Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies star Lenny Dykstra said Tuesday that he used to take performance-enhancing drugs with his breakfast.
"I put [human growth hormone, or HGH] in my cereal man. It was in my cereal. We're talking about the good stuff. … We're talking about the difference of making $30 million or getting a real job and working and making $60,000. What, do you want the guy next to you taking them and you're not going to take them?"
Dykstra has provided various details about using steroids and other PEDs in recent years. According to Stephen Borelli of USA Today, the first such instance was in a book by Randall Lane—The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane—in 2010 after the speedy center fielder was named in MLB's Mitchell Report three years earlier.
"You know, I was like a pioneer for that stuff," Dykstra said. "The juice. I was like the very first to do that. Me and [Jose] Canseco."
He also further explained his reasoning for the decision and how he obtained steroids in a prior discussion with Cowherd last year, as relayed by Enrico Campitelli of CSN Philly:
I said, "Look, this year is going to determine if I get paid and be an everyday player or not. So I need something to keep me strong." I went and read about the runner Ben Johnson who was the first guy to use [steroids]. I went to the library and I found I needed Deca Durabolin. The doctor said, "okay." And he writes it. He said, "come back and I'll show you how to do it." Then I hire a trainer and I show up to spring training looking like Greek statue, 190 [pounds]. Now, I lead the league in hits, I hit .325, hitting .400 in June, the cover of Sports Illustrated. You think they work? Maybe.
Although the exact number of players using PEDs during Dykstra's career will never be known, the belief that other people were getting a leg up by using substances was always present. Former ace Pedro Martinez, who debuted in 1992, told Bob Nightengale of USA Today last year he figured 60 percent of players were enhancing their performance in some way when he pitched.
Dykstra ended up carrying a .375 on-base percentage across 12 years in the big leagues. He also tallied 802 runs scored and 285 stolen bases during that stretch en route to three All-Star Game selections, a Silver Slugger Award and a World Series title with the Mets in 1986.
The lingering question when somebody reveals PED use is how much that impacted their play. Dykstra's comments make it clear he believes it benefited him enough to maintain a starting spot, which must frustrate others from the same era who stayed clean while fighting for the same opportunities.