Dontrelle Willis

Dontrelle Wayne Willis (born January 12, 1982), nicknamed "The D-Train",[1] is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds. Willis was notable for his success during his first few years in the MLB and for his unconventional pitching style, which included a high leg kick and exaggerated twisting away from the batter.[2] He was named the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year.

Dontrelle Willis
Dontrelle Smiling
Willis with the Arizona Diamondbacks
Pitcher
Born: January 12, 1982 (age 37)
Oakland, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 9, 2003, for the Florida Marlins
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 2011, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Win–loss record72–69
Earned run average4.17
Strikeouts896
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Career

Early career

Willis was raised by his mother, Joyce, a welder, in Alameda, California. She played in elite-level softball leagues when Willis was a child. Willis never knew his father,[3] Clinton Ostah, who was a minor league player in the 1970s. Growing up, Willis rooted for the Oakland Athletics as a child. Willis' favorite player was former Oakland Athletics' pitcher Dave Stewart. Willis attended Encinal High School in Alameda, where he played baseball for four years. In Willis' senior year in 2000, he had a 0.70 earned run average (ERA) with 111 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched and was named California Player of the Year.[4] He initially committed to play college baseball at Arizona State. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 8th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft.[5]

In 2001, Willis was promoted to the Boise Hawks of the Northwest League. He finished with 8 wins and a 2.98 ERA. Opposing hitters only batted .217 against Willis. In a Baseball America poll, several NWL managers called Willis Boise's best player.[2]

Florida Marlins

DontrelleWillis
Willis with the Florida Marlins in 2007.

On March 27, 2002, the Cubs traded Willis (then a minor leaguer), fellow pitchers Julián Tavárez and José Cueto, and catcher Ryan Jorgensen to the Florida Marlins, in exchange for pitchers Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca.[6]

After being traded, Willis struggled early on. However, Willis started to get better as he got to low Class A ball. By the end of the season, he went 10-2 and finished the season with the Class-A Jupiter Hammerheads. In five starts, he went 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA, leading the Midwest League in ERA. For his performance, he was named the Marlins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year.[2]

In the 2003 Spring training, Willis reported to Jupiter. The plan was to start him with the Class-AA Carolina Mudcats. The hope was that he would make the leap to AAA, and potentially be available for a spot start in Florida or a back-of-the-bullpen job late in the season. The Marlins then sent Willis down to Carolina to work on consistency and control. Willis would dominate at Carolina; he went 4–0 with a 1.49 ERA.

2003 season

On May 9, 2003, Willis made his Major League debut for the Florida Marlins. Against the Rockies, he pitched six innings, allowed seven hits and three earned runs, and got a no decision.[7]

On May 14, in a start against the Padres, Willis went five innings, allowed five hits, three earned runs, and four walks, and received his first Major League win. On June 16, Willis pitched nine innings and allowed no runs in a 1-0 victory over the Mets in his first career shutout. Willis' opponent in that game was Tom Glavine, one of his childhood heroes.[8]

Willis was named Rookie of the Month for the month of June and became the first Marlins pitcher to be named Pitcher of the Month. He became the first rookie pitcher to win Pitcher of the Month since Hideo Nomo did it in 1995 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and he became the first rookie pitcher to win seven straight starts since Jason Isringhausen, also in 1995.[9] In 5 starts, Willis went 5–0 with a 1.04 ERA.[10] Heading into the All-Star Break in mid-July, Willis was 9–1 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 starts.[11] He made the National League All-Star team as injury replacement for Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kevin Brown. He became the second Marlins rookie to make the All-Star team; Alex González did it in 1999.[12]

On July 30, Willis faced another one of his childhood heroes, Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks, in a head-to-head pitching duel. Willis went seven innings and allowed only one earned run.[13]

After coming out of the bullpen in game 1 of the 2003 National League Division Series against the Giants, Willis started game 4 of the series. In 5.1 innings pitched, Willis allowed 5 hits, 2 base on balls, struck out 3 batters but allowed 5 earned runs.[14] Despite struggling with his pitching, Willis showcased his remarkable (for a pitcher) hitting ability by going 3-for-3 with a triple and scoring a run during that game, which the Marlins won 7–6 to advance to the NL Championship Series against the Cubs, the team that drafted Willis. In game 4, Willis again struggled with his command. In just 2.1 innings pitched, he allowed 3 hits and allowed 5 base on balls and took the loss.[15] His only other appearance in the series was in game 6, when he allowed a run in one inning of relief. Despite his limited contributions, the Marlins went on to defeat the Cubs in 7 games. The Marlins then defeated the New York Yankees in the 2003 World Series.

After the 2003 season, Willis was named the National League Rookie of the Year.[16] He went 14–6 with a 3.30 earned run average in 27 starts for the year.

2004 season

In 2004, Willis started the year 3-0, and did not allow an earned run in his first three starts. He also showed great hitting skills for a pitcher. In his first two starts, Willis went 6-for-6 with a home run. His seven consecutive hits in the regular season was 1 short of the club record held by Gary Sheffield and Preston Wilson.[17] In his next start against the Phillies, Willis struck out in his first at bat, snapping his streak of 10 consecutive hits dating back to previous year's postseason.[18]

He finished the 2004 season with a record of 10–11 and an earned run average of 4.02.[19]

2005 season

In 2005, Willis became one of the best pitchers in baseball. He started the 2005 season by pitching two shutouts against the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies. During the month of April, Willis went 5–0 in 5 starts and allowed five earned runs in 35 innings pitched for a 1.29 ERA.[20] He was named NL Pitcher of the Month.

On May 6, Willis became the league's first six-game winner when he went seven innings and allowed no runs against the Rockies. "I felt strong," Willis said. "I was able to stay down in the zone. That's my key, because I don't throw 100 mph. I can't live up in the zone. In all my starts I've been trying to stay down, and hopefully they swing at it."[21] On June 8, Willis became the major league's first 10-game winner when he pitched the Marlins to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners, allowing 4 runs. Willis became only the third pitcher in Marlins history to record 10 wins before the All-Star break.[22] On June 23, Willis became the NL's first 12-game winner when he pitched a shutout against the Braves. "He's tough," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He deserves to start the All-Star game, to be honest with you. He's the dominant pitcher in the National League right now."[23]

Going into the All-Star break, Willis was 13-4 with a 2.39 earned run average and a 1.14 WHIP.[24] Willis was named to the All-Star team but did not pitch in the game. Willis kept pace with his great first half after the All-Star break. He went 9–6 and posted a 2.91 earned run average and a 1.13 WHIP the rest of the season.[24]

During his last start before the All-Star break, Willis struggled against the Cubs. In 4.1 innings, he allowed 8 runs, all earned.[25] He struggled in each of his first two starts after the break, failing to make it past the sixth inning in games against the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants.[26] However, he would get back on track. Willis matched his highest win total on July 28 against the Pirates when he went 7 innings, allowed 3 hits, no earned runs, and picked up his 14th victory of the season, which tied his career high for most wins in a season.[27] Willis won his career-high 15th victory on August 7 against the Reds. He went 8 innings, allowed 4 hits, and no earned runs. On August 17, Willis held the Padres scoreless by shutting the Padres out in 9 innings, earning him his 16th win of the season, second most in baseball. "He's as good as anybody," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. "We aren't the first team he has shut out this year."[28] The win put Florida one-and-a-half games behind Houston and Philadelphia in the wild card standings.

Willis won his 19th game of the season against the Mets on September 2, breaking Carl Pavano's franchise record for most wins in a season. Pavano held the Marlins' mark for most victories in a season by a Marlins' pitcher for a year.[29] On September 7 against the Washington Nationals, Willis pitched 6 innings and allowed 1 earned run, which gave him his 20th win of the season. He became the first African-American pitcher to win 20 games in a season since Dave Stewart did it in 1990, and in the process, he became the first pitcher to win 20 games and have 20 hits as a batter since Mike Hampton did it in 1999 for the Astros.[30] On September 22, Willis became the first pitcher to bat seventh or higher since Montreal's Steve Renko batted seventh on August 26, 1973.[31] Willis went 1-for-4 against the New York Mets. He would go on to post a 22-10 record with a 2.63 earned run average and 1.13 WHIP. His 22 wins was the most in baseball. He also pitched 7 complete games and 5 shutouts, also the most in baseball.[32] Willis is still the only pitcher in Marlins history to win 20 games in a season.

Willis would go on to finish 2nd in the N.L. Cy Young Award voting behind Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals. He did, however, win the Warren Spahn Award, given to the best left-handed pitcher in each league.

2006 season

In the 2006 season, Willis' numbers were down from his great 2005 season. Willis started the season by going 1–6 with a 4.93 ERA and didn't get his second victory of the season until June 2. He still posted decent numbers for the year and went 12–12 with a 3.87 ERA, including 11-6 with a 3.39 ERA from June to September. His 12 wins were tied for the most on the Marlins. Willis also led the Marlins in complete games (4), innings pitched (​223 13), base on balls (83), and hit by pitch (19).

On June 20, Willis earned his 50th career win in a start against the Baltimore Orioles. At age 24, 159 days old, Willis became the fourth youngest pitcher to achieve this milestone. Only C.C Sabathia, Greg Maddux, and Mark Buehrle accomplished this at a younger age.[33]

On July 7, Willis hit a grand slam off of Mets pitcher José Lima. Willis became the first pitcher to hit a grand slam since Robert Person did it in 2002. It was his fourth career home run.[34] On September 20, 2006, he hit 2 home runs, off of Óliver Pérez and Roberto Hernández.[35] He became the first pitcher since Randy Wolf to hit 2 home runs in a game.[36]

2007 season

On January 15, 2007, Willis signed a one-year contract with the Marlins for $6.45 million, avoiding salary arbitration.

In the 2007 season, Willis went 10–15 with a 5.17 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.[32] Up to that point, it was his worst season of his career. Willis led the National League in earned runs allowed with 118.[37]

During his career with the Marlins, Willis went 68-54 with a 3.78 earned run average. He won at least 10 games each season during all five of his years with the Marlins from 2003 to 2007.[38]

Detroit Tigers

Dontrelle Willis on May 29, 2009 (2)
Willis throwing for the Tigers in 2009.

On December 5, 2007, the Marlins traded Willis along with fellow All-Star Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers for Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Mike Rabelo, Eulogio de la Cruz, Dallas Trahern and Burke Badenhop. Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski then signed Willis to a 3-year, $29 million contract extension two weeks later.

In his debut with the Tigers, Willis went 5 innings, gave up 1 hit, and 3 earned runs against the Chicago White Sox.[39]

In his next start, also against the White Sox, Willis injured his left knee and departed the game before even recording an out.[40] Placed on the disabled list the next day, Willis had walked nine batters while striking out none in his first two outings. Command of his pitches became a trouble spot, and later in the season, Tiger manager Jim Leyland pitched him in relief for the first time, with little success. He was placed back into the rotation on June 3, 2008, to start in a loss against the Oakland Athletics.[41]

On June 10, 2008, Willis was sent down to Single-A Lakeland, a day after a start in which he gave up eight earned runs and five base on balls in 1⅓ innings pitched against the Cleveland Indians. Though Willis had enough service time in the Major Leagues to require his consent prior to the send-down, he agreed, saying he needed to work on his control.

Willis was called back to the Tigers in time for the roster expansion on September 1, 2008. He made three starts, recording a loss and two no-decisions. Willis finished with a 0–2 record and a 9.17 ERA. In 24 innings pitched, Willis struggled with his control and walked 35 batters.

Willis was placed on the 15-day disabled list in March 2009 for an anxiety disorder after a blood test showed something of concern; he began a treatment regimen aimed at addressing the condition.[42] Willis was taken off the disabled list and placed on the active roster May 13, 2009, when he made his first start of the 2009 season.[43] Willis made seven starts after returning, with poor results,[44] before being returned to the disabled list on June 19 with the same anxiety issue.[45] In Willis' last start of the season, he was tagged with 6 earned runs allowed and 8 bases on balls. Willis finished the season with a 1–4 record and a 7.49 ERA.

In Spring training 2010, Willis made the Tigers starting rotation.

On April 8, 2010, Willis started against the Kansas City Royals, giving the Tigers six innings and recording a no-decision. He gave up two earned runs, walking two and striking out four.[46]

On May 30, 2010, Willis was designated for assignment by the Tigers. In his career with the Tigers, Willis played in 24 games (22 starts). His record was 2–8 and had an earned run average of 6.86 in 101 innings pitched.[19]

Arizona Diamondbacks

On June 1, 2010, Willis was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for starting pitcher Billy Buckner.[47]

He changed back to his former uniform number 35, which he wore for the Marlins. In his Diamondback debut, he pitched six scoreless innings with four walks and three strikeouts. He got his first win as a member of the Diamondbacks.

Willis pitched four innings, giving up two runs and three hits, walking six batters on June 10. During the second inning, he cracked a finger nail and after the fourth inning, he was removed from the game due to the pain on the fingernail.

On July 4, 2010, Willis was designated for assignment and subsequently released.[48]

In 6 games (5 starts) with the Diamondbacks, Willis went 1–1 with a 6.85 ERA in 24⅓ innings pitched.[19]

San Francisco Giants

On July 15, 2010, Willis was signed to a minor league contract by San Francisco and began pitching for the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League.[49] On November 6, 2010, Willis was granted free agency.[50]

Cincinnati Reds

Dontrelle Willis 2011
Willis with the Cincinnati Reds.

Willis signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds for the 2011 season. He was invited to spring training, for a chance at starter or bullpen.[51] Willis was reassigned to the Louisville Bats as of March 27, 2011.[52] Willis was called up on July 10 and made his Reds debut against Milwaukee at Miller Park. Willis pitched six innings, giving up two runs while striking out four and walking four. He also contributed on offense, going 1-for-2 with a double. Willis made his second start for Cincinnati on July 18, 2011, at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.[53] On August 3, Willis started, going six innings and hitting a solo home run but was charged with a no-decision.

On August 9, Willis went 8 innings, struck out 10 batters, and allowed 3 earned runs against the Rockies but was charged with the loss. His 10 strikeouts was the most he had got in a start since he struck out 11 against the Diamondbacks on August 14, 2007. His 8 innings pitched was the most innings he pitched since his last start with the Florida Marlins, where he pitched 8 innings against the Cubs on September 25, 2007.

On August 14, Willis went 2.2 innings and allowed 4 earned runs against the San Diego Padres. Prior to the start, Willis said that his forearm was still a little tight after he had warmed up in the bullpen earlier.

Philadelphia Phillies

On December 13, 2011, Willis agreed to a 1-year deal worth $1 million with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was expected to pitch out of the bullpen.[54] He was released on March 16, 2012, after just three Grapefruit League appearances.[55]

Baltimore Orioles

Willis signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles five days later on March 21.[56] A left forearm strain suffered on April 12 led to a dispute with the organization which wanted him to be a relief pitcher.[57] Desiring to be a starter again, he placed the blame for the injury on working out of the bullpen. In his only start after the problem was resolved, he surrendered four runs and six hits in 2⅔ innings pitched. He made four appearances with the Norfolk Tides, going 0–3 with an 8.53 ERA while allowing eight runs and ten hits in 6⅓ innings. He announced his retirement as an active player on July 2, 2012.[58]

Chicago Cubs

On January 4, 2013, Willis signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs.[59] He left his first game in spring training after 7 pitches, and came out of the game with a shoulder injury.[60] The Cubs released Willis in March 2013.[61]

Long Island Ducks

On April 5, 2013, Willis signed a contract with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.[62] He compiled the best earned run average in the Atlantic League, posting a 2.56 ERA through 14 starts. Willis pitched to a 5-4 record and struck out 52 batters in 87 and two-thirds innings. By August 3, he was tied for second in the league in complete games with three. His efforts earned him an Atlantic League All-Star selection, and he was chosen as the starting pitcher for the Liberty Division, tossing a perfect inning.[63]

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

On August 4, 2013, the Angels signed Willis to a minor-league contract and assigned him to their AAA affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees.[64]

San Francisco Giants

Willis signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants in January 2014 and was later released in April 2014.[65][66]

Bridgeport Bluefish

On July 5, 2014, the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League, reported they had agreed to verbal contract terms with Willis.[67] He made his first start with the Bluefish on July 18, 2014.[68][69]

Milwaukee Brewers

On January 21, 2015, Willis signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.[70][71] However, on March 13, 2015, he announced his retirement.[72]

Accomplishments

Personal life

Willis married Natalee Vitagliano on December 6, 2006.[76] The couple have four daughters.[77]

In the early hours of December 2006, Willis was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after he double parked his Bentley in Miami Beach in order to urinate in the street.[76] In April 2008, Willis pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of reckless driving and was ordered to pay $761 in fines and fees, perform 50 hours of community service and serve six months of probation.[78]

See also

References

  1. ^ Willis works on windup MLB.com
  2. ^ a b c Dontrelle Willis bio
  3. ^ Ballard, Chris (June 30, 2003). "The Kid With The Kick". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  4. ^ Simmons, Rusty (April 7, 2004). "Today's players know of Encinal's tradition / Stargell, Rollins, Willis have set high standards". SFGate. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  5. ^ Kornacki, Steve (June 1, 2010). "Dontrelle Willis traded to Diamondbacks; Tigers will pay most of left-hander's remaining salary". MLive.com. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Cubs trade for reliever Alfonseca". The Philadelphia Inquirer. March 28, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  7. ^ "Colorado Rockies vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – May 9, 2003". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  8. ^ "Pudge's HR all the support stingy Willis needs". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
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  11. ^ "Dontrelle Willis Stats, Splits – ESPN". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  12. ^ "Dontrelle-mania to hit All-Star game Willis named to All-Star game to replace Brown". MLB.com. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  13. ^ "Spivey's errant throw helps Willis win 10th". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
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  16. ^ "Baseball Awards Voting for 2003". Retrieved 2010-07-24.
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  18. ^ "Willis strikes out in first at-bat". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  19. ^ a b c http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/stats/_/id/5470/dontrelle-willis
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  24. ^ a b "Dontrelle Willis Stats, Splits = ESPN". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  25. ^ "Chicago Cubs vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – July 8, 2005". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  26. ^ "Dontrelle Willis Game By Game Stats and Performance". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  27. ^ "Willis fans seven, allows three hits". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  28. ^ "Willis leads majors in shutouts with five". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  29. ^ "Willis breaks Marlins record for wins in season". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  30. ^ "D-Train chugs to 20th win as Marlins rout Nationals". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  31. ^ "Willis gets major league-leading 22nd win=ESPN Internet Ventures". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  32. ^ a b "Dontrelle Willis Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Baseball-Reference.com. Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  33. ^ "D-Train's near-CG powers Marlins to ninth straight win". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  34. ^ "Marlins ride D-Train grand slam, pitching past Mets =ESPN Internet Ventures". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  35. ^ "Do-it-all Dontrelle: Marlins P cools Mets, hits two HRs". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
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  38. ^ "Yearly League Leaders and Records for Earned Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Baseball-Reference.com. Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  39. ^ "White Sox touch up Willis, drop new-look Tigers to 0-5". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  40. ^ Willis hyperextends knee as Tigers claw to 2nd win of year espn.com, 4/11/2008
  41. ^ A's slip past Tigers on Cust's 11th-inning infield single espn.com, 6/3/2008
  42. ^ Tigers Place Willis on DL MLB.com, March 28, 2009
  43. ^ Willis ready for much-anticipated return MLB.com, May 13, 2009
  44. ^ 2009 Baseball stats Baseball-Reference.com
  45. ^ [mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090618&content_id=5400414 Willis back on DL with anxiety disorder] MLB.com
  46. ^ "Cabrera drives in four runs as Tigers topple Royals". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  47. ^ Gilbert, Steve (June 1, 2010). "D-backs get Willis from Tigers for Buckner". MLB.com. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  48. ^ "D-backs designate Willis". espn.com. Associated Press. July 4, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  49. ^ Giants ink Willis to Minor League deal MLB.com
  50. ^ Dontrelle Willis Baseball-Reference.com
  51. ^ Dontrelle Willis signs minor league deal ESPN
  52. ^ http://www.comcast.net/articles/sports-mlb/20110327/Reds-Willis/
  53. ^ "Morton shines as Pirates beat Reds 2-0". sports.yahoo.com. Will Graves. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  54. ^ Gelb, Matt (December 13, 2011). "Phillies sign Dontrelle Willis to 1-year deal". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  55. ^ Phillies release Willis Philly.com
  56. ^ "Orioles sign LHP Dontrelle Willis to minor league contract", Baltimore Orioles press release, Wednesday, March 21, 2012.
  57. ^ Seidel, Jeff. "Willis files grievance", MLB.com, Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
  58. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany. "Orioles announce D-Train has retired", MLB.com, Monday, July 2, 2012.
  59. ^ Rosecrans, C. Trent (January 4, 2013). "Cubs sign Dontrelle Willis to minor-league deal". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  60. ^ Ortiz, Jorge L. (February 25, 2013). "Dontrelle Willis' comeback with Cubs lasts seven pitches". USA Today. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  61. ^ Short, D.J. (March 30, 2013). "Cubs release Dontrelle Willis and former first-round pick Hayden Simpson". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  62. ^ "DONTRELLE WILLIS JOINS LONG ISLAND". LIducks.com. April 5, 2013.
  63. ^ http://www.liducks.com/news/current/?article_id=511
  64. ^ Musarra, Casey (August 4, 2013). "Ducks' Dontrelle Willis signed by Angels". Newsday. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  65. ^ Haft, Chris (January 10, 2014). "Willis gets Minor League deal from Giants". MLB.com. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  66. ^ Malafronte, Chip (July 8, 2014). "A passion for baseball still drives Dontrelle Willis". New Haven Register. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  67. ^ Clark, David (July 6, 2014). "Ex-Red Dontrelle Willis signs with Bridgeport Bluefish". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  68. ^ "Dontrelle Willis to Make Bluefish Debut July 18". Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs. July 18, 2014. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  69. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (July 17, 2014). "Dontrelle Willis is playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish now". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  70. ^ Nowak, Joey (January 21, 2015). "Willis reportedly agrees to deal with Brewers". MLB.com. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  71. ^ "Brewers sign lefty Dontrelle Willis to minor league deal". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  72. ^ Rodriguez, Juan C. (March 13, 2015). "Former Marlins sensation Dontrelle Willis announces retirement". Miami Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  73. ^ "ESPN – Carpenter wins National League Cy Young Award – MLB". sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  74. ^ "The Official Site of The Florida Marlins: News: Notes: Willis elevated in order again". florida.marlins.mlb.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  75. ^ "The Official Site of The Florida Marlins: News: Willis garners 2005 Spahn Award". florida.marlins.mlb.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  76. ^ a b Rodriguez, Juan C. (December 23, 2006). "Willis Charged With Dui". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  77. ^ Dontrelle Willis Bio tigers.com
  78. ^ "Baseball: Pitcher pleads guilty to reckless driving". The Honolulu Advertiser. Associated Press. April 15, 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2015.

External links

2003 World Series

The 2003 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2003 season. The 99th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Florida Marlins and the American League (AL) champion New York Yankees; the Marlins upset the heavily-favored Yankees, four games to two. The series was played from October 18 to 25, 2003. This is the most recent Series in which the losing team outscored the winning team; the Yankees lost, despite outscoring the Marlins 21–17 in the Series. This was the Marlins' second World Series championship win, having won their first in 1997. As of 2018, this is the last time the Marlins have appeared not only in the World Series, but in the postseason at all.

2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 76th playing of the midseason exhibition baseball game between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 12, 2005 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, the home of the Detroit Tigers of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 7–5, thus awarding an AL team (which eventually came to be the Chicago White Sox) home-field advantage in the 2005 World Series. The game was when Rawlings first previewed the Coolflo batting helmets.

2005 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 2005 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 123rd season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies finished in second place in the National League East with a record of 88-74, two games behind the Atlanta Braves, and one game behind the NL Champion Houston Astros, who won the NL Wild-Card race for the second consecutive season. The Phillies were managed by their new manager Charlie Manuel, as they played their home games at Citizens Bank Park. First-baseman Ryan Howard was named the National League's Rookie-of-the-Year for the 2005 season.

2006 Florida Marlins season

The 2006 Florida Marlins season was the 14th in Marlins franchise history; an American Major League Baseball team based in Miami Gardens, Florida. They finished the season in fourth place in the National League East Division. They are notable for exceeding expectations and remaining close in the Wild Card race until September, despite having the lowest payroll in the Major Leagues and using primarily rookies and low priced veterans. They failed to make the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive season.

Bowman Gum

The Bowman Gum Company was a Philadelphia-based manufacturer of bubble gum and trading cards in the period surrounding World War II founded by Jacob Warren Bowman in 1927.

Bowman was mostly notable for its baseball cards, with were highly popular in the 1940s until the brand was acquired by Topps in 1956. Bowman also produced American football and basketball cards.

Nowadays, Topps commercialises a line of baseball cards under the "Bowman" name after resurrecting the brand in 1989.

Carolina Mudcats (1991–2011)

The Carolina Mudcats were a minor league baseball team based in Zebulon, North Carolina. They were a Double-A Southern League team from 1991 to 2011. The team played their home games at Five County Stadium.

In 2010 the franchise moved to Pensacola, Florida, in a series of purchases and relocations, becoming the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Concurrently, a Carolina League franchise from Kinston, North Carolina, was moved to Zebulon, taking on the Carolina Mudcats name.

Dallas Trahern

Dallas Neal Trahern (born November 29, 1985) is a former professional baseball pitcher. He played in international competition with USA Baseball.

Trahern was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 34th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. He traded with Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, and Mike Rabelo to Florida for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.He is known as a sinkerball pitcher and in 2009 had Tommy John surgery.

Doug Karsch

Douglas Allen Karsch, III is an American talk radio show host and Michigan Wolverines sports reporter based in Detroit, Michigan.

History of the Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins are a Major League Baseball team that currently plays in the city of Miami. Founded in 1991 as the Florida Marlins, the Marlins began play in 1993 in the suburb of Miami Gardens, and moved to the city in 2012, becoming the Miami Marlins at that time.

Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars are a Class A Minor League Baseball team, affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks, that plays in the Midwest League. Their home games are played at Northwestern Medicine Field in Geneva, Illinois, about 35 miles (56 km) west of Chicago.

List of Miami Marlins Opening Day starting pitchers

The Miami Marlins are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Miami, Florida. They play in the National League East division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Marlins have used 15 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 25 seasons. Since the Marlins' first season in 1993, the 15 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 11 wins and 12 losses with two no-decisions. Notably, no Marlins Opening Day starter received a no-decision until the team's 24th season in 2016. No-decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.Eight Marlins pitchers have started on two or more Opening Days. Those eight are Charlie Hough, Kevin Brown, Alex Fernandez, Ryan Dempster, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Josh Johnson, and Ricky Nolasco. Beckett holds the record for most Opening Day starts as a Marlin, with three appearances, from 2003 to 2005. When playing at their original home field, the venue now known as Hard Rock Stadium, the Marlins had a record of nine wins and five losses (9–5). At their current home of Marlins Park, Opening Day pitchers have a record of 1–2 with one no-decision. In the franchise's history, Florida has only played Opening Day games at another team's home stadium seven times. As the away team, Marlins' starting pitchers have an Opening Day record of 1–5 with one no-decision.The longest ever Opening Day winning streak for Marlins starting pitchers is four years, when Florida won from 1997 to 2000 under starting pitchers Kevin Brown (1997), Liván Hernández (1998), and Alex Fernandez (1999 and 2000). This streak was sandwiched by the Marlins' two longest Opening Day losing streaks for starting pitchers, each at three losses. The first was in 1994, 1995, and 1996 under starting pitchers Charlie Hough (1994), John Burkett (1995), and Kevin Brown (1996); the second was in 2001, 2002, and 2003 under Ryan Dempster (2001 and 2002) and Josh Beckett (2003) The Marlins have won the World Series twice, in 1997 and 2003, and in those seasons, their starting pitchers had one win and one loss on Opening Day.

List of Miami Marlins team records

The Miami Marlins are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in the U.S. state of Florida. The Marlins became members of MLB as an expansion team in the 1993 season. Through 2017, they have played 3,981 games, winning 1,870 and losing 2,111 for a winning percentage of .470. This list documents the superlative records and accomplishments of team members during their tenures as Marlins in MLB's National League East.

Giancarlo Stanton holds the most franchise records as of the end of the 2018 season, with ten records, including both the most career and single-season Home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and total bases records.

No Marlin holds a Major League or National League record for any of the below statistics. However, the Marlins are tied with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Houston Astros for the shortest franchise record losing streak, recording 11 straight losses twice in 1998 and once in June 2011.

MLB Whiparound

MLB Whiparound is an American baseball nightly television show on Fox Sports 1 hosted by Chris Myers and Kevin Burkhardt with Joel Klatt alternating as a secondary presenter. The presenteris joined by either 1 or 2 analysts from the group of Eric Karros, Dontrelle Willis, Pete Rose, Nick Swisher, Alex Rodriguez, A. J. Pierzynski, Frank Thomas, and Terry Collins, as well as Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal.

Matt Sosnick

Matt Sosnick is a San Francisco-based sports agent. He attended Burlingame High School and the University of Southern California. His business partners are Paul Cobbe and Adam Karon. Their client list includes, or included at one time, Major League Baseball All-Star and 2003 Rookie of the Year Dontrelle Willis; All-Stars Josh Johnson, Jay Bruce, and Matt Moore; Ricky Nolasco; Josh Hamilton; Freddy Sanchez; Josh Willingham; and Ryan Doumit.

Sosnick addressed the 2007 national convention of the Society for American Baseball Research in addition to many other appearances and lecture series.Sosnick was named one of Forbes magazine's five most influential young people in baseball in June 2008.His close relationship with star pitcher Dontrelle Willis helped his agency grow, as did being the subject of ESPN's Jerry Crasnick's book License to Deal. At an earlier point in his career, Willis got Sosnick's company logo tattooed onto his pitching arm as a sign of his loyalty to Sosnick Cobbe Sports. Kyle Blanks of the Rangers, Jason Pridie of the Athletics, and retired RHP Zach Simons also have the Sosnick Cobbe logo tattooed on their arm.As of 2015, Sosnick represents more than 40 Major League players, along with Randy Messenger, Wily Mo Pena, Aaron Poreda, and Kris Johnson in Japan, as well as Eric Thames, Eric Hacker, Jim Adduci, and Merrill Kelly in Korea.In January 2013, Sosnick was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame along with NBA coaches Herb and Larry Brown and sportswriter Art Spander.

Mudcat Grant

James Timothy "Mudcat" Grant (born August 13, 1935) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Cleveland Indians (1958–64), Minnesota Twins (1964–67), Los Angeles Dodgers (1968), Montreal Expos (1969), St. Louis Cardinals (1969), Oakland Athletics (1970 and 1971) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1970–71). He was named to the 1963 and 1965 American League All-Star Teams.

In 1965, he was the first black pitcher to win 20 games in a season in the American League and the first black pitcher to win a World Series game for the American League. He pitched two complete game World Series victories in 1965, hitting a three-run home run in game 6, and was named The Sporting News American League Pitcher of the Year.

Rick Short

Richard Ryan Short (born December 6, 1972 in Elgin, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman who is currently the Hitting coach for the Jackson Generals. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Nationals and in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Chiba Lotte Marines and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He bats and throws right-handed. He is an alumnus of Western Illinois University and Larkin High School in Elgin, IL.

Short was drafted in 1994 by the Baltimore Orioles in the 33rd round. He played eleven seasons in the minors and one in Japan before playing his first game in the major leagues. While having an impressive offensive season for the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs, Short was called up to the big leagues by the Washington Nationals after twelve years in the minors and made his Major League Baseball debut on June 10, 2005, collecting a pinch hit RBI in his first major league at-bat. Rick's big league hit, after so many minor league at bats and seasons, became a national story.

He was sent back to New Orleans the next day. Short grabbed attention later in 2005, when he was hitting .400 for New Orleans with only 24 games left, resulting in the opportunity for him to become the first player to hit .400 in the Pacific Coast League since 1933. However, Short did not break the record, finishing the season with a .383 average, he was promoted to the Nationals again in September. On September 7, Short hit his first major league home run against Dontrelle Willis of the Florida Marlins at RFK Stadium. Short's season ended on September 23, when he suffered a shoulder injury. He ended the season with only 15 at-bats in 11 MLB games—and six hits giving him a .400 average.

After the 2005 season, Short's contract was sold to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. It marked the second stint for Short in Japan—in 2003, he played for the Chiba Lotte Marines and hit .303 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI. [1] He has hit over .300 in each season (2006, 2007, 2008) since his arrival, ranked not lower than third in three years, including one highest hit rate(.332) in 2008. Rick has shown versatility with the Golden Eagles playing first, second, and third base along with the outfield during the 2008 season.

Short has played in 1290 minor league games over 12 years and has a .317 career minor league average.

Ryan Jorgensen

Ryan Wayne Jorgensen (born May 4, 1979 in Jacksonville, Florida) is a former Major League Baseball catcher. He attended Kingwood High School and Louisiana State University.

Jorgensen was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the Major League Baseball Draft two times, but did not sign either time. In 1997, he was drafted in the 29th round (894th overall) and in 1998 he was drafted in the 24th round (732nd overall). In 2000, he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 7th round as the 193rd overall pick and this time he did sign a contract.

On March 27, 2002, Jorgensen was traded to the Florida Marlins along with pitchers Julián Tavárez, José Cueto, and Dontrelle Willis for pitchers Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement. He would spend the next four years in the Marlins organization. He made his major league debut on August 8, 2005 and played in both games of a doubleheader. He made his first major league start in the second game and went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts. He would appear in 4 games and had just four hitless at-bats for the Marlins in 2005.

Jorgensen was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for second baseman Carlos Piste during spring training in 2006. He played for the Louisville Bats, the Reds' Triple-A affiliate, for the whole season. In 2007, Jorgensen began the season for the Bats again. When David Ross went down with an injury, Jorgensen had his contract purchased by the big league club on August 14, 2007. On August 15, 2007, in a start for the Reds, he recorded his first big league hit, a home run, in his first at-bat for the Reds off Chicago Cubs' pitcher Ted Lilly.

On September 7, 2007, was suspended for 50 games for a violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. On October 19, 2007, Jorgensen was outrighted to the minor leagues. He refused the assignment and became a free agent. On December 13, 2007, Jorgensen was one of many MLB players named in the Mitchell Report.

Jorgensen signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins for the 2008 season and assigned to Triple-A Rochester where he began play at the conclusion of his suspension. He was called up to the majors after the September 1 roster expansions and was released by the Twins after the season.

In November 2008, he signed with the Cincinnati Reds. However, he announced his retirement before the start of spring training.

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