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Current Books & Discussions > Discussion of “Eight Men Out”

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message 1: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8113 comments Mod
We will be reading Eliot Asinof’s “Eight Men Out” in April 2019. Due to short notice, we will leave the discussion as current for six weeks rather than four. I hope that many join in the discussion.


message 2: by Michael Linn (new)

Michael Linn | 10839 comments I`m in, & right off the bat, I`ve read it twice & seen the movie a few times, but my biggest question was always why did catcher Ray Schalk take all the answers to his grave? He probably knew it all
Mike Linn


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Maybe the lockerroom code of not ratting out anyone.

The other thing I've always wondered is did the fact that he was one of the few clean guys affect his chances for the Hall of Fame and make him one of the worst Hall of Fame recipients in history.

Also, I enjoyed this book very much and it was important for it's time, but I think everyone should view this book in historical content now and not take much of it as gospel.

The scandal has been one of the most studied things in baseball history and much information has been unearthed that disproves a large amount of Asinof's account. Unfortunately, he did not list his sources, but wrote it as if it was the whole, unquestioned truth. Later research has shown that some of his sources may have invented facts to make themselves look better or to save their own reputations.

His account is only one of many and he did not have access to documents that were discovered in the ensuing decades.


message 4: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 17535 comments After you read the book, I urge you to read this link and the source material on the sub links. It debunks much of the book.
https://sabr.org/eight-myths-out?fbcl...


message 5: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 12566 comments Mod
I am glad that I never read the book until much of this information came out. I will certainly have a different perspective after this reading than I did walking out of the movie theater


message 6: by Brina (new)

Brina | 8113 comments Mod
I didn’t see the movie but know about the Black Sox from other sources. This will be my first time reading it and I plan on starting tonight if time if not I’ll have minimal time tomorrow.


message 7: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 17535 comments I don't know if anyone has heard about the scandal from the new Ron Darling book, but my friend who listens to the Fan radio station
just told me about it. Apparently Darling said in the book that in 1986 Dykstra was on the on deck circle and using the most vulgar racila epithets imaginable toward Boston pitcher Dennis Oil Can Boyd. The Fan called Dykstra on the show and Dykstra vehemently denied it. He said he had roomed with Strawberry and Gooden and was not prejudiced. The Fan team called Kevin Mitchell, Strawberry and Gooden who all said Dykstra was not a racist at all. It's a big story in NY.


message 8: by Mike (new)

Mike (mike9) | 6338 comments Lenny says he’s going to sue Darling. Ron is standing by what he wrote.


message 9: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 12566 comments Mod
Of course I have been following this - I also read that book recently and when Darling wrote that section, I admit, I didn't think twice about it. Given Dykstra's history AND he would use anything to gain an edge on the field, I never thought it was fabricated. Not defending or bashing Dykstra - just figuring he would use any trick in the book to rattle Oil Can, whether he was a "racist" or not.


message 10: by Harold (last edited Apr 03, 2019 07:40AM) (new)

Harold Kasselman | 17535 comments Mike wrote: "Lenny says he’s going to sue Darling. Ron is standing by what he wrote."
The problem with that Mike, which i thought about last night, is what damages can Dykstra possible recover. He has been convicted on multiple federal drug and mail fraud charges, everyone knows he used steroids, and everyone knows he uses profanity in front of anyone. So even if he wins, how much money would a jury award him. His reputation couldn't be suffer any worse than it already has.


message 11: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 17535 comments Lance wrote: "Of course I have been following this - I also read that book recently and when Darling wrote that section, I admit, I didn't think twice about it. Given Dykstra's history AND he would use anything ..."
Agreed. Even if the players don't remember it, Darling can always suggest that they had been numbed by his custom of doing it and this one doesn't stand out. On the other hand, knowing Boyd's unconventional personality, you would think he would have thrown at Dykstra or even charged him during the game. It will be interesting to see if any umpires recall it.


message 12: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 17535 comments I don't know who is a lower life, the fans or Dykstra.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIw-y...


message 14: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 17535 comments This makes for a good discussion about "what says here, stays here" versus the right of athletes to tell tales and the truth about players who are idolized by the youth and admired so much by adults. Personally, having been burnt by Warren Spahn, I'd like to read about the truth and debunk a lot of the false narratives that exist.
https://nypost.com/2019/04/02/ron-dar...


message 15: by Lance (new)

Lance (sportsbookguy) | 12566 comments Mod
Some of these stories - are they REALLY so bad? I didn't think much of any of those stories except the Elster one - and not because I didn't believe it, but I didn't believe Darling would use #metoo in today's environment. Hodges spitting tobacco juice on a rookie? Tell me that never happened to other rookies. Carter's kids punching all-star ballots? No, there was NEVER any ballot tampering for the all-star game before. I had heard about the Frank Howard-Jose Oquendo story before, just not with Darling's opinion that it scarred Oquendo for life. An OPINION - guess Darling isn't allowed to express that one?

If they want the Las Vegas treatment and stories stay in the clubhouse, that ship left a LONG time ago with Ball Four


message 16: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 17535 comments I just wrote this article about the darling/Dykstra legal case.
Ron Darling,former major league pitcher and current broadcaster, has just published a book about his time in baseball. Nothing new there, but it has gained some unfavorable notoriety. His book "108 stitches" could lead Darling to defend a defamation law suit brought by former Met and Phillies player Lenny Dykstra. Darling alleged that during game three of the 1986 World Series, Dykstra taunted Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can Boyd" with the most hateful and disturbing racial epithets that went beyond even what Jackie Robinson endured.
https://nypost.com/…/ron-darlings-tel...
As a result, Dykstra says he will sue Darling and his publisher for defamation. As the above article sets forth, many of Dykstra's teammates denied having heard the slurs or that the incident ever happened. Dykstra has to prove that Darling knew the incident was falsely told or that he did so in reckless diregard for the probability that it was false.But what got me thinking is, even if Darlings statements are false, what kind of damages could Dykstra possibly get if he won. It's no secret that Dykstra has been convicted of grand theft auto, and filing a false financial statement. Dykstra was named in the Mitchell report(named after former Senator George Mitchell) as being named as a steroid user while playing baseball. Wikipedia lists many other incidents of misbehavior including a car crash with an alcohol reading of 0.179 in 1991, a 1999 arrest for sexual harrassment on a seventeen year old(later dropped), In March 2009, press reports alleged that Dykstra's businesses were facing financial ruin and that he had used offensive terms when speaking about blacks, women and homosexuals.
In September 2009, he was banned from both of his foreclosed multimillion-dollar properties in Lake Sherwood, from which security officers were instructed to deny him access. He was accused of vandalizing the properties and not maintaining homeowners' insurance on them, and the court assigned a trustee to manage them.
In December 2010, Dykstra was accused of hiring a female escort and then writing her a bad $1,000 check: adult-entertainment star and escort Monica Foster claimed he had hired her on December 13, 2010 and then wrote her a worthless check. Monica Foster later posted a copy of the check on her blog.
In January 2011, Dykstra was accused of sexual assault by his housekeeper, who alleged that he would force her to give him oral sex on Saturdays. The woman told investigators "she needed the job and the money, so she went along with the suspect's requests rather than lose her job," according to the filing, and "returned to work in the suspect's home with knowledge obtained from the Internet about a claim of sexual assault by another woman."
On April 14, 2011, Dykstra was arrested and charged with bankruptcy fraud. The Los Angeles Police Department Commercial Crimes Division also arrested Dykstra on separate grand theft charges related to the purchase of vehicles. He was held on $500,000 bail
On August 25, 2011, Dykstra was charged with indecent exposure. The Los Angeles City Attorney accused him of placing ads on Craigslist requesting a personal assistant or housekeeping services. The victims alleged that when they arrived, they were informed that the job also required massage service. Dykstra would then disrobe and expose himself.[66]

On May 23, 2018, Dykstra was arrested after uttering terroristic threats and for possession of drugs. He allegedly held a gun to his Uber driver after the driver refused to change destinations.[67] On October 10, 2018 Dykstra was indicted by a New Jersey grand jury for cocaine and methamphetamine possession, and making terroristic threats
So with those things in mind, Dykstar to prevail and win damages must prove that he suffered an injury to his reputation or or which exposes him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to a loss of the good will and confidence felt toward him/her by others. Dykstra has to prove that Darling's conduct was a substantial factor in causing him material, economic or financial losses. Evidence of embarrassment, mental suffering or physical sickness will not, without more, entitle to these damages. So again, what economic damages has Dykstra lost as a result of this book to an already tarnished reputation? Of course there can be emotional damages but ONLY if it was a result of what it did to his reputation.
Lastly, there is always a chance for punitive damages. Those are imposed by a jury as a deterrence-to punish the publisher and Darling for their conduct and to deter others from that conduct. But the mere act of (making) (publishing) the defamatory statement is not sufficient to justify an award of punitive damages. The evidence must establish ill feeling, personal hostility or spite, or an actual desire to hurt Dykstra without belief or without any reasonable grounds to believe in the truth of the defamatory statements.
In conclusion, I doubt seriously that Dykstra will sue. It is my opinion that even if he does, he will not get a monetary reward.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Harold wrote: "After you read the book, I urge you to read this link and the source material on the sub links. It debunks much of the book.
https://sabr.org/eight-myths-out?fbcl......"


great resource Harold


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Lance wrote: "Some of these stories - are they REALLY so bad? I didn't think much of any of those stories except the Elster one - and not because I didn't believe it, but I didn't believe Darling would use #meto..."

And don't forget that Ed Kranepool once used Chico Esquella's soap and never gave it back and that Tom Seaver hogged his parking space.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Harold wrote: "I just wrote this article about the darling/Dykstra legal case.
Ron Darling,former major league pitcher and current broadcaster, has just published a book about his time in baseball. Nothing new th..."


Very nice summary Harold. That about says it all.


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