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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Ron Darling: Lenny Dykstra made racist taunts to Red Sox in ‘86 World Series

Ron Darling has a story to tell about the 1986 World Series, and neither Boston Red Sox fans nor New York Mets fans will like it.

The former Mets pitcher recently published a new book titled, “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game,” that includes an ugly anecdote about teammate Lenny Dykstra’s actions during Game 3 of the ‘86 World Series between the Red Sox and Mets in Boston.

After taking the first two games of the series, the Red Sox started Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd in Game 3, and Dykstra led off in the top of the first inning. According to Darling, as Boyd was finishing his warmups, Dykstra yelled “ugliest piece of vitriol I’ve ever heard” in the pitcher’s direction.

Would that I could be surprised, would that I could.

 

QLE Posted: March 31, 2019 at 05:25 AM | 74 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lenny dykstra, mets, oil can boyd, red sox, ron darling

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   1. bookbook Posted: March 31, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5827171)
“Major League Baseball player does racist thing” is reprehensible but not newsworthy in 2019, much less 1985.
   2. VCar Posted: March 31, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5827172)
"Hey Mookie, watch me zing this guy..."
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 31, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5827173)
Shame that Darling's had to sit on this for 33 years, bereft of a public platform from which to speak.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: March 31, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5827174)
If a player went on a Dykstra-level rant at the 2019 World Series, there'd be 10,000 fans in the stands recording it on their cellphones, and by the third inning the videos would be all over Twitter.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5827182)
I'm starting to think Lenny Dykstra may not be the upstanding citizen I once thought he was.
   6. Baldrick Posted: March 31, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5827199)
“Major League Baseball player does racist thing” is reprehensible but not newsworthy in 2019, much less 1985.

It's not surprising, but it might still be newsworthy.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: March 31, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5827202)
Post 2 was very good.

   8. Swoboda is freedom Posted: March 31, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5827206)
I take it Kevin Mitchell or Darryl Strawberry weren't around to hear it. Those were 2 big guys.
   9. BrianBrianson Posted: March 31, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5827214)
They were both jocks playing for the Mets, eh? They were probably feeding him lines (of both racist vitriol and coke)
   10. . Posted: March 31, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5827223)
I take it Kevin Mitchell or Darryl Strawberry weren't around to hear it.


Strawberry started the game and was hitting fifth. Probably in the dugout. Mookie started and hit eighth. Mitchell didn't start.

Presumably all three were in the dugout.

   11. . Posted: March 31, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5827228)
Game's on YouTube, including Tip O'Neil throwing out the first pitch and all of Can's warmup pitches. Dykstra, at least for the part you can see him-- which is only the very beginning stays back by the wall and never gets up to the on-deck circle. Backman, hitting second, is on the dugout side of Dykstra. Gedman and the ump are pretty close to Dykstra; neither gives even the slightest indication Dykstra's letting a bunch of N-bombs unfurl. Neither does Can. Camera's on either Can or Gedman and the ump pretty much the entire warmup sequence.

Darling's a straight shooter and I'm actually kind of in the tank for him ... but I'm skeptical. There doesn't appear to be anything remotely like that going on. And please don't try to argue nobody cared about that stuff then and would have just let it go by without some kind of indication it was going on. Tip ####### O'Neal could have probably heard it.
   12. bobm Posted: March 31, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5827233)
From They Call Me Oil Can: Baseball, Drugs, and Life on the Edge By Dennis Boyd, Mike Shalin

The '86 World Series was rough for me. I remember I went to pick up my family at the airport on the day of Game 3 and my dad had brought his wife with him. The family didn't get along with my stepmom or her family. Even today, we've sworn that since my mom and dad are dead we'll never speak to our stepmom and stepsisters ever again. That's how messed up it is.

Plus, I had stayed up all night smoking cocaine. So I was double upset and irritable. When I got to the airport, there was my oldest brother. I had just talked to him the day before and he told me Dad wanted to come. I said, "Yeah, bring Dad and Mom, everybody else can come, Steve and any of my brothers and sisters. Bring them. I'll pay for the tickets, I'll pay for the flight. I'll do everything:' But I specifically told him not to bring Daddy's g-----n wife.

They came to the ballpark—my mom, my oldest brother, my dad and my stepmom—and it was messing me up so bad to see tears in my mom's eyes. I was so upset with my daddy and my oldest brother—I couldn't even concentrate enough to warm up in the bullpen.

That messed me up. I started off the game upset, and then I got madder than hell after the first inning when the Mets scored four runs. That Lenny Dykstra kind of caught me off guard.

I didn't really know Lenny Dykstra, had never seen Lenny Dykstra. I didn't know he was a little toy cannon. I didn't know that he had that kind of pop in his bat, but believe me throughout my career I found out. He got three more bombs off of me. He kind of shocked me, and believe it or not, he hit a real good slider. The same slider that I'd thrown to a lot of lefties and they didn't touch it, or they hit it foul or hit it off their foot. I still don't know today how he kept it fair down and in like that. I watched the tape. It's an incredible swing. It's a swing that I ain't really seen anybody else put on a slider down and in. The ball's at your front foot and you keep it fair? At your back foot you can kind of keep it fair, but at your front foot you're going to hit it out front, foul. I still don't know how he kept it fair. It was the third pitch I threw him. I want to say I had a strike and a ball on him and went to throw a slider. Then we botched up a play in the infield and they finished the first inning with four runs.

Things settled down after that though, and I started pitching real well. I pitched five scoreless innings and then gave up two runs in the seventh.

I tried to keep it there and give the team a chance to score some runs and get back in the ballgame, but you have to give credit to Bobby Ojeda. He pitched really well. He held us down.
   13. KronicFatigue Posted: March 31, 2019 at 05:23 PM (#5827245)
Post #2 summed up all my thoughts in a clever one liner. How can you heckle someone based on race when you have teammates of that race? [separate from all the other issues of being racist, of course]
   14. BrianBrianson Posted: March 31, 2019 at 06:34 PM (#5827256)
Okay, like, are you people serious? It was the 80s and we're talking about a bunch of jocks taunting each other. You can evaluate it with present day postgraduate degree holding sensibilities, but expecting those guys to have done that then is just nuts.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: March 31, 2019 at 06:41 PM (#5827257)
Okay, like, are you people serious? It was the 80s and we're talking about a bunch of jocks taunting each other. You can evaluate it with present day postgraduate degree holding sensibilities, but expecting those guys to have done that then is just nuts.



"Lenny was in the on-deck circle shouting every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in his direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff," Darling writes in an excerpt published Saturday in the New York Post. "I don’t want to be too specific here ... but I will say that it was the worst collection of taunts and insults I’d ever heard — worse, I’m betting, than anything Jackie Robinson might have heard, his first couple times around the league."

But as Darling observed, Dykstra's horrible insults also worked on Boyd, who looked "rattled" and allowed a leadoff home run to Dykstra en route to a 7-1 Boston loss that allowed the Mets back into the series.

"Unprintable, unmentionable, unforgettable," Darling wrote of Dykstra's trash talk to Boyd."


Yeah, what the hell do Ivy League eggheads know about baseball fine tradition of gentle ragging?
   16. . Posted: March 31, 2019 at 07:20 PM (#5827262)
It didn't happen. Most likely what did happen is that Dykstra used the "n-word," including probably in the clubhouse before Game 3 speaking of Can. But there's nothing in the game film that even remotely confirms the story. And as bobm quoted, Can wrote a book in which he talked about Dykstra and Game 3 at some length, and didn't say a word about it.

There's no circumstance in which Rich Gedman would have just acted normally while an opposing player stood a few feet behind him and launched n-bombs at his starting pitcher. In the World Series.

Not sure how the story got in the book, but it's certainly far harder to get attention in 2019's media cacophony and the story is one way to get attention. Darling had a ghostwriter/helper and a publisher. Until more comes out, I'll put it on them.



   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 31, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5827263)
Post #2 summed up all my thoughts in a clever one liner. How can you heckle someone based on race when you have teammates of that race?

Because his teammates didn't give a ####. If they could get in Boyd's head by yelling racist crap, the black players would have joined in. They wanted to win.

Plus, I had stayed up all night smoking cocaine.

This seems like it probably had 10 times the impact of Dykstra's taunts.
   18. dejarouehg Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:19 PM (#5827276)
As much as I love Darling, he couldn't have been much closer to the action than Kevin Mitchell, who was the nastiest SOB in the game. I'm guessing that this supposed rant would have been ignored by him.
   19. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:35 PM (#5827277)
Yeah, what the hell do Ivy League eggheads know about baseball fine tradition of gentle ragging


I don’t think Brian was saying it’s OK just noting that 33 years ago (god I’m old) people might’ve approached it differently. Today I think (hope) someone would say something, then? Maybe not. Go back and watch Eddie Murphy’s Delirious sometime, it’s amazing the raw homophobia on display that we all loved (and I include myself). As snapper notes, this would’ve been viewed through the prism of getting in his head rather than “holy crap Lenny is being an unbelievable racist.”

It wouldn’t surprise me as with a lot of these sorts of stories if the generalities are correct but the specifics are not.

And circling back to snapper, yeah it’s probably that the coke binge didn’t exactly help the Can.
   20. PreservedFish Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:36 PM (#5827278)
How can you heckle someone based on race when you have teammates of that race?

Also, because you're an idiot. An idiot named Lenny Dykstra.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5827279)
I don’t think Brian was saying it’s OK just noting that 33 years ago (god I’m old) people might’ve approached it differently.


He's saying we're making a big deal out of something that was said 33 years ago by a ballplayer. And I'm noting that the person making a big deal of it was a ballplayer on the same field 33 years ago.

   22. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: March 31, 2019 at 09:16 PM (#5827282)
That’s not how I read his post. I interpreted it as him addressing the post by the dot saying the video showing no one reacting is proof it didn’t happen.

If I’m wrong about his point, then yes I agree completely with you. Dykstra fully deserves to be taken to task for this (though of course it’s hardly the only thing on his list).
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: March 31, 2019 at 09:25 PM (#5827290)
I interpreted it as him addressing the post by the dot saying the video showing no one reacting is proof it didn’t happen.


I don't think he was responding to Sugar Bear, but the rest of us.
   24. BrianBrianson Posted: March 31, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5827298)
I have SBB on ignore, but no one else. Whatever dadaist poems he's posting have no effect on what I've written.

I'm not saying it's okay - I'm saying you're either incredibly naive or incredible ignorant if you think that in 1986, an average black MLB player would've had any kind of problem with hurling extremely racist taunting at a member of another team during the playoffs. I'm sure the taunts described would've happened (I can't literally comment on Dykstra, but I see no reason to doubt it). But all the posts suggesting his teammates would've taken exception to it - like, I'm one of the younger people here, and I can't imagine how sheltered one would have been to think that.

Nominally I'm playing a little fast and loose, as I didn't start living in a most black neighbourhood 'til 1987 or 1988. But really, thinking Strawberry/Mitchell/Wilson would have obviously reacted very negatively reads like you didn't know any black people in the 80s.
   25. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 31, 2019 at 11:00 PM (#5827301)
'm saying you're either incredibly naive or incredible ignorant if you think that in 1986, an average black MLB player would've had any kind of problem with hurling extremely racist taunting at a member of another team during the playoffs.
I think this needs amendment. In 1986, an average black MLB player very well might have had a problem with it... but in 1986, there might have been nothing to do about it. That's the kind of thing where if you spoke up about your own teammate, you were the troublemaker.
   26. bobm Posted: March 31, 2019 at 11:03 PM (#5827302)
Not sure what it means, but:

So here’s what Darling has to say about the 2017 Mets, Matt Harvey’s comeback, working with Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen and, of course, the requisite look-back at the ’86 Mets and life on the other side of midnight.

[...]

Q: Speaking of crazy, what did you think of Lenny Dykstra’s tell-all book? He admitted the passages would offend even his friends.

A: It actually didn’t bother me – it was a consider-the-source kind of thing. There’s a place in my heart that cares about Lenny. He disappoints me occasionally, not because he hurt himself, we’ve all done that. It’s that he hurt other folks in the process (of writing the book). But I’ll always remember No. 4 hitting one out against Dave Smith (in Game 3 of the NLCS in ’86) or taking Oil Can Boyd deep (in Game 3 of the World Series). I think I’m actually one of the few people who did read the book. There’s a lot of Lenny-truth in it. For some reason it makes me chuckle, but I know the things he wrote hurt people.


https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/columnists/bob-klapisch/2017/01/26/klapisch-the-world-according-to-ron-darling/97110986/
   27. bobm Posted: March 31, 2019 at 11:05 PM (#5827304)
Boyd's book was titled: "THEY CALL ME OIL CAN: Baseball, Drugs, and Life on the Edge." Dykstra's second book was titled: "HOUSE OF NAILS: A Memoir of Life on the Edge." Ironic.
   28. Moeball Posted: April 01, 2019 at 08:22 PM (#5827678)
Not only do I suspect that Mr. Darling's memory of events from 33 years ago may not be quite accurate, but him thinking that what Dykstra said to Boyd was worse than anything ever said to Jackie is just ludicrous.
   29. bobm Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:27 PM (#5827720)
NY Post: Lenny Dykstra would like to ‘drop’ Ron Darling after racist tirade claim

“When you start bringing up this kind of stuff, this is crossing the line,” Dykstra said during the interview. “And again, it’s not acceptable and it’s flat-out lies.”

Dykstra added that he wouldn’t say anything to Darling if he saw him right now, but instead “drop him like a red-headed f–king stepchild.” [...]

Dykstra, who homered to right field in the at-bat, said it never happened and isn’t going to let it slide.

“I’m going to sue him and the publisher,” Dykstra said. “I wrote a book myself. I had 30 lawyers calling me fact-checking everything. There is not one person to back this up, because you know why, it’s not true. It’s all a lie.”

Dykstra claimed others would have heard the racial taunts if it did happen, including the owners sitting down on the field, his other teammates and Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman. The three-time All-Star called it upsetting that Darling would “go to such lengths to try to sell a book.”
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:37 PM (#5827724)
Dykstra added that he wouldn’t say anything to Darling if he saw him right now, but instead “drop him like a red-headed f–king stepchild.”
Leave Justin Turner out of this, Lenny.
   31. Omineca Greg Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5827725)
Whatever dadaist poems he's posting have no effect on what I've written.


OK, but if he ever gets around to doing this one, you'll really be missing out.

   32. Howie Menckel Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:53 PM (#5827728)
apparently Darling and Dykstra were on different NYC radio talk shows today, if anyone wants to play detective.
   33. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:17 PM (#5827734)
This is the least surprising news you could have told me about Lenny Dykstra.

   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 02, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5827945)
Other players are giving their versions:
Former Mets teammates Dwight Gooden and Kevin Mitchell also said on the Michael Kay Show that they never heard Dykstra direct the slurs at Boyd.
. . .
Boyd, who appeared on Carlin, Maggie & Bart on WFAN in New York later Tuesday, said he didn't know anything about the alleged incident, but he did say that he believes Darling's account that it happened.

Darling stands by his account. Boyd not remembering the incident but still believing Darling is a bit … unusual.
   35. . Posted: April 02, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5827952)
It didn't happen. Other things almost certainly happened regarding Dykstra and race, but not that. The only other explanation is that Darling has the Jackie Robinson "standard" way too low. (*)

The camera is on Boyd virtually the entire time between him getting to the mound to warm up, and Dykstra stepping in, and Boyd didn't so much as twitch. Neither did Gedman.

I'm pretty much in the tank for Darling, but I don't believe his book on this one -- at least as to this particular claim. I do believe the general truth about what he says about Dykstra being a dirtball and what he insinuates about Dykstra's racial attitudes. I'll blame his publisher or his ghostwriter.

(*) Meaning Dykstra yelled some #### at Can, but it really didn't have much to do with race, and Darling badly overstated that part.
   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 02, 2019 at 04:11 PM (#5827954)
From Jeff Pearlman’s book about the 1986 Mets, “The Bad Guys Won”:

Before the game Backman and Hernandez were standing along the Fenway third base line, chatting with Rangers outfielder Tom Paciorek, a former New York teammate attending the series as a commentator. Paciorek knew Boyd well, and his advice was sound: “When you guys start the game, just keep screaming #### at Oil Can from the dugout, because he’s got rabbit ears,” Paciorek said. “He hears everything, and it really gets him frustrated. He’ll start hanging ####, and then he’ll start looking at you. He’ll point at you when he strikes someone out. If that happens, you’ve got him.”

Hernandez didn’t have to be told twice. As soon as Boyd strolled to the mound to start his warmup pitches, the assault began. The players kneeled on towels lined up in front of the dugout’s top step, just to be as close as possible. “Hey, #### Can! Is that all you’ve got!? C’mon, throw harder than that, you p*ssy! Hey, #### Can! You’re nothing!”

On the third pitch of the game Dykstra hit Boyd’s knee-high slider into the right field stands, prompting a chorus of “Shit Can! #### Can!” from the New York dugout."


It seems plausible to me that this happened. And given that Boyd didn’t mention the other heckling, it’s possible he didn’t remember what Dykstra said either.

EDIT: to be clear, none of the ####s in the above paragraph is a racial slur. Just “sh*t”.
   37. . Posted: April 02, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5827957)
“He hears everything, and it really gets him frustrated. He’ll start hanging ####, and then he’ll start looking at you.


That was his reputation, to be sure. Nothing in the game film indicates that he heard anything. Certainly nothing that got any kind of reaction from him.
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 02, 2019 at 10:29 PM (#5828063)
Darryl Strawberry also disputes Darling:
Strawberry insisted Tuesday that he “never” heard Dykstra say the racist things Darling alleges he shouted at Boston pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd before Game 3 of the 1986 World Series, while adding he’s “totally shocked” and “very disappointed” in the SNY analyst for “stepping on a man’s life when he’s down,” referring to Dykstra’s ongoing legal problems in recent years.
. . .
I don’t believe it,” Strawberry said. “And I know I was one of the prime players on that team. Doc don’t believe it, Kevin don’t believe it. If we ever thought that, because Lenny hung out with us, so why would we ever put him in a position that he hung out with us?”
. . .
Later in the day on SNY, Darling said he had been told by his lawyers to stop speaking about the incident because Dykstra has threatened legal action. “I’ve been advised not to say anything more about the subject just because I don’t want to bring any more momentum to Lenny and how he feels,” Darling said. “That said, I stand by everything in the book.”
   39. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:01 AM (#5828103)
OT1stH, I can totally believe this happening around that time, it was just a very different time than today. My first game ever at Yankee Stadium was around that time (have to do more research than I want to at the moment to figure out exactly when), but my family were sitting down the left field line and the guy in the row in front of us racially abused Jim Rice (who was playing LF) the entire game. He called him every horrible thing I'd ever heard before and then other horrible things (mulignan)I had to ask people about the next day. Nobody said a word or complained to an usher. Frankly, I think if Rice could have figured out where he was sitting, he would have come over the left field wall and killed half the section to get to him, but nobody said a thing. Compare this to 2009, when I went to see the US play Japan in the WBC at Dodger Stadium and we had some idiots in the row behind us racially abusing the Japan team and we got them kicked out (it took way longer than it should, but it did finally happen). Then again, there are still monkey chants and banana throwing in (some) European football matches, so we've got some serious distance still to go ...

OT2ndH, the testimony of the other people that were there matters and it doesn't seem like there is corroboration (at least so far), so ...
   40. bobm Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5828106)
NY Post: Ron Darling’s tell-all skewers others, not just Lenny Dykstra

Among those Darling nailed:

Kevin Elster [...] Frank Howard [...] Jose Oquendo [...] Ron Hodges [...] Gary Carter [...] Calvin Schiraldi [...] radio announcer Bob Murphy [...] many of his teammates with the Oakland A’s, for whom he played from August 1991 to 1995 [...]

[and] Billy Beane, the failed No. 1 Mets draft pick who went on to become the industry-shaping “Moneyball” GM of the Oakland A’s, was Darling’s wingman in the minors as they tried to pick up women. Bean’s M.O.: “He would pretend to be someone else.” Sometimes his adopted persona would be a Cincinnati MD or a Canadian football player, and Darling would play along.
   41. BrianBrianson Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:19 AM (#5828108)
Oh, the women you can pick up, pretending to be a professional football player in the fall, and a lumberjack in the spring.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:32 AM (#5828112)
Boyd not remembering the incident but still believing Darling is a bit … unusual.

Did you miss the part where he was up all night free-basing cocaine? Boyd may not remember that he pitched that day.
   43. . Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5828120)
OT1stH, I can totally believe this happening around that time, it was just a very different time than today.


Nah, that's just flattery of today. I've been to hundreds of sporting events going back to the days when Tiger Stadium and Comiskey Park were patronized heavily if not primarily by the drunk white working class and I've never heard a single racial slur or epithet hurled by a fan at a player. I've heard all manner of abuse, of course (*) -- but none of it has been racial. (**)

If anything, those kind of things are uttered more today than they were BITD. In just the last month or so, people have gotten the boot from Utah and Boston for hurling racial stuff at NBA players.

I mean, let's face it -- as I've noted a number of times before, "that word" went for a long time in the post-civil rights era being essentially out of public commission and is now heard more times by more ears than in the deepest, darkest depths of Jim Crow. That's bound to have a spillover effect. Yeah, I know it's been "repurposed" and I'm not arguing with that in the least; my comment doesn't go to the users, it goes to the hearers.

(*) My first game at Old Yankee Stadium was in 1996, lower left field, crowd spent most of the game unloading on Albert Belle, to the point where in like the 7th inning, he flipped a bird and then a double bird in return. None of it was racial or even close.

(**) Actually, I have once but it wasn't inside. Sometime around 2000, in the parking lot of Fed Ex Field before the game, an extremely inebriated cracker Foreskin fan went up to this late middle age black couple walking toward the entrance (probably heading for a suite) and extremely drunkenly and aggressively called the guy a "n_____r." Everyone who heard it was ridiculing the guy, security got called, and he was cuffed. That's the only time.
   44. . Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:19 AM (#5828123)
Did you miss the part where he was up all night free-basing cocaine? Boyd may not remember that he pitched that day.


It was a night game. Young people can recover from partying late into the night the night before a night game.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5828125)
this is a weird book by a guy who seems so sane.

I think he is the first person ever to say a bad word about Frank Howard (it's not THAT bad, but still). I had my own encounter with the gentle giant in the 1980s, and he lived up to his legend completely.

as for Bob Murphy, in that same era we watched in awe as he sat on a Chicago bar stool alongside a lissome lass, nursing a whiskey and showing off the bushiest eyebrows on Earth.

(same era, buddy of mine sees Tim McCarver in a tavern, post-game, and walks up and says, "I hear that [fellow Mets announcer] Ralph Kiner can drink you under the table." McCarver was so amused that he bought the crew a couple of rounds and told some war stories.)
   46. . Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5828126)
Among those Darling nailed:

Kevin Elster [...] Frank Howard [...] Jose Oquendo [...] Ron Hodges [...] Gary Carter [...] Calvin Schiraldi [...]


What he said about Schiraldi was spot-on. During the '86 playoffs when things started getting tight, dude looked like he wanted to curl up with a binky and his mommy.

Now according to Darling the lawyers have told him not to talk about Dykstra anymore. Pretty weak sauce.

   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5828129)
It was a night game. Young people can recover from partying late into the night the night before a night game.

To the point they can get on the field? Sure. To the point it has no effect? No way.

Stay up all night and get blotto drunk, you're still feeling it at 7PM. Even at 20. I'd have to guess free-basing cocaine is just a tiny bit more of an effect.
   48. . Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5828131)
To the point they can get on the field? Sure. To the point it has no effect? No way.


Goalpost move. No reason Can wasn't fully functional and able to hear, etc. At tip-top shape for elite athletic competition? Probably not. Depends how well he slept during the day to at least some degree.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5828138)
Goalpost move. No reason Can wasn't fully functional and able to hear, etc. At tip-top shape for elite athletic competition? Probably not. Depends how well he slept during the day to at least some degree.

I'm not saying he couldn't function, just that being effed up would impair his memory. I doubt he slept at all, from his description.
   50. Howie Menckel Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5828143)
re Schiraldi: I was sitting behind home plate, loge section, at Shea Stadium for Game 7 of the 1986 World Series.

the "CAL-VIN!" chant was so loud as he pitched that I wanted to tell my friend that since I couldn't even focus on watching the game because the chant was so loud, how the hell can anyone pitch in that atmosphere? but I couldn't, because my friend wouldn't have been able to hear me.

picture the 4th quarter of a Seattle Seahawks playoff game. it was that loud - and this wasn't even a dome.

That Game 6 Buckner finish led to the bloodthirtiest crowd I have even come across for Game 7. Resistance was futile.
   51. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5828174)
If we ever thought that, because Lenny hung out with us, so why would we ever put him in a position that he hung out with us?”
Er...what?
   52. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: April 03, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5828218)
This whole saga is extremely weird.

What we know so far:

Darling says that Dykstra repeatedly shouted stuff at Boyd that would put Jackie Robinson's abuse to shame. This is a wild accusation.

Darling says that he received texts from multiple players who could corroborate his story that they've "got his back" but can't name them.

Darling says that there is zero chance he misremembered anything about the incident.

Darling says that his lawyers have advised him not to discuss it any more.

The video almost certainly covers the time period it would have been going on, and shows no evidence that it happened. Ivy Leaguers can debate body language and contemporary social mores*, but the indisputable fact is: in existing video of the incident nobody is acting like anything untoward is going on.

Dykstra categorically says it didn't happen (etc etc).

Kevin Mitchell, apparently known contemporaneously as a badass, says he would have kicked Dykstra's ass if he had ever heard OF anything LIKE that ever HAVING HAD come out of Dykstra's mouth.

Boyd says he doesn't remember it happening but believes that it did. His own accounts of the day in question include lots of detail about his emotions on the mound, pitch sequencing and outcomes, and specific commentary on his pitcher/batter interaction with Dykstra.

Strawberry wasn't necessarily around but says he didn't know Dykstra to be a racist generally (wholly irrelevant IMO).

Pearlman cites a bunch of sources saying that talking #### to Boyd was a known tactic, and occurred on the day, but was totally within bounds for high-level athlete ####-talking.

To my knowledge none of Backman, Gedman or the home plate umpire - three men who absolutely would have been aware of the incident as it was going on - have commented on the record.

I mean, it's wild that a public figure would publish this stuff without having a plan to defend it on the record (hilariously, Dykstra's comment on that particularly dumb facet of this story is 100% on point), and even wilder to suspect that it might not be true. Everybody's first reaction to the headline, generally, is exemplified by the first few posts in this thread (ie. some form of 'yeah, no kidding'). But Darling sure seems to be on an island here. Who hesitates to publicly back a guy like Darling making a verifiable claim that a guy like Dykstra is a piece of ####?


* To say that in 1986 a bunch of black guys playing baseball in Boston and New York would completely ignore a stream of invective that's 'worse than anything Jackie Robinson ever heard' because that was just normal back then and we can't evaluate something that happened 30 years ago by the standards of today is an extremely stupid argument.
   53. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 03, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5828220)

I'm not saying he couldn't function, just that being effed up would impair his memory. I doubt he slept at all, from his description.

And it's not like he stopped doing drugs after that game. I'm sure the guy did a lot of stuff that might affect his memory of an event that happened 30+ years ago. Same goes for Doc and Darryl. Not sure about Mitchell -- I'm sure he did his fair share of drinking but don't remember him being described as a hard partyer in the Pearlman book (You could make a similar point about Darling in those days).
   54. . Posted: April 03, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5828224)
It's all to sell books and to sell books you need attention and to get attention in 2019, you have to make wild-ass outlandish accusations and it very much helps if the wild-ass outlandish accusations somehow involve race or racism.

It's no more complicated than that.

To say that in 1986 a bunch of black guys playing baseball in Boston and New York would completely ignore a stream of invective that's 'worse than anything Jackie Robinson ever heard' because that was just normal back then and we can't evaluate something that happened 30 years ago by the standards of today is an extremely stupid argument.


A-yup. Is it some kind of woke merit badge thing or something to pretend that people in 1986 were just walking around yelling racial epithets at people or something, and standers-by were just chuckling and letting it go by? This was like six months before Al Campanis.

What Darling says happened did not happen. He wrote it -- or let it be written -- to sell books. Dykstra's an easy target that he or the ghostwriter probably thought wouldn't get many defenders. They appear to have misread things pretty dramatically. It's very bizarre that they didn't investigate YouTube before they published, because it pretty much shows definitively that they're full of ####.
   55. bobm Posted: April 06, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5829230)
   56. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 06, 2019 at 05:55 PM (#5829232)
Darling says that Dykstra repeatedly shouted stuff at Boyd that would put Jackie Robinson's abuse to shame. This is a wild accusation.

Darling says that he received texts from multiple players who could corroborate his story that they've "got his back" but can't name them.

Darling says that there is zero chance he misremembered anything about the incident.


One of these years I guess Darling will reveal what Dykstra said, in a sealed envelope to be opened after Darling's death.
   57. Sunday silence Posted: April 06, 2019 at 05:56 PM (#5829233)
the other thing, is why wouldnt there have been fans there in the front rows who heard that as well? Wouldnt someone have mentioned something after all this time? Or why not the day after the game? so weird.
   58. The Run Fairy Posted: April 06, 2019 at 08:22 PM (#5829264)
Compare this to 2009, when I went to see the US play Japan in the WBC at Dodger Stadium and we had some idiots in the row behind us racially abusing the Japan team and we got them kicked out (it took way longer than it should, but it did finally happen). Then again, there are still monkey chants and banana throwing in (some) European football matches, so we've got some serious distance still to go ...


Racial taunting was happening in 2016, in Toronto at the Wild Card game. Nobody in my section got kicked out, and the usher did nothing. It's not just a football thing.
   59. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 06, 2019 at 10:01 PM (#5829270)

Racial taunting was happening in 2016, in Toronto at the Wild Card game. Nobody in my section got kicked out,
If only Ubaldo Jimenez got kicked out!
   60. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 06, 2019 at 10:33 PM (#5829287)
Guys, GUYS, everyone is missing something here. Darling didn't write this book. The idea that (most) athletes (or business leaders, politicians, etc) write the books that have their name as author is naive.

Probably what happened is Darling told the ghostwriter, hey, Lenny was a racist, he heckled Oil Can with some edgy stuff before Game 3, and the ghostwriter spun it into this. And it's working! The excerpt is getting passed around and probably leading to increased book sales.
   61. Howie Menckel Posted: April 06, 2019 at 11:31 PM (#5829312)
well, Darling has a dual degree from Yale in French and Southeast Asian history, so he's not exactly a dumb jock.

also, Darling has been eager to double and triple down on the claims in the book.

also, he seems like the last guy in the world to blow all his money on hookers and blow.

so yes, this whole scenario is mystifying.
   62. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 09, 2019 at 05:50 PM (#5830184)
Dykstra has now sued Darling and his publisher for libel and defamation. Dykstra is a public future, so he’ll have to show actual malice. Maybe he can, or not, but it would seem that even if he prevails, a reasonable jury could find that he wasn’t entitled to more than nominal damages, since there were already abundant reasons to view Dykstra as among the lowest of low-lifes.
   63. . Posted: April 09, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5830187)
Backman, who was on deck at the time of the "incident," completely denied it in today's NY Post.
   64. . Posted: April 09, 2019 at 05:55 PM (#5830188)
Maybe he can, or not, but it would seem that even if he prevails, a reasonable jury could find that he wasn’t entitled to more than nominal damages, since there were already abundant reasons to view Dykstra as among the lowest of low-lifes.


Query whether that truism was actually part of the publisher's calculations.
   65. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 09, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5830193)

the other thing, is why wouldnt there have been fans there in the front rows who heard that as well? Wouldnt someone have mentioned something after all this time? Or why not the day after the game? so weird.

Yes, surely someone would have posted about it on Twitter after the game. Where are the cell phone videos?

The idea that anything that happened in public must have been documented and widely known is a relatively recent phenomenon. Heck, there were things that were televised at the time which people still dispute happened because you can't find it on the Internet today.
   66. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 09, 2019 at 06:12 PM (#5830194)

Guys, GUYS, everyone is missing something here. Darling didn't write this book. The idea that (most) athletes (or business leaders, politicians, etc) write the books that have their name as author is naive.

I doubt he wrote the book, but I would have expected him at least to read it.
   67. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 10, 2019 at 12:50 AM (#5830298)
Dykstra has now sued Darling and his publisher for libel and defamation. Dykstra is a public future, so he’ll have to show actual malice.
"The plaintiff's expert witness has testified that fully 87 percent of the U.S. population does indeed have actual malice toward the plaintiff, thus presumably including the defendant."
   68. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2019 at 06:56 AM (#5830314)
Guys, GUYS, everyone is missing something here. Darling didn't write this book. The idea that (most) athletes (or business leaders, politicians, etc) write the books that have their name as author is naive.
I doubt he wrote the book, but I would have expected him at least to read it.


Listening to Darling talk for the past 10 years, and his previous output, I'd have to give him at least some benefit of the doubt that he did write it.
   69. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2019 at 06:59 AM (#5830315)
If you're agreeing with SBB about anything, including the easterly direction of the sunrise, it's worth re-examining your own brain.
   70. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2019 at 07:06 AM (#5830316)
The video almost certainly covers the time period it would have been going on, and shows no evidence that it happened. Ivy Leaguers can debate body language and contemporary social mores*, but the indisputable fact is: in existing video of the incident nobody is acting like anything untoward is going on.

If it actually did not happen as described, I would think - barring believing Darling to be a lying tool, which I admit I generally do not think about everyone like many here and elsewhere - is that what he misremembered was not what was said, but the volume at which it was said. That it wasn't shouted, but that it was said in the dugout at "stage-whisper", conversational volume.
   71. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 10, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5830343)
It also seems quite plausible that Dykstra could have aired such sentiments loudly on one or more other occasions with Darling present, and separately on this particular occasion have been generally obnoxious in razzing Boyd without being racist, and Darling mistakenly conflated the two incidents.
   72. Greg Pope Posted: April 10, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5830351)
It also seems quite plausible that Dykstra could have aired such sentiments loudly on one or more other occasions with Darling present, and separately on this particular occasion have been generally obnoxious in razzing Boyd without being racist, and Darling mistakenly conflated the two incidents.

I'd go with this explanation. How many times do we see a player or a fan describe a baseball play in great detail, and then someone goes to the box score/game account and finds that it's at least 50% incorrect? Wrong inning, wrong number of people on base, etc. Mostly it's conflating multiple plays.

   73. SoSH U at work Posted: April 10, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5830366)
I'd go with this explanation.


Me too. That struck me as the most plausible once it became clear that this didn't happen as described.
   74. . Posted: April 10, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5830442)
It also seems quite plausible that Dykstra could have aired such sentiments loudly on one or more other occasions with Darling present, and separately on this particular occasion have been generally obnoxious in razzing Boyd without being racist, and Darling mistakenly conflated the two incidents.


This is essentially what I offered as a possible explanation in 16. If Darling had said Dykstra obnoxiously and vitriolically called Can a ______ in the clubhouse in front of him and/or a few others before Game 3, I'd totally believe him. But the story he wrote, I do not believe.

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