… and the (dead)beat goes on

lennydykstra1Yes, Lenny Dykstra is back out there in the press after HBO updated its fawning “Real Sports”  profile from a couple of years ago. Apparently they added racist and deadbeat into the vernacular along with stock investor.

However, neither Bernie Goldberg nor The New Yorker admitted to being duped by Lenny’s supposed largesse. But it is worth noting that Lenny also appears to be the subject of an equally fawning documentary from No Regrets Entertainment.

There’s an especially deep quotation at the top, too. Take a look:

So who looks worse these days, Jim Cramer after the Jon Stewart stuff or Lenny?

The Dude abides?

lennydykstraAs regular readers of this little dog-and-pony show know, the ex-Phillie Lenny Dykstra is a favorite topic. Part sitcom, mixed with street philosopher and combined with a burning school bus off to the side of the road, Dykstra never disappoints. Nearly everything he does is entertaining in that watching-a-burning-bus-on-the-side-of-the-road kind of way.

The Dude would be full of surprises if he wasn’t so full of surprises.

Even when he’s doing something ordinary, like the time he was talking to the ball scribes at the Vet during one of the Phillies’ many reunion weekends a handful of years ago, Lenny brings it. I remember him holding court and telling us how he dealt with the years of injuries that have wrecked havoc on his body, though when asked if he needed special treatment to take care of his ailing back, Lenny said, “No, I’m not a [bleep].”

We’ll allow you to use your imagination there.

Anyway, lately Dykstra pops up in the media from time to time for one silly story/controversy or another that is directly related to his avarice, tactlessness, boorishness and simple bad form. In the decay of Western Civilization, Dykstra is right there in the warhead. He’s bunking up in the same development as those swell citizens like Bernie Madoff or at AIG, though his stomping grounds are a little more low rent.

Like we said, he’s a laugh a minute.

Nevertheless, Dykstra first came into the post-baseball spotlight when he was heralded by former hedge-fund manager turned CNBC maven, Jim Cramer, as an investing savant. With Cramer pimping him, Dykstra’s star rose to big prominence thanks to fawning pieces on HBO’s Real Sports and even The New Yorker (yes, The New Yorker) that not only talked about his supposed investing acumen, but also his latest venture, The Players Club, which is a magazine for professional athletes only that allegedly teaches them how to properly invest their millions so they don’t squander it away when the crowds stop cheering.

You know, really altruistic stuff.

Only Real Sports and The New Yorker (and others, like the Philly Daily News) bought Dykstra’s version of things hook, line and sinker. There was no real examination of his finances and the reporters didn’t check the public record for things like liens on his home, businesses or whatever else.

For some reason Lenny Dykstra was beyond reproach to some seasoned reporters. You know, the same Lenny Dykstra that was named in The Mitchell Report, placed on probation by Major League Baseball for gambling in high-stakes card games, and crashed his car into a tree while driving home from Smokey Joe’s and John Kruk’s bachelor party with Darren Daulton riding shotgun.

You know, solid citizen stuff.

So while Lenny was allowed to brag, unchecked, about his $17 million house purchased from Wayne Gretzky, as well as anything else that can quell his Napoleonic complex, some people did hold Dykstra accountable. And now a whole bunch of them are suing.

In the most recent feature documenting the financial exploits of Lenny Dykstra, ESPN.com details those currently after the former Phillie centerfielder for unpaid debts — from firms to friends to family.

It’s a helluva read.

Yet at the same time it’s all a little sad to see how it’s winding down for Dykstra who was a tremendous ballplayer (when he was healthy) and, for a season, one of the finest Phillies ever. However, the tales more than mirrors Dykstra’s style as a player that was, needless to say, all about him and “look at me.” Oh sure, Dykstra wanted to win and all of that. But given a choice between running into a fence and injuring himself or remaining healthy and on the field, Dykstra always went for the short-term glory.

And based on the Mike Fish story on ESPN.com, it sounds like he could have used his own advice.

(Not so) tough as nails

Lenny DykstraIt’s kind of fun to see Lenny Dykstra turning up everywhere as the veritable media dynamo that he has become. By now, most folks have caught the new Lenny on HBO’s Real Sports talking about his career as a day trader with Bernie Goldberg.

There Lenny was again in the pages of The New Yorker (yes, The New Yorker), discussing his latest venture called The Players Club, which is a magazine aimed at professional athletes on how they can better invest their high incomes so that they don’t squander it all before their playing days end.

Dykstra says it will be “the world’s best magazine” and throws around such superlatives about nearly everything he has purchased as if he were out for revenge or if he had somehow been shortchanged somewhere along the line. His car, a German Maybach, is “the best car.” He bought a Gulfstream plane because, “it’s the best in the world and there isn’t even a close second.”

It doesn’t stop with the big things, either. He raves about a door in his $17 million house purchased from Wayne Gretzky, as well as about the house itself and the weather in Southern California. It’s all the best and more than mirrors Dykstra’s style as a player that was, needless to say, all about him and “look at me.” Oh sure, Dykstra wanted to win and all of that. But given a choice between running into a fence and injuring himself or remaining healthy and on the field, Dykstra always went for the short-term glory.

But that theory flies in the face of the mission behind his The Players Club. As he said in The New Yorker:

“I’m forty-four, with a lot of mileage, dude. A lot of mileage.” The chaw is gone, and he hasn’t had a drink in years. “When the market opens at six o’clock in the morning out here, I mean, dude, you got to be up,” he says. “You get to a point in your life where, yeah, I loved baseball, but baseball’s a small part. I’m going to build something that can change the fucking outcome of people’s lives.”

Yes, because helping multi-millionaires from separating themselves from their money is soooooo altruistic.

Anyway, in addition to Real Sports and The New Yorker, Dykstra’s name has also appeared in a story in which an accounting firm is suing him for $110,000 for money owed for accounting and tax work.

Then Dykstra’s name showed up a handful of times in The Mitchell Report, which didn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. Yet, the Mitchell Report and Dykstra’s physical health is the one issue that seemed to be glossed over during the HBO profile and the magazine story. With Goldberg, Dykstra’s speech was somewhat slurred, a point exemplified in Ben McGrath’s story:

His hands tremble, his back hurts, and his speech, like that of an insomniac or a stroke victim, lags slightly behind his mind. He winks without obvious intent. In his playing days, he had a term for people like this: fossils. Nothing about his physical presence any longer suggests nails, and sometimes, as if in joking recognition of this softening, he answers the phone by saying, “Thumbtacks.”

But that’s it. Dykstra’s health, just like the depth and true worth of his financial portfolio are taken at face value. In fact, the only nuance presented in either story came from Dykstra’s personality. There, Dykstra appears to be in 1993 form.

***
Floyd LandisMeanwhile, the final stop on Floyd Landis’ appeal hearing has planted itself in New York City where the case enters its third day. Landis and the USADA will present cases today and tomorrow before wrapping it all up on Monday. Then they will wait for the panel of three arbitrators with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to make a decision, which will come sometime during the calendar year… probably.

Nevertheless, there has been very little in the way of rumblings from the USADA or Landis camps, which is quite the opposite from last May’s hearing. Plus, Floyd likes to talk and hasn’t said anything to anyone.

But for a preview of the proceedings in NYC, here’s a story from ESPN’s Bonnie D. Ford.

***
I don’t like to brag[1], but I went 14-for-16 in the first day of NCAA tournament selections. I tripped up on the UNLV-Kent State and West Virginia-Arizona games.

Still, it’s not too bad for someone convinced that the tournament is nothing more than a lot of hot air until the second weekend begins.

***
Ted LeoFinally, in an interesting development, arena rock stalwarts Pearl Jam announced that they will take Ted Leo and his Pharmacists out with them for the first part of their U.S. tour, which opens in Camden, N.J. on June 19. Certainly such a decision means that Pearl Jam aims to bust their collective asses during the six dates in which Teddy Rock Star opens up the shows. After all, if Eddie Vedder and the gang give just the slightest of inches, Ted + Rx will own them.

Fortunately for the Pearl Jammers, work ethic has never been an issue. That means it will be an action-packed six shows for all involved.

Jun 19 — Camden, N.J. — Susquehanna Bank Center
Jun 22 — Washington, D.C. — Verizon Center

Jun 24 — New York, N.Y. – Madison Square Garden
Jun 25 — New York, N.Y. – Madison Square Garden

Jun 27 — Hartford, Conn. — Dodge Amphitheater
Jun 30 — Mansfield, Mass. — Tweeter Center

The always interesting Kings of Leon will take over the opening duties after Ted Leo leaves the tour.

More: Ted Leo covers Rush on WFMU


[1] Uh, yeah I do.