadly, that same Dykstra fire, piss & vinegar that he had on the field and in the dugout which made him an exciting player, has let him be a major pain and jerk off the field and in real life. Maybe he can change his ways with help. He needs it. I would bet he did say some things to and about Oil Can Boyd, other teammates, blacks and latinos. I wouldn’t be surprised. The surprising thing is that no one kicked his little ass for it. Someone certainly would today.

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