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October 27, 2015

Playing for the Phillies, Lenny Dykstra used to blackmail umpires

During the 1993 season that saw the underdog Phillies advance all the way to the World Series, Lenny Dykstra was nothing short of a monster at the plate. Nails hit .305/.420/.482 and finished second in National League MVP voting to Barry Bonds.

An admitted steroid user, it appears that Dykstra found another form of help. The former outfielder went on Colin Cowherd’s show and admitted that he used to hire private investigators to dig up dirt on umpires from their personal lives. Then, Dykstra would mention those proverbial skeletons at the plate to shrink the strike zone:

At this point, you could tell me anything about the 1993 Phillies and I would believe it. Unsurprisingly, The Big Lead has some statistical evidence to back up Dykstra’s claim:

In 1993, Dykstra signed a big contract extension with the Phillies. His walk totals jumped from 40 in 345 plate appearances in 1992 (11%) to 129 in 773 plate appearances (16%) in 1993. And then 68 walks in 315 plate appearances in 1994 (21%).

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