Dykstra Has an Inquiring Mind, and He Also Wants to Know

The Phillies’ Lenny Dykstra has been blistered in the media for his drinking, fast driving, gambling and other off-the-field antics. In talking with Peter Pascarelli of the Sporting News, Dykstra explained himself:

“I never realized how important it was to everyone what I did off the field. Man, I ain’t no saint. I’m not a bad person, either. There’s been a lot of people writing about all this negative stuff. You know like, Dykstra is a gambler or Dykstra drives too fast. But no one knows that I gave 40 grand to a children’s charity last year. People don’t care about how well I take care of my family or about all the hospitals I visited last year.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. April 1, 1993 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday April 1, 1993 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 2 Column 1 Sports Desk 2 inches; 49 words Type of Material: Correction
Morning Briefing--A statement regarding John McEnroe’s contributions to American Davis Cup play and his suitability to become U.S. Davis Cup captain, in Tuesday’s editions, was incorrectly attributed to Australian Davis Cup Captain Neale Fraser by the Associated Press. It was actually made by Howard Frazer, president of the U.S. Tennis Assn.

“I’m not mad at the media. I’m the last person to say the press is bad. Their job is to sell papers. It’s sad maybe that this is the stuff that sells, but that’s life. I mean people can always find out what someone is hitting. But they don’t always find out what someone does off the field, and that stuff is interesting. Hell, I like reading that crap more than the stats myself.”

Collectors’ item: Score, the baseball card company, has said it erroneously stated on 1993 Pinnacle card No. 76 that Frank Viola of the Boston Red Sox had a “surgically repaired elbow.” The Cy Young Award-winning pitcher has never had surgery on his pitching elbow.


Is that right?Boston Celtic guard Sherman Douglas, on the team’s soft stretch of schedule: “I don’t want to shoot my mouth in the foot, but those are games we can win.”

Trivia time: Who won the first Masters golf tournament in 1934?

March madness: When Indiana lost to Kansas in the NCAA Midwest Regional final, a crowd of 17,883 was on hand. That same night, in the Indiana State High School Championships at the Hoosier Dome, 23,021 saw Jeffersonville defeat Indianapolis Ben Davis, 66-61. And the afternoon semifinals drew 28,351.

Fashion critic: Former coach Mike Ditka on fellow TV announcer and former coach John Madden: “He’s one man who didn’t let success go to his clothes.”

Down under: Even the Australians are impressed with John McEnroe.

“John McEnroe has been the greatest contributor to American Davis Cup play in recent years,” Neale Fraser said after his Australian team bounced the defending champion United States out of the 1993 Davis Cup competition. “I have the greatest respect and admiration for McEnroe. He would be a superb Davis Cup captain.”

Good everywhere: Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune, on the good points of playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves: “Wherever you go, the weather is better; you can have daily pools on when Chuck Person and Christian Laettner will get into a fistfight; nobody cares who the tall guys in the airport are and you can taunt opponents by saying your shopping mall is bigger than theirs.”

Growing up: Ken Griffey Jr. wore the wrong pair of socks to a game and had to swap with his father.

“After all these years, I’m still dressing you,” said Ken Sr.

Oh what a feeling: Charlie Hough, the Florida Marlins’ 45-year-old knuckleball pitcher, hit a double against Atlanta’s John Smoltz in an exhibition game and after tumbling into second base, he commented: “When you’re going that fast, it’s hard to stop. I know how Deion (Sanders) feels now.”

Trivia answer: Horton Smith, by one stroke over Craig Wood.

Wrong sport: Chip Hole is a high school athlete in Daytona Beach, Fla., but not a golfer. He wrestles and plays football.

Quotebook: Ayrton Senna, after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix in front of hometown fans: “My victory was not a matter of luck or strategy. When God wants something to happen, nothing can change it.”