I know that Pete Rose is generally regarded as one of the sleaziest dudes in the history of sports, but you can’t mention Rose’s name in that category without having Lenny Dykstra’s up there, too. Especially after what the former All-Star player just said on Colin Cowherd’s show.
Dykstra, for whatever reason, was super honest with Cowherd, telling the host that he hired private investigators to track and blackmail umpires in order to get more walks during the 1993 and 1994 seasons—and, if true, it definitely worked.
Here’s what Lenny had to say, per The Colin Cowherd Show:
“I said ‘I need these umpires,’ so what do I do? I just pulled a half-million bucks out and hired a private investigation team. 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 … It wasn’t a coincidence do you think that I led the league in walks the next two years, was it? Fear does a lot to a man.
‘Hey, so did you cover last night?’ He called a strike. ‘Oh I don’t think you heard me. Did you cover the spread last night?'”
For those who might think this is total bullshit—and it may actually be—the proof might be in the numbers, as Dykstra went from a combined 77 walks in 1991 and 1992 to 129 free trips in 1993, leading the league in that department.
The three-time All-Star, who was arrested for bankruptcy fraud in 2011 and then again later that year for grand theft auto after becoming involved in a car theft scheme, among numerous charges, spent over six months in prison and is currently writing a book after he said a simple experience changed his life.
There won’t be any prison time for blackmailing umps to get more walks, but it’s just another black eye on Dykstra’s playing career.