Dykstra makes yet another error

Lenny Dykstra fits the profileof a compulsive gambler.
Lenny Dykstra fits the profileof a compulsive gambler.
Posted: April 19, 2011

Editor's note: Inquirer staff writer Mike Jensen doesn't blog, doesn't tweet, doesn't Facebook. If he's got something to say, he'll think out loud on Page 2.

The stakes get higher for Dykstra

The sad Lenny Dykstra saga continues. Last week, the former Phillies star was indicted on a federal bankruptcy fraud charge and separately arrested at his home outside Los Angeles on a local charge of buying automobiles through fraudulent means.

Gambling-addiction activist Arnie Wexler checked in Monday, suggesting that a gambling addiction may, in fact, be at the heart of Dykstra's problem since Dykstra was known to find his way to a casino in his playing days and touted himself as a stock market guru more recently before the stock market tanked and Dykstra's "expertise" proved hollow.

Wexler's belief: "Athletes may be more vulnerable than the general population when you look at the soft signs of compulsive gambling: high levels of energy; unreasonable expectations of winning; very competitive personalities; distorted optimism; and bright with high IQs."

He added, "It is time for college and professional sports to run a real program to help players who might have a gambling problem or gambling addiction problem. Yet college and professional sports still do not want to deal with this. They do not want the media and public to think there is a problem."

For now, the issue Dykstra must deal with is a legal one. According to federal officials, bankruptcy fraud is punishable by up to five years in prison.

A separate problem . . .

. . . Not new for Dykstra is how he treats people. He apparently had no problem telling authorities that his housekeeper's son stole some of the items that Dykstra is being accused of selling after he declared bankruptcy.

I had lobby duty at Bryn Mawr Hospital in 1991 after that Dykstra/Darren Daulton car crash put them in the hospital. The day Dykstra checked out, a supervisor at the hospital felt the need to let people know what life with Len had really been like. The hospital staff "all joined with me in wishing for his speedy recovery," the Bryn Mawr employee told me that day. "We prayed daily."

This employee said the night Dykstra was brought in, he cursed at doctors, spit on a nurse and punched hospital equipment. "In the emergency room, it was abusive," the hospital employee said. His behavior improved a great deal later in his stay, the employee said, after his patient-care manager pointed out that he was under a lot of scrutiny.

As for Daulton's behavior, "We did not see similar behavior from Daulton, absolutely not," said the employee who talked of Dykstra's stay. "They were as different from night and day."

Never a household name

College baseball players don't get public acclaim around here and that won't change, but Temple senior outfielder Byron McKoy deserves a little shout-out. McKoy had three hits Sunday to reach 234 for his career, tying Bob Filler (1998-01) for first on the Owls' all-time list. He'll try to set the record Tuesday at Delaware. McKoy already had the freshman hit record previously held by John Marzano. Another semi-interesting factoid: McKoy doubled up on two sports with entirely different skill sets. He was an academic all-American swimmer in high school.

No favoritism

Comcast SportsNet noted that it didn't mind that it had to work harder to get an audience for the Sixers on Monday night on the Comcast Network since it was sharing the game locally with TNT while the Flyers game was on CSN. This brings us back to the question, what are these leagues and these networks doing splitting audiences? Doesn't the No. 4 market in the country get any consideration? (Apparently not when markets 1, 2, and 3 all have NBA and NHL teams playing right now.)

Where in the world is. . .

Paul Westhead? Now 72 years old, the St. Joseph's graduate, Shakespearean scholar, and former La Salle and Loyola Marymount and NBA coach, who won a WNBA title with Phoenix in 2007, just finished his second season coaching the University of Oregon's women's basketball team, still running his ultra up-tempo sets. This season, the Ducks didn't run past all opponents, finishing 11-17, but true to the Westhead style, they scored 110 points twice and at least 90 six times.


Contact staff writer Mike Jensen at 215-854-4489 or mjensen@phillynews.com

 

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