This is a re-post from last year because, today, Dykstra went on Colin Cowherd’s show and said basically the same stuff he told Missanelli last spring. Everyone is sending me the link to the Cowherd interview – here it is – but I’m not writing the same post twice.
I’m not even sure where to begin here, but this is one of the best sports interviews I’ve ever heard. Maybe the best. No joke. No fluff. No hyperbole.
Lenny Dykstra has the reputation of a world-class asshole and, by all accounts, it’s mostly deserved. But he’s always told the truth (or at least his version of it), and now, he’s doing it sober. Unlike his crazy rants while talking to Alex Jones and John Clark (show me another time when those two names are written together in the same sentence), Dykstra, with Mike Missanelli yesterday, was captivating to listen to. He gave his thoughts on taking steroids, walking around like he had a “10-inch you know what,” his hypothetical threatening of umpires, Ben Revere, the 1993 Phillies, baseball and life in general. It’s fantastic. You can’t stop listening.
With permission from 97.5, here are just some of the audio highlights. There’s literally too many to choose from:
Drug situation— 0:01
“I got tested last night. It’s real testing. Real ones. He walks in and watches me… it’s not as impressive as probably watching Strawberry, but he watches me.”
Harry Kalas and getting traded to the Phillies— 0:43
“One of the greatest people ever, and talent by the way.”
Taking steroids— 2:10
In 1990, Lenny went to a doctor in Mississippi that he described as a “hillbilly” and got a prescription for steroids, because he believed he was good enough to be a starter but was too small to hold up over a full season. He started working out and showed up to spring training “like a Greek statue,” walking around like he had “a 10-inch you know what.”
Ben Revere— 2:46
“What’s his on-base percentage? .317. Really? You’re supposed to hit .317. And he’s leading off. And he’s an average outfielder. And he doesn’t have any power. And I don’t know if a lot of people are saying, ‘Hey hunny hurry man let’s go see Ben Revere play tonight.'”
“The [cops] let us go. These are big Phillies fans. They let us go. So halfway down the sidewalk, I look at [Darren Daulton] and, cause I didn’t care, I knew he was tougher than me, I say, ‘You know what, you can call me a wimp or a P-U or whatever, but I got to go to the hospital, dude, because I think I’m going to die.’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Me too.'”
Bobby Cox— 5:14
Lenny recounts his home run in Game 5 of the 1993 NLCS when he screamed “DIDN’T I?” coming around the bases (he also used it in this interview). He called it the greatest home run of his career because Bobby Cox, the manager of the NL All-Star Team that year, snubbed him. He also mentioned that it was the night Cox went home and beat his wife.
He’s half right.
Cox was accused of beating his wife after a loss to the Phillies in which Lenny had two hits, but that was in May of 1995, not during the 1993 NLCS.
Threatening umpires— 7:13
This is one Lenny wouldn’t own up to (though he hardly denied it and was happy to speak in hypotheticals) since he’s on probation. But the story goes that Lenny spent $200k to hire private investigators so he could tell umpires he knew what they had done the night before – with a woman, gambling, etc. – when he walked into the box. The result? Ball one.
“Is that genius or what? Because guess what, the umpires control your livelihood.”
“That’s a great idea you just talked about… the bottom line is that after that, I led the league in walks a couple of years.”
He later recounted a story about breaking up a John Smoltz no-hitter in the ninth inning of a game in 1990. He said he got ahead in the count because he had the umpire in his pocket. And indeed he did go up 1-0:
Sports talk radio needs to do more of these sorts of interviews instead of the often nonsensical 10-minute hits with [insert talking head]. You can hardly extract any good information or stories in that short of a time period (unless you’re talking to Jeremy Roenick). For that reason, I usually listen to podcasts when I take the dog on long walks over the weekend. But today I listened to Missanelli and Dykstra.
Also love the use of video: