Lenny Dykstra is probably one of the most decorated and polarizing sports figures in Philadelphia history. 1993 will always be remembered as his year, but there was good reason for that. Apparently, he’d been giving the umpires the business in hopes they’d help him out on the field.
And they did. Dykstra went on Colin Cowherd’s show today and talked about it. Transcription below.
Lenny: “I said, ‘I need these umpires.’ So what do I do? I just pull a half million bucks and I hire a private investigation team to follow them. Their blood is just as red as ours. Some of them like women. Some of them like men. Some of them gamble. Some of them do whatever.”
Cowherd: “So you had PIs tracking umpires through your career, or just a few years?”
LD: “No, when I first got the money and when I was trying to get the money. It wasn’t a coincidence that I led the league in walks the next few years, was it?”
CC: “So, you really think…”
LD: “I don’t think. I know.”
CC: “Did you bribe them?”
LD: “No. Fear does a lot to a man. ‘Hey, so did you cover last night?’ He calls it a strike. ‘Oh, I don’t think you heard me. Did you cover the spread last night?’ Next one…” *makes gesture signaling the umpire’s smaller strike zone*. Yahtzee!
Amazing. And it seems to be, from a quick look at his career stats, from the time he played with the Phillies that Dykstra was doing this.
The dude. Sure, 129 walks accompanied by 637 at-bats was clearly his most productive year. He basically bought himself the MVP award.