Warning: Garfoose Is Loose in Tampa Bay!



Photo by Pat Manfredo

Got to tell you, I am really excited about the possibilities of possibly having a right-handed half moose, half giraffe who will be given a fighting chance for a roster spot this Spring on our Tampa Bay Rays Bullpen staff. And no, I am not talking about the Tall Texan Jeff Niemann who resembles a World-wide toy store Giraffe either.

The animated and finely illustrated character I am referring to is the creature that first festered out of the mind of relief pitcher Dirk Hayhurst, the highly acclaimed Garfoose. If you have not read any of my past posts about this mystical character, please feel free to hit this link, which will get you more in tune with the Garfoose frame of mind.

What is extremely exciting is not only will Hayhurst get a fighting chance to win a spot in the Rays Bullpen, but his mire presence in the Bullpen even this Spring will have droves of kids of all ages clambering for a brief moment with an acclaimed author ( The Bullpen Gospels ) , bus also the originator of this highly addictive baseball eating melting pot.

Sure some of you might also be excited that Hayhurst is also a socially active baseball player who is known to post more than a few particularly mind-bending 140-character posts to his Twitter account, or even to his own website just to see if you are awake and thinking. But I like those kind of people.

The Rays Bullpen can use more guys like Bullpen Coach Bobby Ramos and his motorcycle dance and Salsa moves to cut the tension like a knife. For some odd reason, I think a Bullpen with Hayhurst on it will never be a boring place to view during a game. Not since John Rocker or Rusty Meacham has the Rays Bullpen had someone you knew had distraction written all over them, even before Spring Training starts.

But also it could be an amazing mind melting experience if you can get an artist/prankster like Rays long reliever Andy Sonnanstine and Hayhurst possibly together on the same bench….. Think for a moment at the amount of imagination and ability assembled just under those two Rays caps and it definitely should have you smiling.

It is not a ” sure thing” that Hayhurst will even get a legitimate shot at being on the Rays bench, but I am a glass half full kind of guy. With the Rays Bullpen in definite reloading mode, and the possibility that some of the recent additions to the Rays roster could find an early home at the Rays Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls,

I find it highly probable with a great Spring the Garfoose will be on the new AstroTurf at Tropicana Field helping the Rays as they raise their 2010 American League East Championship banner to the rafters. And even if Hayhurst does spend some quality time at Durham, imagine the possibilities of a half-giraffe, half moose getting to know a snorting bull like Wool E Bully…up close.

I mean the idea instantly has me clicking and checking Hayhurst blog today as he introduced himself to the Rays Republic and was extremely excited about the future. With Fan Fest barely a month away, could the addition of the originator of the Garfoose to the Rays suddenly bring some extra incentive for kids to want to drag their personal chauffeurs ( parents) to the Trop on February 19th to meet Hayhurst in person, hoping for a Garfoose sighting or two….

l_ca1a807321074f9f979ca8c7a553dda4.jpg Photo by Pat Manfredo

You can bet between now and then I will be picking up the dusty covered “The Bullpen Gospels” still sitting on my coffee table and reading it from cover-to-cover in anticipation of the first time I get to chat with Hayhurst. Over the last several years I have met and talked with Hayhurst before, but never really talked about writing or his minor league odyssey..

For some reason I have the feeling Hayhurst would be an amazing guy to sit down and interview, or possibly just pick his brain for knowledge both on and off the pitching rubber. I love this signing.

More for the potential of greatness that Hayhurst could possibly achieve in 2011 than for the outer lying presence of his imaginary “friend”. Having Hayhurst in Tampa Bay will never be labeled “boring”.

But seriously, when was the last time you looked into the Bullpen before the 6th inning to see what madness might be occurring, lurking or possibly sighted with his antlers rising above the front row. Welcome to Tampa Bay Garfoose, I will keep a few baseballs handy especially for you.




Have to ask….What are your thoughts about Damon and Manny? I feel sure there will be a post coming up very soon here. Looking forward to it!


Sigh! You know me so well by now.
As we speak mymind is churning the facts, figures and even a few odd conversations on what this pair means to the Rays. Both aging superstars, but still better than Pat Burrell before May 15th of 2010.
This is going to get interesting real quick!

Rays Renegade

Manny being Manny. I can’t wait either for your thoughts on manny and Johnny.

—Mark Gauthier


Okay Mark.
But I am upset no one wants to talk about an acclaimed author, a blogger and a guy who will entertain when he is for the mound. Garfoose being Garfoose is more important to me right now dang it! (lol).
Da-Manny will be addressed in due time…..count on it.
Might even throw a “Pat the Bat” reference in there too.

Rays Renegade

I’m not real familiar with Hayhurst…sorry. And like Jane and Mark, I cannot wait to see what you have to say about Johnny and Manny.



I’m not real familiar with Hayhurst…sorry. And like Jane and Mark, I cannot wait to see what you have to say about Johnny and Manny.



Why would anyone care what little ol’ me has to say about Dam-Manny. That is my pet name for the cong;omeration, so get used to it (lol).
******Spoiler Alert******
I actually have a lot of positive thing to say about it all…..soon.

Rays Renegade

I haven’t had time to get on, but I read all of your entries, so I just got around to it.

Funny thing about this article is, is that I was just looking up our major league signings earlier. I cam across this article (http://www.cantonrep.com/sports/x684401826/Hayhurst-gets-another-chance-with-Tampa-Bay) and then checking his website and stuff… To be honest, I’m somewhat excited about this guy. He seems like a perfect fit for us, and the fact that he’s such a social guy seem great as well. He didn’t do bad with the Blue Jays either in 2009. However, he had to have surgery so… I think he could be another case of Jaoquin Benoit. Sure, its hard to live up to that, but I do feel he could help us a lot.

He’s like our very own CJ Wilson, with being an internet geek. Haha.

Okay I have to admit, I knew little to nothing about Dirk Hayhurst until reading your post but now you have me quite intrigued. I’ve been meaning to read the Bullpen Gospels and now I think I will have to add it to my “wish list”. Hayhurst seems like an upbeat guy and a great character, a pitcher with a heck of a lot of heart. It sounds like other teams need to keep a wary eye on the Rays relievers this year even before they take the mound, LOL.
– Kristen

You had to go with C J Wilson here (lol).
I have read more than a few past articles ( and commented on them) about Hayhurst in the past, and the photos attached to the blog are from another Ray fan’s personal collection as she is very well known within the Garfoose’s tight knot community.
This is the type of player I am drawn to personally. Not for their literary side, but for the fun they have with the great abilities they have been blessed with while enjoying playing a child’s game.
Looking forward to the reign of the Garfoose.

Rays Renegade

I am a follower of “The Garfoose” and share in your enthusiasm over the signing. Thanks for spreading the word on Dirk……Manny who?…..LOL

Hopefully with this third mention of the Garfoose and Dirk Hayhurst, we can get more people to know his great story and possibly read “The Bullpen Gospels”. for themselves this year.
The Toronto Blue Jays used to hold their Spring Training games about 5 miles freom my old house, and I have wandered up to Dunedin more than a few times to check out the Jays.
Really excited the Rays have an opportunity to let a young reliever grow, and possibly be a key component to their 2011 season….I can’t wait for April.

Rays Renegade


I follow him on Twitter, and look forward to many odd-based conversations this Spring and beyond with Dirk.
But then again I am drawn to people a little off-center, maybe he is left-handed… as a writer?

Rays Renegade

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