In All Seriousness...

>> Tuesday

Because this is the kind of story I can tell will bug me (and to bump Vinnie's backhanded and downright un-American hogwash about St. Barry off the top of the blog), I wanted to comment quickly about Dontrelle Willis' recent assignment to the DL for an anxiety disorder.

I've already heard some slight rumblings from the established idiots on BBTN and lesser idiots like Mitch Williams on MLB Network insinuating Willis is weak or undedicated for what's going on with him, and I want to be on record right now as saying that that's a load of crap.

Whatever he's going through, call it an Ankiel-like psychological barrier if you will, would seem to explain a lot of the issues dogging the D Train in recent years, specifically his sudden and relatively inexplicable wildness and high walk rate. To write that off as a lack of dedication or a claim that Willis is somehow weak because of it, is classless and ill-informed.

From most accounts, Dontrelle Willis seems like a nice enough guy who's fighting some serious demons on the mound. As someone who thought he was exciting to watch when he was on (though I'll admit, even his best years were really overrated), I'm hoping Willis can battle through whatever's dogging him and return to serviceability, if not dominance. Because after all, fuck Baseball Tonight.

7 comments:

Patrick 5:59 PM  

Totally agree Matt, people shouldn't be ridiculing a guy who is obviously trying his best. That said, the Tigers print editor really should have scratched that line about "blood tests revealed" because a blood test obviously can't reveal whether someone has anxiety.

Matt 9:06 PM  

Yeah, that struck me weird as well. I kind of just assumed that A: Willis didn't know why they were putting him on the shelf or B: they weren't entirely sure as to what was up.

Vinnie 12:47 PM  

I appreciate you following up my spiteful sexist rant with one of your rare public expressions of kindheartedness. Make me look like the jerk, why don't you?

Callous as they seem, comments like the ones you're describing are certainly unsurprising and an indespensible part of the jock psyche. The ability to maintain a career as an athlete is entirely predicated on being able brush aside or overpower negative thoughts and weaknesses, and I think that sticks to athletes throughout their entire lives. Having said that, you'd hope that athletes--especially retired ones whose on-field performance pressures are behind them--would be a little more empathetic to players who are struggling with a mental or emotional issue.

Though I'd absolutely hate to be right about this, I think that given the physical and now emotional problems he's had the last few years, we've probably seen just about the end of D-Train in a major league uniform. Again--very much hope I'm wrong.

Paul 6:51 PM  

Wait, isn't Mitch Williams mentally ill himself?

And there is no blood test for anxiety.

Just another case of sports writers speaking out of their asses on subjects that are clearly not qualified to discuss.

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