Thursday, October 29, 2015

Business Espionage: Buy Your Batting Average with Blackmail

Former big leaguer Lenny Dykstra admitted to spending "half a million bucks" on private investigators to dig up dirt on umpires during his playing career.

Dykstra says he then used the information not necessarily to bribe umpires, but to intimidate them into giving him favorable calls. "Fear does a lot to a man," he says. Here's the video:

 "Their blood is just as red as ours. Some of them like women, some of them like men, some of them gamble," said Dykstra. He then imagined a scenario in which he asked the umpire if he "covered the spread last night" after a called strike, then the strike zone shrunk to his advantage.

"It wasn't a coincidence that I led the league in walks the next few years," he added. Dykstra led the league with 129 walks in 1993 while with the Phillies. His previous career high was 89 walks, though he missed plenty of time with injuries. Dykstra's walk rate did spike from 1993-94: