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Shocking news about Lenny Dykstra

6/29/2010

Lenny Dykstra used steroids? Really?

Well, it's only hearsay. But, yeah. According to his onetime business associate Randall Lane (who, granted, has few reasons to be charitable toward Dykstra). It's all in Lane's new book:

    Lane said the admission came during a late-night conversation in February 2008 when he was in Dykstra's New York hotel room to convince him to pay $250,000 he owed in connection with the publication of a glossy magazine he was publishing at the time.

    As it happened, Roger Clemens has testified before Congress that day after being fingered in the Mitchell Report as a user of performance-enhancing substances. Dykstra's name had also been included by Mitchell's investigators. As the reports aired on a continuous cable loop, Dykstra blurted out his confession.

    "You know," Lenny said, finally breaking the ice. "I was like a pioneer for that stuff."

    "Excuse me, Lenny?"

    "The juice. I was like the very first to do that. Me and [Jose] Canseco."

    He straightened up, as he prepared, somewhat proudly, to reveal his role in this dangerous, unseemly history.

    Lee Thomas was general manager of the Phillies at the time. He has said that he confronted Dykstra at the time and that the player adamantly denied he was doing anything wrong. Thomas noted that, under the terms of the Collective Bargain Agreement then in effect, he was powerless to do anything but tell the player not to do anything illegal.

I've said this before and I'll say it again ... While we'll never know everything, we'll know more this year than we knew last year, and we'll know more next year than this year, ad infinitum. I know that some of you just don't care who was using the drugs, and I understand that you're tired of the moralizing that accompanies each revelation.

But I tend to think in historical terms, and in historical terms this is all exceptionally interesting. If you sit down someday to write a book about baseball in the 1990s, wouldn't you want to know who was using steroids? Wouldn't that story in Lane's book serve as a wonderfully juicy nugget in your narrative?

And speaking of books, most baseball players really aren't interesting enough to write about. Not in a serious biography, anyway. But Dykstra's different. Between his baseball career and his business adventures and the fractured relationship with his baseball-playing son, there's the makings here of a Shakespearian tragedy. The only problem is that you sort of have to wait until the ending, to really do the story justice.