It’s the job of the first man in the batting lineup to get on base no matter the cost. He has to lean in to the chin music, practice hitting the gaps in the field, or, if he’s anything like Lenny Dykstra, blackmail umpires with details of their personal lives to get more walks.
On Colin Cowherd’s show today, Dykstra said he greatly decreased the size of his strike zone by hiring private investigators to dig up dirt on home plate umpires. He’d hold that private and potentially life-ruining info – including gambling problems, side bitches, and side dudes – over an ump’s head ‘til he was getting walked like a golden retriever.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 27, 2015
“I just pull out a half million bucks and hire a private investigation team to follow ‘em. Their blood is just as red as ours,” he told Cowherd. “Some of ‘em like women, some of ‘em men, some of ‘em like gambling… It wasn’t a coincidence do you think that I led the league in walks the next few years was it?”
“Fear does a lot to a man… I had to do what I had to do to win, and to support my family.”
Damn. It did work, too. Dykstra became the highest paid lead-off batter in MLB history, and the fourth highest paid player in the league. From The Big Lead:
In 1993, Dykstra signed a big contract extension with the Phillies. His walk totals jumped from 40 in 345 plate appearances in 1992 (11%) to 129 in 773 plate appearances (16%) in 1993. And then 68 walks in 315 plate appearances in 1994 (21%).
Seems like a lot of money and a lot of risk for a 10 percent walk increase. Love how utterly shameless he is about the whole thing, too. Dykstra’s always been an open book, whether he was admitting to steroid use or disrobing for masseuses he found on Craigslist (a stunt that earned him an indecent exposure charge – but what were the ladies expecting? It’s Craigslist for fuck’s sake)..
[via The Big Lead]
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