clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Insanity of Lenny Dykstra

Lenny Dykstra, as you may know, has been in the news lately because he's been fancying himself a financial guru, who is seeking to work with athletes to help them manage and protect their money.

ESPN has a story out that makes him sound more like Bernie Madoff, only crazier.

It is very long and worth reading, chock full of some absolutely amazing quotes and anecdotes.  Some highlights:

The scrappy old center fielder, remembered as "Nails" by adoring Mets and Phillies fans, is chasing money, lots of it -- "cheddar," as it's called in his SoCal lingo. Without being asked, the self-styled investment master -- who, at this moment, is up to his thick neck in lawsuits -- volunteers that he's worth $60 million.

I hate people who refer to money as "cheddar."

On an investment Web site co-founded by Cramer, subscribers drop $999.95 a year to get Dykstra's options picks.

"People invested with me made 250-large last year. That's $250,000," Dykstra says, which if true should earn him a front-row seat in the Obama cabinet.

I'm glad Dykstra explained what 250-large meant. 

The smack has just begun.

Just ask about The Players Club, the year-old magazine started by Dykstra and geared to wealthy athletes. He ships 20,000 copies of each monthly issue free-of-charge to clubhouses and locker rooms, to agents and league offices. Along with stories profiling marquee athletes, its pages are filled with promotional displays for luxury rides, palatial digs ("trophy homes") and financial advice from Dykstra himself. In his grand scheme, Dykstra says, his parent company -- The Players Club Operations, LLC -- is about creating a lifestyle, making available to athletes a TPC credit card, a concierge service, a charter jet service and access to an annuity program to insure a recurring cash flow in retirement.

"It's about living the dream, bro," he says.

And after thumbing through a series of lawsuits that stretches from coast to coast and chatting up his business associates, you wonder if this aspiring financial Pied Piper is, indeed, living in a fantasyland. You wonder if the dream, built on glitz and greed in a time of economic uncertainty, is a teetering house of cards. You wonder if anyone this side of Bernie Madoff has ticked off more people -- business partners and family, alike -- than Lenny K. Dykstra.

The lawsuits suggest that one of two things is going on here: Either Lenny hates to pay his bills, or he's a financial train wreck.

This is the story in a nutshell.  But the gory details are fascinating...

One of the angry souls is Dr. Festus Dada, a Nigerian-born gastric bypass specialist, who filed a fraud/breach of contract suit and alleges Dykstra kept a $500,000 deposit after a deal fell apart to purchase a Southern California car wash and retail center then owned by Dykstra. Dada walked away from the transaction, claiming in the suit that Dykstra had made significant changes to the final escrow agreement, including the insertion of a five-year contract for Dykstra's old Phillies teammate, Pete Incaviglia, to serve as general manager under the new ownership.

* * *

"He thought he could keep my $500,000 and nobody would have the resources to go after him," Dada says. "But in this case, I am going after him. General surgeons are not intimidated by professional athletes.

"Like I told him, if I can cut somebody from the neck all the way down to the pubis with a scalpel, then I cannot be intimidated."

I love that last line.  I wish I were a surgeon so I could use that line.

The high-powered global law firm K&L Gates, which waged many of the legal skirmishes on Dykstra's behalf, withdrew its representation late last year because it was "not paid current," according to his former lead counsel, David Schack. To which Dykstra says, "Four million I paid him. What do you mean, isn't that a lot to you?"

Objection, non-responsive.

The family rift runs so deep that until recently, Dykstra had spoken to his mother only once in the past three years, according to his brothers, and wasn't allowing her any contact with his sons, her grand children.

Last month, though, on March 23, Dykstra picked up the phone and woke up his mother with a call at around 6 in the morning, according to Kevin Dykstra, his younger brother. Lenny was stranded in Cleveland. He wanted to charter a jet so he could get to a business meeting on the West Coast, and his credit cards were maxed out. He needed nearly $23,000 and asked his mother for it, Kevin says.

His mother agreed to let him use her credit card.

Kevin Dykstra says she has yet to be repaid.

* * *

About the use of his mother's credit card, Dykstra says, "Listen to me, the millions of dollars I've spent on them -- I mean, I don't know what you're talking about. That is why I can't talk to you no more."

And it gets better.

"No, dude, the f---ers want more money," Dykstra says about the lawsuits and the debts. "Dykstra has all the money."

Dykstra has all the money.  Third person referencing insanity as well.

When race car driver Danica Patrick appears on a TV commercial, he pipes up, "I made her, man. Put her on the cover [of The Players Club] and made her."

Don't like Danica Patrick?  Blame Dykstra.

Seriously...all this is just in the first third of the article.  It is amazing.  Read the whole thing.