Here’s a great story written by Buster Olney via The 700 Level about Lenny Dykstra back in 1993, and it is the stuff that legends are made. Behold:
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.
We don’t know why we love hearing stories like this so much. I guess it’s because we’ve been there. We know almost everyone around baseball has heard the old addage that you play better on the days in which you’re hung over, and they probably question it to a point. Here’s the thing, it’s true. Oddly enough it is true.