You need a good laugh today. Lord, I need a good laugh today. And, lo, the baseball gods have met us in our time of need. Praise Jobu! Behold, the ridiculous and the sublime.
A judge ruled last Friday that Lenny Dykstra has such a bad reputation, you can’t make it any worse. Or, in the words of the Honorable Robert Kalish:
“It is only to say that Dykstra’s reputation for unsportsmanlike conduct and bigotry is already so tarnished that it cannot be further injured…The question before this Court is only whether or not Dykstra can assert a cause of action for defamation. In order to do so, Dykstra must have had a reputation capable of further injury when the reference was published. This Court finds that Dykstra lacked such a reputation at the time of publication.”
As always, the drama begins with Ron Darling. Darling “wrote” a book, and in it, he claimed that Dykstra once heckled Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd with “the ugliest piece of vitriol I’ve ever heard.” According to Darling, Dykstra let loose with a bunch of racist, hateful insults at Boyd during Game 3 of the 1986 World Series in an effort to rattle the pitcher. Dykstra took offense to Darling’s recitation and sued for defamation and emotional distress. Apparently, Dykstra can still feel shame and disgrace, because he said Darling’s claims caused him to feel these tender emotions — for which Dykstra felt entitled to unspecified monetary damages.
In his defense, Darling’s legal eagles introduced into evidence an article from the N.Y. Daily News entitled “Lenny Dykstra, formerly of the Mets, is ‘nailed’ as racist in mag,” and Exhibit B was “Lenny Dykstra is Grosser, More Racist, More Self-Destructive than You Thought,” courtesy of Philadelphia Magazine. Testimony from former employees and more documents piled on to paint Dykstra in worse light than his mug shot.
The Judge reviewed the evidence, and here are his highlights:
- Dykstra’s autobiography portrays him as someone who would bribe umps to get an advantage — and that included threatening to OUT AN UMP for being at a gay club
(Begged question: How did Dykstra know he was at said gay club?)
- Media coverage previously informed the public that Dykstra referred to black people as “darkies” and “spearchuckers”
- Dykstra called Willie Mays “his field n—-r” and Venus and Serena Williams “baboons” according to a former employee
- the former Met has been sued at least 24 times for breach of contract or nonpayment
- Dykstra reportedly tried to list “oral sex” as a job duty for female employees
- in 2012, Dykstra pled* no contest to charges of lewd conduct and assault with a deadly weapon against a female employee — for which Dykstra was sentenced to 270 days in jail and 3 years of probation
- Dykstra has a criminal record ranging from fraud and embezzlement to grand theft and money laundering
After all that on the public record, what damage could Darling have done? Dykstra promised that testimony from Daryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden would clear his sullied name. The judge said:
“As such, this Court sees no legal basis for why it should use its very limited time and resources litigating whether Dykstra engaged in yet another example of bigoted behavior over thirty-years ago in a court of law.”
Looking for Trump to use that “yet another” legal argument to further evade lingering suits.
So now we know, it can’t get any worse for Dykstra’s reputation (read the decision for your own enjoyment here). Have at it, friends! What to be for Halloween? Dykstra’s reputation — what could be scarier!
Also, Darling’s ghostwriter has been outed. Daniel Paisner, do you also have no shame?
Welp, the story is out, so you might as well embrace it.
*I know it should be pleaded, but pleaded is dumb and I refuse to use it. Pled reads better and is shorter. Evolve already.