Pity Darren Dreifort. No, really, if you have any spare pity, please seal it up in an envelope and send it out to the Dreifort Estate in Pacific Palisades, care of Darren Dreifort's surgery-riddled body:
A hip procedure last Wednesday in Beverly Hills was his 22nd surgery -- his 20th since he left Wichita State after being the second player taken in the 1993 amateur draft behind only a slugging high school shortstop from Miami named Alex Rodriguez.
A dark cloud has followed Dreifort, 37, into retirement. He has endured eight surgeries since his last game Aug. 16, 2004, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury at a time when he already was scheduled for three other postseason operations.
I guess that 5-year, $55 million contract he got from the Dodgers in 2001 (for which he pitched just 200 innings) can buy Darren a heckuva health insurance plan. Does he get a lollipop from the doctor after each visit too? Score! But I guess it's not all scalpels and sutures for the former pitcher, as Dreifort is due to be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame for his outstanding career at Wichita State that included the 1993 NCAA Player of the Year award and three College World Series appearances.
If Dreifort can hobble his way to Lubbock, TX for the induction ceremony, he'll join fellow inductees Joe Carter and Rafael Palmeiro. Wait, Palmeiro? Really? I guess there's no steroid taint for that particular hall of fame.
(we owe a 2-liter bottle of Coca Cola Classic to the BBTF Newsblog)