April 24, 2005


Fingering 'Nails': Former outfielder Dykstra is alleged to have taken steroids before 1993 season and to have helped a friend with bets on games. (Lance Pugmire, April 24, 2005, LA Times)

Lenny Dykstra had a dream season in 1993.

He led the National League in hits, walks and runs, nearly doubled his previous high in home runs, finished second to Barry Bonds for most valuable player and led the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series. After the season, the center fielder signed a multiyear contract worth almost $25 million, making him baseball's highest-paid leadoff batter ever.

Now, in court documents and interviews, former associates allege that during that magical season, "Nails" — as he was known because of his intense style of play — indulged in two of baseball's biggest sins: steroid use and illegal gambling.

A longtime friend and business partner is suing Dykstra in Ventura County, seeking to regain an interest in their lucrative Southern California car wash business. In the suit, Lindsay Jones, 42, of Irvine, alleges that Dykstra advised him to bet thousands of dollars with a bookmaker on selected Phillie games in 1993.

Jones said in a sworn statement that his baseball wagers were a form of payment to him, made "on the basis that Lenny would cover all losses, and I would use the winnings to live on."

Dykstra's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, said the three-time All-Star "absolutely denies" the allegation, calling it "unsubstantiated" and "a fabricated story from a disgruntled partner."

The suit includes a sworn declaration from a Florida bodybuilder — a convicted drug dealer — who said Dykstra paid him $20,000 plus "special perks" during their eight-year association to "bulk up" the once-slight ballplayer. In an interview, Jeff Scott said he injected Dykstra with steroids "more times than I can count," and that Dykstra stepped up his steroid use in spring training of 1993 because "it was a contract year."

Petrocelli, citing Scott's criminal past, said the steroid allegation was not "reliable or credible," and called the former bodybuilder "biased and aligned with Jones." In the past, Dykstra has denied using steroids.

Are we supposed to believe he put on that much bulk that fast by exercising?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 24, 2005 7:19 AM

Are we supposed to really care about events that took place over a decade ago?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 24, 2005 8:05 PM


Only if you care about steroid use today. If you're fine with athletes using chemicals to enhance performance, then no.

On the other hand, if we allow people to use drugs to augment themselves, why have human players at all ?
Why not just build robots that can throw, hit, and field ?
We can programme them to occasionally and randomly make errors, and that will make them seem more likable.

Posted by: Rip Van Winkle at April 25, 2005 2:53 AM