Lenny Dykstra’s post-playing days have been nothing if not colorful. He ran a chain of car washes, then built himself into some sort of financial guru, becoming a columnist for TheStreet.com, starting a magazine that counseled athletes about how to invest their money, bought Wayne Gretzky’s mansion, had people make all kinds of steroids allegations against him, was accused of being a racist and a homophobe and the worst boss in the history of bosses, and finally — and not surprisingly — filed for bankruptcy.
That’s a lot to fit into a single decade, but Lenny Dykstra always did give 110%. But for all of his triumphs and troubles, and for as big of a jackass Dykstra is reported to be, this has me feeling sorry for the guy this morning:
The bankrupt ex-ballplayer is auctioning off memorabilia from across his storied 12-year career – including his diamond and gold 1986 World Series championship ring. The bidders are unlikely to include the nearly two dozen businesses and individuals who charge the hardnosed player known as Nails bilked them of millions of dollars. The most amazin’ item available is Dykstra’s 10-karat World Series ring, symbolic of the Mets’ stunning defeat of the Boston Red Sox. The sparkler – valued at $20,000 – bears the Mets logo, Dykstra’s name and familiar No. 4, and the words “New York Mets, 1986 World Champions, 116 Wins.”
Sympathy for any man facing such tribulations aside, given how Dykstra’s post-baseball business dealings have gone, I’d (a) demand a certificate of authenticity for that ring; and (b) demand that it be sanitized to remove all traces of skeeze.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.