Dontrelle Willis: Career Comes to Halt, but It Does Leave Bigger Questions

March 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

Dontrelle Willis was once on top of the baseball world. The hard-tossing lefty took the baseball world by storm in 2005 when he won 22 games, threw five shutouts and came in second in the NL Cy Young race.

Fast forward seven years, and this once-promising career is all but finished. 

In his first five seasons (2003-07), Willis won a total of 68 games. Since then he has won a total of four games over four years. 

Chalk it up to ineffectiveness, wildness, Steve Blass disease or a string of injuries for his plummet from grace. Whatever the case may be, after 2006 when his walks increased by 20 percent, his ERA jumped from 3.87 to 5.17 and his SO/BB ratio radically decreased from 3.09 to 1.93, the signs were there that something was seriously wrong. 

Never pitching more than 75 innings in the last four years, Willis became a journeyman donning the uniform of the Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds. Never once did it appear that Willis was past whatever was causing these problems, especially when his walks total nearly surpassed the number of innings he pitched. 

This past December, the perennial powerhouse Philadelphia Phillies took a chance by signing Willis to a one-year incentive-laden deal that could’ve reached $1 million. And within three months of the signing, Willis is again without a team. 

After allowing five earned runs and striking out four in less than three innings this spring, the Phillies announced that they had released Willis. Judging by the results that was a major factor in the decisions, but so was his velocity which ranged from 82-87 mph according to CBS Sports

What did catch my attention was what Willis said last month  in an interview with the Delaware County (Pa.) Daily Times:

Earlier this spring, I asked Willis about the nature of pitching on a non-guaranteed contract this spring. His response was surprising: he didn’t know it wasn’t guaranteed.
“You’d have to ask my agent that, I think it’s guaranteed,” a slightly puzzled Willis said last month. “I hope it is. Or else I’ve got to fire him, you know what I mean? I think it’s guaranteed.”

“I never look at it. Who cares?” Willis said. “It’s not about the money for me. It’s not like I have one of thee big deals like the starters. That’s irrelevant. I just want to get people out. You know what I mean?” 

Willis’ contract was not guaranteed. Upon his release he was expected to receive $139,000 in termination pay (courtesy of USA Today).

If an athlete doesn’t know what his contract says, that is a major problem. There have been so many horror stories about athletes, despite all the millions, end up with nothing after retirement. Many have made bad investments, and lost everything in Ponzi schemes.

I, by no means, have any idea what his financial status is, whether Willis has invested the over $40 million in salary he has accumulated in his career, but to say something like “I hope it is” is probably not the best answer. 

It’s not enough today to just be a great athlete; you need to be a businessman. An athlete is a brand and with branding comes making educated decisions about your money and having sound financial advice to go with it.

You can play the part and look like the most successful athlete in the world, but if you don’t plan for your future and/or family, it’s all for nothing.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM’s Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals and Gateway Grizzlies.

You can follow The GM’s Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Chase Utley: More Than a Phillie

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Baseball has taken many hits in recent years; Steroids,  HGH, and the strike of 94′ that, no doubt is in the back of everyone’s mind.

It is rare when the good in sports get the front page.

More often than not, it is a suspension, or a press conference, for a reason other than a former All-Star retiring after the end of a brilliant career.

Chase Utley, the four-time All-Star second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, has teamed with Citizens Bank, once again launching the Helping Hands glove donation program. The program is meant to assist children who play in the Philadelphia Phillies Jr. RBI League.

According to “The Mercury” , new or used gloves will be collected throughout the 2010 season at Citizens Bank kiosk in “Ashburn Alley” (Citizens Bank Park) to benefit participants in the RBI League that are 12 and under.

“Citizens Bank has been supporting the Phillies Jr. RBI League since 2002 and we believe the partnership plays a vital role in helping inner-city children who want to play baseball,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, Citizens Bank president and CEO for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

This is not the only “extracurricular” activity that Utley has taken part in.

If you visit the official Chase Utley website , you can catch a glimpse of Chase Utley, the person, in action.

Utley is not only a part of the RBI Program but is supporter of Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Couple that with his involvement in the Philadelphia Futures, a mentoring program for inner city high school students, that has raised nearly $300,000 in the past couple of seasons, proves that Utley can use his celebrity for the greater good so to speak.

Being a lifelong Atlanta Braves fans, the Phillies are on my list of teams I dislike. This time I will give you a pass!

Kudos to you Mr. Utley for being one of the good guys.

This article can also be found on The GM’s Perspective

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Ryan Howard Is Now Second Only To Alex Rodriguez?

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Ryan Howard, arguably the face of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise, is now—on average—the second highest-paid player in the MLB, next to New York Yankees third baseman and arguably the game’s greatest, Alex Rodriguez.

Is Howard worth a guaranteed $25 million a season?

The numbers suggest yes.

Since 2005, Howard has led the MLB in home runs (222) and RBIs (650). According to, Howard is one of only four players in history with four consecutive 40 home run and 130 RBI seasons, a group that includes Babe Ruth, Ken Griffey Jr., and Sammy Sosa.

Howard’s contract now extends through to the 2017 season.  n plain English, five years, $125 million with a club option for a sixth that can elevate the contract to $138 million.

It will be interesting to see if after another five years Howard is still hitting at this record pace, or if the Phillies jumped the gun.

But isn’t that what makes this game great?!

Just to throw this out there, how much is Albert Pujols worth now?

Find this article on The GM’s Perspective

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies