Mr. Pacman's Blog
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What is wrong with Dontrelle Willis? In 2003 he was very promising, coming up to go 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA and winning National League Rookie of the Year. Was it 2004 that should have started to worry people, when he went 10-11 with a 4.02 ERA? I remember watching him and trying to emulate everything that he did. He had a unique windup that threw hitters off. To back up his mediocre 2004 year, he had an amazing 2005. This was definitely the best year of his career, and his promise started to come back... So what happened??? Every year after that fantastic 2005 season, his control slipped, walking more people each year, striking out less, and giving up more hits, all in less innings. So why would the Tigers want such a player? It appeared that the deal would work out considering they also got an All-Star caliber player in Miguel Cabrera. They were banking on Willis coming back from those a decent season and then a poor season last year. They were so confident that they thought a contract extension was the correct move. So giving a player who hasn't proven much in the past 2 years, a 3 year 29 million dollar contract seemed to be the right move in their eyes. So you might say what happened this year could be foreseen, at least i would, but it apparently wasn't that obvious to the Detroit Tigers' management. Now my big question is what do you do with a guy like this? I would say you have to try to look at his tapes from his early days and do what I did, emulate everything, and make his mechanics look like they used to. The guy is coming off of a knee injury and now has forearm problems, so give him some time to rest (a couple months), and then get him started in a pitching program, to work on mechanics and consistency. When he was good, he was consistent. Now you can't trade him because nobody would want him, and you can't just lose all the money you spent on him. Make him earn it. It seems ever since he started earning real money through arbitration, he stopped pitching well. Now if they don't want to rest him, they should bring him up and leave him in the ball games until he gets his groove back. Now he probably won't get it back this year, but heck, the Tigers aren't going anywhere anyways. They have a bright future if they can get the real Dontrelle back. All in all, he still has great potential at 26. Everybody wants to write him off as though his career is over. It is not even close to being over. The Tigers just need to start working him harder and make him earn his almost $10 million a year. Without him the Tigers could be in trouble for the next few years because he is holding a lot of money, but with hard work and some motivation, Dontrelle could very well be what he once was.

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