Today the Tigers announced that Dontrelle Willis and Joel Zumaya were placed on the 15-day disabled list. Zumaya to the DL did not come as much of a shock because of his nagging shoulder soreness that was going to keep him from being ready for Opening Day anyway. However, Dontrelle Willis came as a little bit of a surprise. The reason for Willis' trip to the DL? Anxiety Disorder.
At first, I just figured the Tigers were making up something for the poor guy instead of flat out saying, 'you can't cut it anymore;' and perhaps even giving the naive fans an excuse for Willis' atrocious pitching performance thus far in the ol' English D. However, apparently Dontrelle did have a blood test that helps diagnose anxiety disorders and it was confirmed that there was something funny about his test results.
Now, I'm not Dr. Bob (just Bob...MD.), but I thought that an anxiety disorder was when a person feels physical sensations of anxiety as a result of the mind perceiving threats or danger. Don't you think this test could be a little misleading? I would think anyone would be feeling some anxiety if a) they were pitching poorly and could soon find themselves out of a job; and b) if they were in some clinic getting blood drawn (needles!) for a mental disorder. Of course the blood work came up with some funny results. Isn't it like asking a guy being held at gunpoint by some lunatic serial killer if he's scared?
I would probably compare this disorder with the mental problems Vince Young had this past season with the Tennessee Titans. Anytime you go from being a superstar to clipboard material, it's going to mess with your head. Vince Young was on top of the world after he led University of Texas to a National Championship, but when he went to the NFL he found himself struggling and eventually out of a job in favor of Kerry Collins. Yes, I said Kerry Collins and yes, that's awfully depressing.
Dontrelle went from being an All-Star who won 22 games and a Cy Young award in 2005 to a chucker who can't hit the broadside of the barn and an outside candidate for the fifth spot in an already shoddy rotation in Detroit. Putting aside the millions and millions of dollars these two pro athletes are getting paid, this downfall can be downright depressing. (It could be argued the money makes it that much more depressing, especially if they care about living up to their expectations which I presume they do).
Willis claims he's not depressed though:
"This is not depression," Willis said. "This is something totally different. This is something where they saw something in my blood that they didn't like. "I'm not crazy, though my teammates might think that I'm crazy."Yeah and Vince Young claimed he was just playing video games when he was allegedly considering suicide. Sounds like Dontrelle might have a classic case of denial. Whatever it is, I just hope Willis gets better and I would love it if he could return to form. Unfortunately, it's not looking very promising.