February 27, 2006
Wichita State legend Darren Dreifort has hung em up for good.
Good for the Dodgers, good for baseball. Not so good for columnists.
According to Wichita Eagle writer Bob Lutz, Dreifort “decided to retire after suffering a shoulder injury late in the 2004 season but just got around to making an announcement [Wednesday].” Lutz added that the former WSU Shocker was “unaware of any offers” from teams seeking his services. And so retirement it is.
Double D will be remembered for being the player drafted second to Alex Rodriguez in the 1993 draft, for his ever-present smile, and for the famous contract he signed with the Dodgers in 2001 .In Los Angeles, the contract is referred to simply as “five years and $55 million.” 5 and 55. One of a kind.
OK, not one of a kind. J.D. Drew has one too. 5 and 55. Dreifort and Drew are forever linked, which suits me just fine.
Anyway, at least Mark Davis is off the hook. Dreifort’s free agent contract stands alone as the lamest in baseball history. Just for fun, let’s reminisce.
When he signed his big deal with the Kansas City Royals in 1990, Mark Davis had just won the National League Cy Young Award. Dreifort, let’s just say, hadn’t.
Davis missed a few games due to injury prior to landing his big contract, and a few after. Dreifort pitched a few games prior to landing his big contract, and a few after.
Davis struggled to throw his rainbow curveball with earlier effectiveness, and failed to live up to his end of the K.C. deal. Dreifort struggled to throw a baseball just plain generally, and failed to live up to his end of the L.A. deal.
BTW, the San Diego Padres paid Davis $600,000 to save 44 games in 1989. The Royals paid him $9.3 million to save seven games the next three years.
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox paid Roger Clemens $10 million to win 57 games and a Cy Young Award, with ERAs of 1.93, 2.62 and 2.41 during the same three seasons, and the Pittsburgh Pirates paid Barry Bonds $7.2 million to win two MVPs the same three seasons.
By some miracle, Darren Dreifort managed to sign a 1995 Gold Leaf rookie baseball card that bears his name without incident. The card is part of my personal collection today, and is available for purchase as we speak. $55 million, or best offer…
Yes, we’re bummed about losing Dreifort, but luckily, BaseballSavvy.com still has punching bag number two, Arte Moreno, to kick around Los Angeles and surrounding counties. We’re going to re-double our efforts there, so please keep coming back for that…
For another take on The Dreifort Affair, check out Mike’s Rants…
Investors Wanted: Invest a thimble full of venture capital today, make major league minimum tomorrow. Like, you were really going to buy that Darren Dreifort card for $55 million, or best offer…
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The Chicago Cubs have their own version of Darren Dreifort in Kerry Wood. They haven’t signed him to a long-term free-agent contract, yet, but perhaps as an experiment, they went out and got Wade Miller. On purpose…
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