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> Tommy John interviews Darren Dreifort

Tommy John walks into the Dodgers' locker room bathroom. He has a sports page underneath his arm as he enters one of the stalls and closes the door. Just as he drops trow, he hears somebody in the stall next to him clear his throat. He's not alone.

Tommy John: Oh man, that is rotten. No healthy man can make a smell that awful. Is that you Dreifort?

Silence.

TJ: I know it's you, Dreif. I saw your car parked outside and you're in the handicap stall.

Darren Dreifort: It's not my fault. I only had toast. This mess is ridiculous. And I think I pulled an abdominal muscle dropping that last one.

TJ: Jesus Christ, it's like you're made of porcelain. I'm surprised you haven't gone on the DL for a strained eye-lid.

DD: Well, I haven't since I've turned pro.

TJ: So you were drafted 2nd overall in the 1993 draft. Who was that guy picked ahead of you?

DD: Alex Rodriguez.

TJ: That guy's great. He'll probably make the Hall of Fame. Do you think your career might have turned out differently if you had been drafted ahead of A-rod?

DD: I'm not sure my luck would have been any different in Seattle than here with the Dodgers.

TJ: That's where you're wrong. I contacted some friends at Baseball Prospectus and they ran some numbers. It turns out you would have won 5 Cy Young Awards with the Mariners and I'd be talking to handicapped A-rod right now. They chalk that up to the little known O'Malley draft-pick curse.

DD: Well, at least I still have my money.

TJ: Most people say at least they still have their health…oh, right. Never mind. So Darren, tell me how you finagled that ridiculous contract from the Dodgers? My guess is that you either have incriminating sex photos of Kevin Malone or he's your personal Santa Claus.

DD: Well, it was after I had a really strong season in 2000 and the future looked bright for both me and the organization.

TJ: Yes, you had impressive stats in 2000. Three homers and 8 RBI. In fact, you had two home runs in one game against the Cubs...and to the deepest part of the ballpark to boot. I would have won more games if I could have hit like that.

DD: I also pitched well to earn that contract.

TJ: No you didn't. You were mediocre at best. And since you signed the five-year $55 million dollar contract, how many wins do you have?

DD: Nine.

TJ: Let me do the math. Nine wins at fifty-five million dollars means the Dodgers paid you about $6.1 million per win. Not exactly a "moneyball"type of pitcher, are you?

DD: When I'm healthy, I can be as good as any pitcher in the league.

TJ: And when exactly was the last time you were healthy? I'll tell you. It was when you were playing for Wichita State and you batted .318 with 25 home runs and 89 RBI in 314 at-bats. Wow! Those are A-rod type numbers.

DD: Okay, you've made your point.

TJ: How about a courtesy flush over there. You don't exactly smell like roses.

A toilet flushes.

TJ: You know, I was talking with Dr. Frank Jobe the other day. Since you've twice had the surgical procedure that I've made famous, he's thinking of renaming it in your honor...only now it includes knee surgery.

John starts laughing aloud to himself.

DD: Funny.

TJ: Oh man, I'm a funny guy. But seriously, when I had my surgery, I asked Dr. Jobe to give me Koufax's fastball. Unfortunately he gave me Mrs. Koufax's fastball.

DD: Yeah, I've heard that one before.

TJ: But it looks like he gave you Mrs. Koufax's hip.

DD: Is my urine supposed to be blue?

TJ: Not unless it's Dodger Blue. Who knows what kind of crap the doctor's have put in your body to keep you from deteriorating. Speaking of which, you seemed to have lost a lot of weight over the years. What's the deal there?

DD: I'm eating twice as much as I used to. The doctors think it might be a tapeworm.

TJ: Holy crap, man. You are falling apart.

Both toilets flush. John emerges from his stall with his newspaper still under his arm. Dreifort struggles to get out of his stall.

TJ: You okay in there?

DD:Yeah, just struggling with the wheelchair.

Dreifort wheels his way out of the stall. His leg is in a cast and his arm is in a sling. He manages to push his way to the sink to wash the one hand he can put under the sink.

TJ: How on earth do you wipe?

DD: I don't. I have somebody to do that for me.

Andres Galarraga emerges from the stall with a shameful look on his face.

Galarraga: I should have saved my money.

TJ: Forget about your money—you should have landed that punch back in '98.


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