Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dontrelle Willis Placed On the Disabled List For Mental Illness

Yes, you read that correctly on the ticker at the bottom of your screen! The Detroit Tigers placed pitcher Dontrelle Willis on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder. Willis' recent struggles with his control have been well documented, with many reporters speculating his inability to find the strike zone is "in his head." While not being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel had similar difficulties finding the strike zone. Ankiel's story somewhat parallels Willis' in that they both ascended the ranks quickly, had early success at the Major League level, and were good hitting left-handed pitchers. This is where their paths divide as Willis has expressed no desire to reincarnate himself as a position player.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Willis insists he is not depressed. “I’m never depressed at all -- I’ve always been an amped-up guy,” he said. “This is not something where I’m uncontrollable. … Everybody will tell you in the locker room that I’ve always been upbeat, regardless of what’s going on. “This is not something where I’m too amped up, I don’t know where I’m at, and I’m running sprints up and down the parking lot. This is not something like that. (The doctors) see something in my blood that they don’t like. I’m not crazy. My teammates might think I’m crazy. But this is not something like that.”


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