Former New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra’s defamation and libel lawsuit against ex-teammate Ron Darling has been dismissed in court.
New York Supreme Court Judge Robert D. Kalish ruled on Friday that Dykstra’s “reputation for unsportsmanlike conduct and bigotry is already so tarnished that it cannot be further injured,” according to ESPN.
Dykstra sued Darling over claims the former pitcher and current Mets broadcaster made in his book “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game.”
Darling claims Dykstra yelled racist insults at Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd during the third game of the ’86 World Series, according to an excerpt published in the New York Post. The Mets won the thrilling series in seven games, but they secured their first victory in Game 3, winning, 7-1, at Fenway Park.
Darling, who was 25 at the time, said Dykstra, then 23 years old, yelled “every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in [Boyd’s] direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff” and probably worse than “anything Jackie Robinson might have heard.”
The insults hurled toward Boyd were “right up there with one of the worst, most shameful moments I ever experienced in the game,” Darling wrote. He lamented not doing anything about it — and said, if anything, the team may have benefited from Dykstra’s behavior.
Dykstra was seeking monetary damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages and court costs in the case. Darling filed motions to dismiss the claims under the libel-proof plaintiff doctrine, according to ESPN. The motion cited Dykstra’s own criminal history and claims the former outfielder made in his own autobiography, “House of Nails: A Memoir of Life on the Edge.”
Kalish wrote in his ruling: “Based on the papers submitted on this motion, prior to the publication of the book, Dykstra was infamous for being, among other things, racist, misogynist, and anti-gay, as well as a sexual predator, a drug-abuser, a thief, and an embezzler. Further, Dykstra had a reputation – largely due to his autobiography – of being willing to do anything to benefit himself and his team, including using steroids and blackmailing umpires.”
Dykstra on Monday filmed a profanity-laced video of his reaction to losing the libel suit.
“It’s not as bad as the judge’s decision to dismiss my case,” he said after telling his followers his Uber was rear-ended, according to the New York Post.
“I’m still coherent enough to know that. I ain’t done with Mr. P [Darling] by a long shot, OK? Ron Darling and the New York Mets were all-in on what can only be defined as the biggest fraud in the history of the game. And the fans, the fans that played like fools, they made them look like idiots, and now they’re going to pay. When you f–k with Nails, you get the f–king hammer, you hear me?”
Dykstra then claimed Darling and the Wilpon family, who own the Mets, were going to have to answer for “a lot more.”