The rocky Tigers career of Dontrelle Willis has been well documented. And the story just keeps getting sadder as Willis walked 8 hitters in his rehab start for Toledo. There is this rush in sports conversation today to be the first to declare someone “done” and to call for a release. Much of it is premature and reactionary (Armando Galarraga is the true ace of the staff and Brandon Lyon should be released were popular refrains in April). But we’re on 2 years of frustration with Willis. It’s time.
He never went full-blown Blass/Ankiel on us, but either his body or his mind just forgot how to pitch. Baffling. And sad too, because I liked having a guy with his kind of delivery and (pre-wilderness) character around. At times like these it’s tempting to speculate whether Willis’ was one of the worst contracts ever. I find myself, however, feeling happy that at least the guy got a big paycheck to set him up for life before the wheels fell off.