Darling's book provokes response from Dykstra

April 2nd, 2019

Lenny Dykstra says he's planning to sue Ron Darling, his former Mets teammate on the 1986 World Series champion team and a current Mets broadcaster for SNY, over a passage in Darling's new book claiming that Dykstra yelled racist insults at Red Sox starter Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd during Game 3 of the World Series.

In "108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game," Darling writes that as Boyd warmed up prior to Game 3 at Fenway Park, Dykstra, the Mets' leadoff hitter, "was in the on-deck circle shouting every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in his direction -- foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff."

Darling adds 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."

Dykstra hit a leadoff home run off Boyd in that game, sparking the Mets to a win that got them back into the World Series, which they had trailed two games to none.

The excerpt from Darling's book, which was published over the weekend via a preview in the New York Post, provoked a response from Dykstra, who said what Darling described never happened.

"None of this is true and I can prove it," Dykstra said in an interview with NJ.com. "I’m planning to sue [Darling] for defamation. This is big stuff. You don’t accuse someone of this if it’s not true. And it isn’t."

Both Dykstra and Darling also went on New York sports talk radio shows and gave their sides of the story.

"We'll get to the bottom of it," Dykstra said on The Michael Kay Show, reiterating his plan to sue Darling. "As far as what he said, that's as low as you go, and they're flat-out lies."

Darling, meanwhile, went on Mike Francesa's show, Mike's On, to talk about the book and the passage involving Dykstra.

"Lenny had a way about him. He was a little crazy," Darling said in the interview. "The world has changed. What was said 33 years ago in a fraternity of young boys trying to play a sport ... is that as you look back on it when you're 57, 58 years old, you're kind of ashamed of the complicity of yourself to these kind of things."

Darling also responded to Dykstra's lawsuit comments directly on the Golic & Wingo Show on ESPN Radio on Tuesday, saying he stands by what he wrote in the book and that other 1986 Mets have told him they have his back.

"I heard what I heard and I put it in the book for a reason," Darling said on the show, adding that there's "no chance that I misremembered it."

Regarding Dykstra's threats to fight Darling if he saw him, Darling said, "Those are uncomfortable. No one wants to be threatened. I don't think at this point I would say anything to Lenny Dykstra, not a thing after these threats."