They used to call Lenny Dykstra "Nails" because the former major league outfielder was a tough son of a bitch. And maybe also because he had the IQ of a piece of metal — at least, that was the perception. Turns out Nails was a more cunning, and diabolical, than anyone ever knew.
In a recent interview with The Herd's Colin Cowherd, Dykstra claimed that he spent half a million dollars later in his career to hire private investigators to tail umpires and collect dirt on them. He said he then blackmailed the umps and received more favorable ball and strike calls.
“Their blood is just as red as ours. Some of them like women, some of them like men, some of them gamble,” Dykstra said. “It wasn’t a coincidence that I led the league in walks the next few years.”
There’s a lot going on here, so let’s unpack: Not only is Dykstra admitting to cheating, but he’s accusing umpires of betting on games, which would probably be the biggest scandal in the history of baseball. On top of that, he’s claiming to have used the sexuality of umpires against them, which is just vile.
Fortunately, Dykstra is probably full of shit. Just consider the man’s history: As a player, he drunkenly crashed his Mercedes into a tree, was arrested for sexually harassing a 17-year-old and allegedly used steroids. After his retirement he was accused of being a racist, writing a bad check to an escort, sexually assaulting a housekeeper, stealing cars and stealing identities. He also served six and a half months in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud.
Of course, none of this means he’s lying about the blackmail. The depravity certainly fits his personality, but this plan would have also taken sophisticated coordination and an elaborate cover up. It’s just hard to believe Nails was capable of that.
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