How far would Lenny Dykstra go to gain an edge when he played baseball?
The controversial former All-Star has been known for his edgy personality and practices since first coming up with the Mets in the 1980s, but in an interview with Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd on Tuesday, Dykstra explains exactly how far he took things at the peak of his career.
Dykstra said he hired private investigators to dig up dirt on umpires around the majors in order to get favorable calls on the field.
"I said 'I need these umpires,' so what do I do? I just pulled a half-million bucks out and hired a private investigation team," Dykstra said. "Their blood is just as red as ours. Some of them like women, some of them like men, some of them gamble. Some of them do whatever."
Dykstra said he used the private investigators at a point in his career "when he got the money, or when I was trying to get the money."
"It wasn't a coincidence do you think that I led the league in walks the next two years, was it?" Dykstra said.
The former Mets and Phillies star said he didn't bribe umpires but used the information to his advantage in other ways.
"Fear does a lot to a man," Dykstra said before mimicking a situation in which he used an umpire's gambling habit against him to shrink the strike zone in the middle of an at-bat.
Dykstra was a three-time All-Star during his baseball career and was a member of the 1986 Mets World Championship team, but ran into plenty of off-field troubles during his career, including accusations of steroid use, gambling and drunk driving. After retiring, his off-field issues did not go away, eventually leading to jail time in 2012 following drug and financial woes.