The man at the center of the Ron Darling-Lenny Dykstra feud says he never heard the vulgar, racist rant allegedly directed at him in the 1986 World Series.
In his new book "108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game," Darling, the former Mets All-Star pitcher, wrote that while Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd was warming up before Game 3 of the World Series, leadoff hitter Lenny Dykstra shouted from the on-deck circle "every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in his direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff."
"I don’t want to be too specific here, because I don’t want to commemorate this dark, low moment in Mets history in that way, 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," Darling wrote.
Dykstra homered in his first at-bat, which Darling suggested might have been the result of him rattling Boyd.
Dykstra has vehemently denied the allegations and is threatening to sue Darling.
In an interview with WFAN's "Carlin, Maggie and Bart" on Tuesday, Boyd said he was never aware of the alleged insults.
"Honestly, I don't know anything about it," he said. "I was even speaking with my spouse ... in the last 24 hours or so about it just briefly and everything," Boyd said. "And I said to her, 'Baby, I don't even know. I'm warming up for a ballgame, and I'm preparing to go out and try to get the New York Mets out one at a time, and that's all that's on my mind, and to see any kind of gestures toward me coming from the opposing dugout, I didn't see anything like that, nor was I looking for anything like that.'"
Although Boyd never heard what Darling describes in his book, he said he believes the former Mets pitcher's account.
"I'm kind of disturbed about it, and I'm also kind of hurt about it because I have been around Lenny, and I played ball with Lenny in Japan," Boyd said. "And he didn't seem to come off as that type of a person. And he had even made home at one time in Mississippi, and that's where I grew up at. The person that I saw, I liked. The person that I talked to, I liked. So I'm quite disturbed about it, but I guess what you see on the surface is not really what a person might seem to be."
Darling is adamantly standing by what he wrote. Some former '86 Mets -- Dwight Gooden, Kevin Mitchell and Darryl Strawberry -- have told various media outlets they never heard Dykstra yell racial slurs at Boyd.
"Why would @RonDarlingJr aka Mr. Perfect, who is creating fiction to sell his latest 'dime-store-novel' want me as an enemy?" Dykstra wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Talking to WFAN's Mike Francesa on Monday, Darling said, 33 years later, he regrets not standing up to Dykstra at the time.
"What was said 33 years ago in a fraternity of young men trying to play a sport, as you look back on it when you’re 57 or 58 years old, you’re kind of ashamed of the complicitness of yourself to these kind of things because I will be brutally honest that as soon as Lenny hit that home run, which was the biggest hit we need in the World Series, I was the first one to congratulate him," Darling said.
"In those days, people tried to rile each other in a lot of different ways. You hope it didn't happen that way."