Garfoose in War, Garfoose in Peace, Garfoose in the American League

bullpen.jpgToday on MiLB.com you will find a story I wrote on Dirk Hayhurst’s new memoir “The Bullpen Gospels.” The story can be found right HERE, in fact.

“The Bullpen Gospels” deals with Hayhurst’s 2007 campaign (split between Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio) and the (mis)adventures he had along the way. While Hayhurst is occasionally a bit heavy-handed in his desire to get across his “athletes are just people” message, the book is a humorous and fast-paced read that has earned the coveted “Ben’s Biz Blog Seal of Approval.”

And Hayhurst is an interesting guy, clearly not one to ever revert to meaningless Athlete-speak. He prides himself on honesty and indulges his eccentricities, and if you follow him on Twitter then you already know this.

Well, Dirk Hayhurst isn’t on Twitter. His alter-ego,”The Garfoose.” is. The Garfoose is a fire-breathing half-giraffe half-moose.

I asked Dirk for the story behind the Garfoose, and he launched into a long and enthusiastic explanation. What follows is my best attempt to make sense of my frantically-typed notes:

“Baseball can hamper your creativity. If you’re not a big name guy, then you’re not allowed toThumbnail image for hayhurst.jpg express yourself…And if your stats are terrible it’s like you’re not allowed to have a good time. It’s easy to get pigeon-holed in the world of sports if you’re not a superstar. But I have a rebellious nature and the book is an extension of that, and the Garfoose is also an extension of that. The Garfoose makes me special for me…I don’t want people to think I’m useless unless I have fantastic numbers. I want my job to be second to who I am, but I can use my job as a way of getting these creative things out there. And it’s my fans on Twitter and of my writing who I truly care about, because they are fans of Dirk Hayhurst. Not the numbers.”

So who, or what, is the Garfoose, Dirk?     

garfoose.jpg“The Garfoose is the protector of the sacred baseball grove, where the most pure organic baseball are grown. Baseball has its share of magical moments, and it’s always the Garfoose baseballs that are used in magical games…But the Garfoose is the perfect predator, he’s indestructible, he has laser vision. He’s a 100% bad-***. He could take on Mr. T and Chuck Norris at the same time and destroy them both. You can’t stop him, you can only hope to distract him to get in the grove.

But as vicious as he is, he’s also a lover. He’s very gentle if you know how to talk to him. And I have the Garfoose-tongue. I can communicate…He’s living in the basement, and sometimes comes out to consume door-to-door salesmen and annoying neighborhood children…Look at my numbers. You’ll see I came around last year, just look at the ERA. There was something different going on, and that something was that I had a direct inside source — to the Garfoose!”

If this sort of fantastical hybrid-creature chitter-chatter is up your alley, then start followingbatman.jpg “The Garfoose” on Twitter immediately. At the very least, you won’t be inundated with meaningless “you play to win the game” Jeter-speak.

“A lot of people say I don’t talk about baseball enough, like that’s all I am, so that’s all I have to talk about,” said Hayhurst. “I’m a baseball player, it’s not like I’m Batman. Now there’s a respectable goal: Be Batman. You’d have the gear, the car, the girls, the money. Now that would be awesome. A baseball player? Eh, whatever. But Batman? Okay, now we’re talking!”

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

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