Ex-Met Dykstra sues Darling for libel, defamation

Darling defends claims against Dykstra (1:40)

Former Mets pitcher Ron Darling joins Golic and Wingo to discuss his claims of racial taunting by former teammate Lenny Dykstra. (1:40)

Lenny Dykstra sued former New York Mets teammate Ron Darling on Tuesday for defamation and libel, following through on his threat to file a lawsuit for claims Darling made about Dykstra in his new book.

In his book "108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game," Darling wrote that Dykstra shouted racial taunts at Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd from the on-deck circle before Game 3 of the 1986 World Series.

The suit was filed in New York Supreme Court (a trial-level court) and lists St. Martin's Press LLC, Macmillan Publishing Group LLC and Darling as defendants.

"Plaintiff has no choice but to bring this action to defend his name and reputation. Upon information and belief, merely to sell books and indulge in public self-promotion, Darling has sought to capitalize on Plaintiff's complicated past, and intentionally, falsely and maliciously portrayed Plaintiff as a racist, an irremovable stain and permanent cloud which will forever diminish Mr. Dykstra, stalk him, and preclude him from unknowable professional and personal relationships and benefits," the lawsuit states.

Dykstra is seeking monetary damages, compensatory damages -- "including emotional distress damages for loss of opportunities, for the severe mental anguish, loss of reputation and humiliation, caused by Defendants' unlawful and malicious conduct" -- and punitive damages, plus court costs.

Earlier this month, Darling said he stood by what he wrote about Dykstra, telling ESPN Radio's Golic and Wingo that "I heard what I heard, and I put it in the book for a reason."

Other members of the 1986 Mets have defended Dykstra, including Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Kevin Mitchell.

Darling, a 58-year-old SNY broadcaster, declined comment before the Mets' game against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. Tracey Guest of St. Martin's Press also declined comment.

Dykstra, 56, was sentenced to three years in a California state prison in March 2012 by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.

He was sentenced to 6½ months in prison that December by U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson after Dykstra pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering. The sentences were to be served concurrently.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.