September 08, 2010
Mr. Dreifort, if you're nasty
Darren Dreifort, 1999 Topps
Everybody in the entire universe knows that Darren Dreifort’s stuff is nasty. I mean, that’s common knowledge, right? Right. But the question remains: How nasty?
Featuring stuff nastier than a month-old oil spill, Darren “arrived” as a front-line starter in 1998.
Nastier than oil that’s been sitting around for a month, to answer your question. Indeed, this is the most apropos metaphor, as nothing is nastier than stale oil. It smells like fish and expired goat cheese and it gets moldy and it produces bubbles that, when they pop, release toxic fumes that smell worse than one of Darren Dreifort’s curveballs.
Neither Darren Dreifort nor this card could foresee that in the year 2010, it would become less politically correct to incorporate oil spill terminology into lighthearted discussions regarding the drastic movement on the pitches of certain baseball players. History has proven that a month-old oil spill is less “nasty” than it is “a horrible thing to have happened.” Sure, the disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in 1989. But that was a full decade before the release of this card, which far surpassed the time restraints by which it is okay to use an oil spill as a baseball metaphor again. (The acceptable time is three years.)
I also must inquire as to why “arrived” is in quotes. I understand that “front-line starter” is not technically “a place” that you can physically “arrive” at, but c’mon. We are exhausting the boundaries here by which it is acceptable to use quotes. We might as well quote everything, Chris Farley-style.
Anyway, whenever it’s 1999, and I’m trying to gain additional valuable information on Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Darren Dreifort, I turn to the only viable source I know -- a former Pittsburgh Pirates player who retired in 1995:
Former star Andy Van Slyke has said of his ability. “He has so much movement and so much speed, you just throw out your bat and hope he hits it.”
Thanks Andy Van Slyke! You should be a hitting coach.
It is, I must admit, confusing to discuss Darren Dreifort’s pitching abilities while staring at a picture of him wielding a giant stick. But the card goes on to confirm:
Actually, Dreifort got a win with his bat before he did with his arm, pinch-hitting a game-winning single in his first ML at-bat in 1994.
I would argue that you have to use your arms to bat, but that is neither here nor there. It should also be mentioned that Darren Dreifort’s batting stance is filthier than a forest fire.