Ever wanted to say whatever you thought about Lenny Dykstra? You legally can without having to worry about libel allegations.
Let’s step into the WayBack Machine and travel to April 2019. Back then, former outfielder Lenny Dykstra sued former New York Mets teammate Ron Darling over the contents of Darling’s autobiography, specifically where the current announcer called him racist. According to Darling, Dykstra hurled racial slurs at Red Sox pitcher Oil Can Boyd before he took the mound during the 1986 World Series, prompting the outfielder to sue for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Everything then went silent from that point. That is, until Monday, when Dykstra’s lawsuit was dismissed. The reason? According to the judge, it is virtually impossible to libel the former outfielder given how awful his reputation is. Seriously.
To illustrate the point, the judge, the Honorable Robert D. Kalish, gave plenty of examples in his 19 page ruling. His criminal history, documents supporting the racist allegations, and even Dykstra’s own autobiography, were used against him, furthering the point that he cannot sue for libel as his reputation is so badly tarnished that it would be impossible to redeem.
Just think about this one for a moment. How awful of a person does one have to be where, legally, they are considered a thoroughly despicable human being? But then again, Dykstra keeps proving that point at every turn, including his tweet regarding Dale Murphy and his son, who was shot in the face with a rubber bullet during protests.
It did not have to be this way. Dykstra was a beloved figure during his time with the Phillies, nicknames “Nails” because of his toughness. He was a solid player, a three time All Star who finished second in the 1993 NL MVP race. He was one of the players that embodied that 1993 Phillies team, and had a brilliant six games in the World Series in a losing effort.
Instead, Dykstra just could not stop himself. His behavior and life after baseball continued to worsen, to the point where virtually anything said about him would be believable. It is now open season on Dykstra, so if anyone has any dirt on him, all the secrets will be coming out. And he cannot do a thing about it.
Lenny Dykstra – the man so disreputable that he, legally, cannot be libeled against. Chances are, he never thought that would be his legacy.