The Phillies front office isn't thrilled about the return of Lenny Dykstra, the onetime wall-banger who hasn't played a game since May 1996. In fact, the team, which has to pick up his $6 million 1999 contract if he gets 500 plate appearances in '98, strongly encouraged Dykstra to retire. Funny thing, though. The Phils—maybe baseball's least-talented team-have only one way to avoid the cellar, and that's for Dykstra, 35, to overcome serious back injuries, bat leadoff, play center like a demon and restore enthusiasm to the morguelike Vet. For all that to happen, Nails will need—cha-ching—500 plate appearances.