After years of complete denial, another role model comes clean about his steroid use, Â This time it’s Lenny Dykstra.
Just one moreloud message to our kids that it’s okay to use illegal drugs and to deny that illegal behavior.
Lenny Dykstra ended one season with the Phillies as skinny as an orphan begging for spare change on a street corner. He came to Clearwater, Fla., the following spring looking like a miniature “Incredible Hulk,” attributing his new muscles to a weight-lifting regimen and “real good vitamins.”
From that moment on, the rumors of steroid use dogged the Dude. He always denied it, sometimes with a snarl, sometimes with a twinkle in his eye.
Now Randall Lane, the former Washington bureau chief ofÂ Forbes magazineÂ , has written a book called “The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the DecadeÂ Wall StreetÂ Went Insane” in which Dykstra allegedly confessed.
One of those misadventures, it seems, was becoming financially involved with Dykstra. And that involvement, he writes, led to an admission by Dykstra that, yes, he used steroids. Book excerpts appear on the Daily Beast Web site.
Wrote Lane, quoting Dysktra:Â “You gotta understand, there were only 28 people who had my job in the whole world.” He was referring to the fact that there were only 28 teams.
“So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of my family.Â Do you have any idea how much money was at stake?Â Do you?”
There are actually now 30 teams in the major leagues.
Lane said the admission came during a late-night conversation in February 2008 when he was in Dykstra’s New York hotel room to convince him to pay $250,000 he owed in connection with the publication of a glossy magazine he was publishing at the time.
As it happened, Roger Clemens has testified before Congress that day after being fingered in theÂ Mitchell ReportÂ as a user of performance-enhancing substances. Dykstra’s name had also been included by Mitchell’s investigators. As the reports aired on a continuous cable loop, Dykstra blurted out his confession.
“You know,” Lenny said, finally breaking the ice. “I was like a pioneer for that stuff.”
“Excuse me, Lenny?”
“The juice. I was like the very first to do that. Me and [Jose] Canseco.”
He straightened up, as he prepared, somewhat proudly, to reveal his role in this dangerous, unseemly history.
Lee ThomasÂ was general manager of the Phillies at the time. He has said that he confronted Dykstra at the time and that the player adamantly denied he was doing anything wrong.Â ThomasÂ noted that, under the terms of the Collective Bargain Agreement then in effect, he was powerless to do anything but tell the player not to do anything illegal.
Dykstra seems to have convinced himself he hadn’t really done anything wrong.
“At first it wasn’t even illegal. Then, after a few years, I had to go to a doctor, and get a prescription. You know how I got my stuff? Just walking into a pharmacy, bro. It was as simple as that.
Nobody who followed the Phillies at the time will be surprised by this revelation. Steroid cheats almost always deny what they’ve done, with Rafael Palmeiro setting the standard for outraged denial. The only mild shock is that it took this long for the Dude to get busted.