Ron Darling has a story to tell about the 1986 World Series, and neither Boston Red Sox fans nor New York Mets fans will like it.
The former Mets pitcher recently published a new book titled, "108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game," that includes an ugly anecdote about teammate Lenny Dykstra's actions during Game 3 of the '86 World Series between the Red Sox and Mets in Boston.
After taking the first two games of the series, the Red Sox started Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd in Game 3, and Dykstra led off in the top of the first inning. According to Darling, as Boyd was finishing his warmups, Dykstra yelled "ugliest piece of vitriol I’ve ever heard" in the pitcher's direction.
"Lenny was in the on-deck circle shouting every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in his direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff," Darling writes in an excerpt published Saturday in the New York Post. "I don’t want to be too specific here ... but I will say that it was the worst collection of taunts and insults I’d ever heard — worse, I’m betting, than anything Jackie Robinson might have heard, his first couple times around the league."
But as Darling observed, Dykstra's horrible insults also worked on Boyd, who looked "rattled" and allowed a leadoff home run to Dykstra en route to a 7-1 Boston loss that allowed the Mets back into the series.
"Unprintable, unmentionable, unforgettable," Darling wrote of Dykstra's trash talk to Boyd. "And, like I said, he was landing his punches: First at-bat of the game, Lenny smoked a 1–1 pitch deep down the right-field line for a home run, igniting a four-run rally and setting us up to take back some of the momentum we’d lost in the opening games at Shea (Stadium)."
Red Sox fans don't need a reminder of how the series ended.
Dysktra was widely known as one of the game's true villains -- in Darling's words, "he treated people like s--t" -- so this appalling behavior unfortunately isn't surprising. (Dykstra has had numerous legal issues in his post-playing days and pleaded guilty two weeks ago to disorderly conduct.)
Darling expressed remorse that no one held Dykstra accountable for his behavior at the time but hopes such an ugly incident wouldn't be allowed in today's game.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.