What is the secret to success in Major League Baseball? In the case of former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies centerfielder Lenny Dykstra, it could be gay extortion. TMZ reports.
In a recent interview on "The Herd With Colin Cowherd on FS1," Dykstra admits to spending $500,000 on private investigators to spy on umpires, who he would blackmail for better calls during games. Some of the umpires under Dykstra's list were having affairs or were closeted gay men.
"Their blood's just as red as ours," Dykstra said. "...Some of them like women, some of them like men, some of them gamble ... some of them do whatever."
Dykstra told Cowherd he would get the goods on the umps and threaten to go public with whatever info he had unless he got favorable calls. Dykstra claims the umpires would often shrink the strike zone when he was at the plate at the end of his career in the early 1990s.
If the closeted umps didn't play ball with Dykstra, he'd threaten to turn the tables and say "you're out!" to them.
"It wasn't a coincidence that I led the league in walks the next few years, was it?"
News of Dykstra's past has Cyd Ziegler of OutSports calling for disciplinary action from MLB.
"I have no doubt Dykstra did what he is claiming. He told Cowherd that some of the explosive details will be laid out in an upcoming book," Ziegler wrote. "Frankly, Major League Baseball should take these comments and said book and give the same lifetime ban to Dykstra that they've given to Pete Rose."
Dykstra made his MLB debut in 1985 with the New York Mets and played his final game in 1996 with the Philadelphia Phillies.