The Lenny Dykstra Book

“House of Nails: A Memoir of Life on the Edge”

This book is so good you cannot put it down. You’ll stay up all night reading it, blowing off your networking breakfast as you learn the true rules of life, how the game is really played.

I don’t give a shit if you know nothing about baseball, as a matter of fact, the recitation of famous games and homers, however de minimis, is the worst part of the book. Sure, fans expect it, but it’s completely superfluous, unnecessary. The essence is Lenny’s personality and drive, he’s a true American and we live in America and if you want to succeed you’ll read it, and get it.

Growing up in Garden Grove, California, all Lenny wanted to do was play baseball. This was not an upper middle class denizen whose parents exposed him to multiple options to enrich him and provide opportunities, rather Lenny’s parents worked for the phone company and baseball was his ticket out, and goddamn if he wasn’t going to punch it.

I heard him on Howard Stern. He was mumbling but his stories were so utterly fascinating that when they said he had a book I had to check it out. Even Gary and Jon on the Wrap Up show, they couldn’t get over Lenny’s lingo, insider jargon, “Pearl Harbored,” so many terms you’ve never heard before that you get the gist of that Lenny does not explain.

This is kind of like Sammy Hagar’s autobiography, actually, they’re very similar. Both came from nothing and both struck it big, but the difference is Lenny doesn’t care if you like him or not, which is so refreshing in this Facebook/social media world where accumulating likes is a goal unto itself.

Can you speak your truth?

Few can, they’re ashamed, but after you’ve been to jail and lost everything you know that image is irrelevant, it’s who you truly are that counts.

And Lenny is a loyal guy who works the edges.

He hired a private investigator to get the dirt on umpires.

And for all the geeks talking about data, the Nate Silvers telling us how it really is, Lenny was deep into the numbers long before the internet and “Moneyball,” you play the odds and you play to win, because you want to get paid, otherwise you have to get a day job and report to a boss and that sucks.


You want to make it, you want to get ahead, what are the elements of success?

PERSONALITY! It’s a PEOPLE world. Stop venerating Mark Zuckerberg and the geeks, they got lucky, but the tech world has firmed up and if you want to make it you’ve got to have relationships, friends, and Lenny had plenty, from all walks of life. Whether it be a department store magnate in Amsterdam or Charlie Sheen.

Lenny makes Charlie come alive, pokes holes in the story being fed by the press. One individual has more power than any news outlet, any security force, assuming you have balls and are willing to sacrifice everything.

Which, of course, Lenny ultimately did. But he got to play the game, and you can’t take it with you, and what we’re enamored of most are the larger than life personalities who are fun to hang out with, who create trouble, the straws who stir the drink.

Like Lenny Dykstra.

Hate the man, but not the story. Which is told better than any music business memoir, any sports bio since Andre Agassi’s, and that’s one of the few good ones.

There are mistakes, some inconsistencies, but you believe this is who Dykstra is, the famous Nails, the hustler who did steroids and crashed his Mercedes yet came through in the clutch.

The first rule of entertainment is engagement. If we want to turn off your record, shut the cover of your book, you’ve already lost.

“House of Nails” is a winner. It’s not literature and for all I know it might not even be fact. But I like a guy who refuses to pull punches, who tells his truth, you’ll marvel at how Lenny excoriates Davey Johnson and so many players, lauding those he believes deserve it all the while.

There’s no buzz, but this book is a winner.


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