If It Ain't Broke - Don't Fix It
If It Ain't Broke - Don't Fix It
Dontrelle Willis, a fan favorite in South Florida who made his mark as a Marlin with his "QUIRKY" delivery and "infectious" smile is out of baseball. Willis announced his retirement from the game after a failed comeback bid with the Baltimore Orioles organization. The popular left-hand pitcher ends his major league career with a record of 72-69, with only "four" of his wins coming after his 2007 trade from the Marlins to the Detroit Tigers. His 68 wins with the Marlins was a then-franchise record
Picked up from the Chicago Cubs in a 2002 deal that marked the first trade made by Marlins GM Larry Beinfest, Willis burst onto the scene a year later when he was called up from the minors and helped the Marlins reach the playoffs, going 14-6 and receiving Rookie of the Year honors. The Miami Marlins manager today, Ozzie Guillen, who was the team's third-base coach in 2003, singled out Willis as one of the main reasons the Marlins won the '03 World Series. 2005 was the likable young pitchers best season when he went 22-10 and finished as runner-up to the Cardinals Chris Carpenter for the Cy Young Award. Following the 2007 season the Marlins traded him and another fan favorite Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers.
Dontrelle Willis became a victim of his own success. Baseball experts, MLB pitchers, pitching coach's, all said, Willis had terrible pitching "mechanics." They kept saying he wasted too much "energy" delivering every pitch. If only he "learned" better pitching "mechanics."
Several weeks after joining Detroit they gave Willis a 3 year contract extension for $29 million dollars. Tigers pitching coach first project, changing Dontrelle Willis pitching "mechanics." That was the beginning of the end for Willis.. His mistake, "listening" to pitching coach's. His pitching "mechanics" with the Marlins were "weird," certainly "quirky" but he won and fans fell in love with him. They loved his enthusiasm, his infectious smile, his accessibility. They even loved his "weird" strange "quirky" motions. The likable youngster wanted to please. He wanted to believe what the "experts" said, he needed to change his "mechanics." How wrong they were. How wrong he was to have "listened" to them.
His two year stay in Detroit (2008-2010) produced four wins for Willis. 2010 began his bouncing from one organization to another, unable to throw the ball over the plate with any consistency. Since leaving Detroit he's signed various minor-league deals with the Giants - Cincinnati - Philadelphia and Baltimore just before the end of this seasons spring training camp. During brief stays with various clubs he's has some injury issues but I believe the more serious problems with Willis was not physical, but "mental." Since leaving the Marlins in 2007 and wanting to please his pitching coach's, they made Dontrelle Willis a head case. They took a youngster with unusual, unique, natural talents and attempted to make him into what they thought he should be. Forgetting one of the rules of our Universe.
It was the Orioles who announced his retirement yesterday.. Now age 30, Dontrelle Willis tweeted, "I'm deeply thankful for everything the game has done for me, and I will always remember the great people I met along the way as well."
I have to wonder how hard it was for Willis to tweet those words. Sure he met great people during his career in MLB but he also met pitching "experts" who convinced him they knew what was best for him. In his process to please the "experts" he gave away his most natural and valuable assets, his "weird," strange "quirky" delivery that confused and stopped major league hitters.
It also robbed him of his love and joy for the game. In trying to "please" the "experts" baseball stopped being "fun."
Major league pitching coach's working with Dontrelle Willis forgot one of the first basic rules of life...
"IF IT AIN'T BROKE - DON'T FIX IT!"...............
"Upton on Sports"-source:miamiherald/usatoday/Larry Upton
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