Former Philadelphis Phillies All-Star Lenny Dykstra gave a candid interview where he gave a detailed account of his PED use. Does this change his legacy on the field?
As originally reported by SportingNews, former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies star Lenny Dykstra went on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” and was very candid about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In the interview on Monday, Dykstra seemed unphased when he told Cowherd about his usage. “I put that in my cereal man,” Dykstra responded when asked about using Human Growth Hormone (HGH). “It was in my cereal. C’mon HGH? Nah, we’re talking about the good stuff, y’know?”
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Dykstra, a member of the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets, played 12 seasons in the majors with the Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was also named to three All-Star teams. He further elaborated on his drug usage to Colin Cowherd, specifically naming what he used.
“Deca durabolin and testosterone and anadrol,” Dykstra said, continuing with his reasoning as to why he used them. “We’re talking about the difference of making $30 million or getting a real job and working and making $60,000. What? Do you want the guy next to you taking them and you’re not going to take them?”
Since his retirement in 1996, the former slugger has been through myriad legal issues, was named in the Mitchell Report convened by Major League Baseball and released in 2007 detailing PED usage in baseball, and is not shy in talking about his past.
As we have heard in the past from former greats such as Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, PED usage in professional baseball was rampant from the late 1970s through the 1990s, when then-commissioner Bud Selig stepped in, appointing a panel led by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to investigate the depths of its usage, and enforcing a strict three-strike system of punishment.
We’ve already seen the effects of this, even seeing our first lifetime ban for three consecutive positive tests for PEDs. But more to Dykstra’s point, professional sports offer a chance to make large sums of money for top physical performance. The enticement to take shortcuts to success has always existed, but Major League Baseball has made it clear: there will be negative consequences for those shortcuts.
While Dykstra makes a compelling argument for why PED usage has been so rampant in baseball, it doesn’t make it right. Cheating is cheating and, while 500-foot home runs were a tremendously entertaining sight to behold, the fact that chemicals fueled those tarnishes that.
Baseball is finally returning to the days of the chess game that it has always been to some extent. While we may never again see 70-plus home run seasons or watch over-inflated men crushing baseballs into orbit, the integrity of the game is returning. And that, my friends, is deserving of all the effort it can take to ensure a level playing field that makes these massive home runs that much more impressive.