PHILADELPHIA — Lenny Dykstra acknowledged he gambles legally in Atlantic City, N.J., but disputed a magazine account that he lost $50,000 at baccarat and had to be restrained from attacking another casino customer.
Dykstra, who in 1991 was placed on probation for one year by baseball after testifying about his participation in high-stakes poker games, called the Philadelphia Magazine report "far-fetched."
"It's making me out to be somebody that I'm not," Dykstra told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I never went after anybody. As for the numbers, they're way off. It's ridiculous."
Philadelphia Magazine, in an issue released Monday, reported he had to be restrained when, after Dykstra lost more than $40,000, a fellow customer asked softly, "What are you doing, Lenny?"
The story, detailing Dykstra's visit to a gaming table at Resorts casino, said the outfielder cursed loudly and went after the man, "dashing around the table, . . . fists clenched." According to the account, Dykstra was restrained by casino employees and escorted back to his seat, where he lost the rest of the $50,000.
Dykstra told the Daily News that "the only thing true about the story is that, when I go to Atlantic City, I do play baccarat."
Philadelphia Magazine editor Eliot Kaplan said Monday that reporter Bruce Buschel saw Dykstra lose $50,000 and "go ballistic after he did."
In spring training 1991, Dykstra went to Mississippi to testify about his involvement in poker games in which was reported to have lost $78,000. Fay Vincent, then baseball commissioner, placed him on probation for a year.