So I’ve now been asked a bunch of times about the Ron Darling-Lenny Dykstra squabble. About who to believe v. who is lying; about fact v. fiction; about truth v. exaggeration. About all that stuff.
Here’s what I can tell you …
Back in 2003, when “The Bad Guys Won,” my book about the 1986 Mets, was released, I was asked to fly to Los Angeles and appear on “The Best Damn Sports Show.” The producers told me I’d be on with two members of the team—Ron Darling and Lenny Dykstra. Now, I’d interviewed Ron at length for the book, and he was helpful, engaging, interesting. Unfortunately, I had no such success with Dykstra. After trying and trying and trying, I finally got him on the phone, only to have him say he’d talk … should I fly him out to New York and put him up in a fancy hotel. I told him, as a journalist, I could do no such thing, to which he replied, “Sorry, bro.”
Anyhow, now the book was out, and as I arrived at the studio I worried about what the two former Mets would say. I mean, who knew? Did they like it or hate it? I had no idea.
So I saw Ron first, who shook my hand and said, “You nailed it, Jeff. You really did.” Huge relief. We waited for Dykstra. And waited. Finally, I was told Lenny wouldn’t be coming, because he was so horribly angry over the content of “The Bad Guys Won.”
Had he actually read it? I asked.
“Well, no,” came the reply. “But he’s still upset.”
I believe Ron.
One hundred percent.