Book Review: Nailed!


What are the first words things that come to mind when you think of Lenny Dykstra. For me, it was words such as competitor, gritty, athletic, aggressive and even arrogant. After reading Nailed!: The Improbable Rise and Spectacular Fall of Lenny Dykstra, I quickly learned that a list of characteristics such as that doesn’t even come close to describing the man.

Most casual baseball fans have heard of Dykstra, the well-known former Philadelphia Phillie who made All Star games and headlines for a tough out on the field during his career. Little did the public realize, however, that after Dykstra was done playing, he would become a tough person to deal with for many other reasons off of the field.

When most players are done with their playing days, they spend their day fishing, or perhaps end up on television talking about the sport they used to play. This was not the case with Dykstra as he was committed to making money on Wall Street with his ability to read people and market things in a no one had ever seen before.

During the first decade of the 2000s, Dykstra lived the life. He was featured on HBO and CNBC as someone who was making extremely strong investments on Wall Street. He had a regular column featured on about how people could emulate his success at buying and picking stock. He was also profiled in both GQ and The New Yorker because of his story of coming from the playing field to being an amazingly successful broker. If that wasn’t enough, he regularly spent in the ballpark of $13,000 when he went out for dinner.

While he was riding high, he was a media darling and everyone who didn’t know him seemed to love him. Those close to him, however, saw a different side.

Here are some of the things Dykstra is accused to have been by those from his inner circle:

  • Instable
  • Physically Infirm
  • Mentally Disjointed
  • Cheap Skate
  • Holder of pointless all night meetings
  • Verbally Abusive
  • Teller of Tasteless Jokes
  • Racist
  • Misogynist
  • Womanizer
  • Gambler
  • Void of any Ethics
  • Thief

As you might imagine, someone who can be described with the words above isn’t going to last very long at the top of his game when there are so many ready to pull him down. Despite being known to be all of the above and after doing things like stealing from his children and having an insurmountable amount of lawsuits against him, Dykstra still has a long list of loyal fans and believers.

Some of the topics covered in the book are:

  • How he spent his childhood.
  • The story of how he dismantled parts of his lavish mansion when he was losing money in order to sell them to fund the lifestyle he had come accustomed to.
  • His anabolic steroid use and abuse.
  • The strange and erotic relationship with his assistant, Dorothy.
  • The accusations that Dykstra helped a friend bet tens of thousands of dollars on baseball games during the 1990s.
  • How instead of paying his employees, Dykstra used the money to remodel his kitchen.
  • His abuse of non-steroidal drugs such as cocaine, prescription drugs, and alcohol.
  • The scoop behind how he claimed to pull a hamstring while sparring on national television with television celebrity Brian Kilmeade.

The author of the book is Christopher Frankie. Frankie was one of the longest members of Dykstra’s inner circle during his years at the top. The author claims that he doesn’t necessarily have an axe to grind with the former player, but just wanted to tell an interesting story of someone who has at times been considered a “hero.”

The book will no doubt remind readers of the famed Bernie Madoff story as Dykstra was found to be doing many of the same things that Madoff was found guilty of. The former millionaire is now homeless and spends his days attempting to convince prostitutes to befriend him and snatching purses from unexciting grandparents.

The book became available in hardback on April 2 and retails for $25.

Rating: 4/5

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