I thought the saddest sports story Wednesday in Los Angeles was the news that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the team after a prolonged battle in various courts and with Major League Baseball. Don’t get me wrong − this is great news for the team’s fans, but is sad in the sense that a once-proud franchise has fallen so far. But even this paled in comparison to what I read later that morning.
Former MLB stars Jose Canseco and Lenny Dykstra will be fighting each other in a “celebrity” boxing match this Saturday night at the Avalon Hollywood. Dykstra replaces Canseco’s original opponent, White House party crasher Tareq Salahi. Dykstra, shown here in his prison garb, reportedly “begged” Salahi to take his place so he could fight Canseco – whom Dykstra claimed ruined his career by “spreading lies.”
What a compelling match-up – an admitted steroid user against someone who still denies using performance enhancing drugs to this day. A wife-beater versus an (alleged) auto thief/embezzler/financial fraudster. An “author” facing a “stock picker.”
And if this isn’t bad enough, the “Celebrity Fight Night” will be hosted by Kevin Federline and also features “fighters” Michael Lohan, Kato Kaelin, Coolio, Joey Buttafuoco, Amy Fisher and “Octomom.” All yours for the low, low price of $19.90, live on pay-per-view!
The good news for sports fans?
We’ll be too busy watching the showdown on Saturday night between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama to even notice.
And to think, Canseco and Dykstra were once perennial All-Stars making millions of dollars. Yet once upon a time, Mickey Mantle was ridiculed for charging top-dollar fees to sign autographs at baseball card shows.
If anything, Canseco and Dykstra are great examples to show your kids what not to do. Don’t do drugs. Don’t commit crimes. Don’t do people wrong. If you do, you’ll end up fighting in “events” such as this.
And Dykstra should try to follow in the footsteps of his 1986 Mets teammate Darryl Strawberry, who has turned his life around.
Here’s hoping you someday come to your senses, Jose and Lenny. But I’m not holding my breath.
Oh well. At least Frank McCourt knows when to throw in the towel.
Used with permission of the author.
Chris Lardieri runs the “West Coast View” column for Sports Climax. A veteran to the keyboard, Chris also covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for Examiner.com and has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. Follow Chris on Twitter for more sports observations.
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