Mar 13, 2008, 1:18 PM EST
Buster Olney is one my favorite baseball writers, and I try to check out his stuff as often as possible. In addition to regular briefs on the hot news around the league, his ESPN Insider blog has a lot of insights and stories he’s picked up in his years of coverage. After the jump, you’ll find what I assume is one of many great Lenny Dykstra stories floating around American press rooms.
I have my own favorite Lenny Dykstra story — from 1993, I believe. I
was covering the Padres and I needed to talk to Dykstra for a story, so
I staked out his locker on a Sunday morning. At about 11:45 a.m., a
little more than an hour before the first pitch that day, Dykstra
trudged into the clubhouse and he looked like he had a very rough
night. I was standing right next to his locker as he sat down, and I
remained there silently as he got settled — but somehow he seemed
startled when I spoke.
"Whaaa?" he replied.
"I’m Buster Olney of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and …"
He looked up at me with puffy eyes the way someone stranded in
the middle of the desert squints at the sun, holding a hand above his
head to shield his eyes.
"Dude," he said, "it’s really early."
"It’s almost noon. The clubhouse closes in about half an hour."
"Dude, can we do this another time? It’s really early."
His tone was perfectly pleasant, and yet it was clear that
Dykstra was not going to entertain the questions I had planned nor
could he possibly be available to play in the game that day. I assumed,
as I returned to the press box to watch the game, that Dykstra would be
scratched from the lineup because he was clearly a mess.
Ah, no. He led off with a home run and bounced around the bases like a gymnast.
It was a different time then.
Olney alone is worth the price of Insider. Half the other stuff should be free though.
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