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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Dreifort Shuns Final Offer

August 21, 1993|MARYANN HUDSON

Despite a bonus offer of about $1.2 million, right-handed reliever Darren Dreifort rejected the Dodgers' final offer Friday and will return to Wichita State University for his senior year on Monday, according to John Dreifort, Darren's father.

The elder Dreifort said he "clearly indicated" to Dodger Executive Vice President Fred Claire that they were still willing to negotiate. "If (Claire) doesn't read it that way, then it's a done deal," Dreifort said.

John Dreifort said the money offer was not the problem, but the Dodgers' refusal to give Darren Dreifort a three-year major league contract Dreifort was. The Dodgers have never offered a major league contract to a draft pick and say they do not want to set a precedent.

"We made Darren a substantial offer, but there is no reason for optimism," Claire said.

This is the second time Darren Dreifort has turned down a major league offer--three years ago Dreifort turned down a $100,000 bonus from the New York Mets, who drafted him in the 11th round. Dreifort was the Dodgers' first pick in the June draft, the second pick overall.

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Watching your children go through hard times is never easy, but Ronald Worrell, father of Todd Worrell, has a good approach to it.

"It's been hard on my wife and I to watch Todd struggle, but I'm not having as hard of time as a lot of parents who try to live their lives through their kids," said Worrell, who is in St. Louis this weekend but lives in Arcadia. "Still, being from Los Angeles, I know we've always been demanding fans and especially when a player is getting a big salary like Todd. But sometimes we tend to forget that there is a human being attached to that salary who is really trying to do a good job."

Todd Worrell missed most of the season because of an elbow injury and has pitched only 19 2/3 innings, building a team-high 8.24 earned-run average.

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