The D-Train Leaves the Station

Share |

One of my least favorite words in the sports lexicon is “retirement.” Not because I dislike the idea of a career ending or because I am bothered by the sentimental elegies that often come afterward, but because the word feels incorrect. There’s a huge difference between a young-ish person retiring as a professional athlete and an old-ish person retiring from the workforce for good. Being a baseball player or golfer is not like working in a factory. Factory workers don’t retire three times like Michael Jordan. They don’t retire at 30 years old like Dontrelle Willis did yesterday.

This is not meant to descend into typical grouchy bullshit about how athletes are lazy and don’t work as hard as they should and if I was an athlete you better believe I wouldn’t blame some pussy fake “anxiety disorder” get in the way of my career the way Dontrelle Willis did. Just the opposite. What Dontrelle Willis has done for the last decade deserves a discussion liberated from the boring language of the ordinary workplace. After all, the trajectory of Willis’ career (another word that feels totally incorrect in the context of sports) is as unique in the context of work in America as Willis himself was in the context of Major League Baseball.

As far as beginnings go, the only comparison for Willis is Fernando Valenzuela. Like Valenzuela, Willis was a stylish, exuberant lefty who came from seemingly nowhere to dominate as a rookie and lead his team to a World Series. Like Valenzuela, Willis was a very good pitcher for a few ensuing years. In 2005, Willis nearly won a Cy Young Award. His stuff was electric and his personality was magnetic. He had everything one could want in a young baseball star. He was the kind of athlete who peaked at inception, and who loved nothing more than being himself. But in 2006, his walk rate ticked up. In 2007, it ticked up again. And that was that. Willis has spent the last five years trying to rein his stuff in, trying to salvage some semblance of his previous magic. Baseball players, pitchers especially, don’t work like you or I work. They work like artists or musicians whose power is fluid and fleeting and channeled from some unknown dimension.

Valenzuela stopped being great in 1987, but he managed to spend a decade as a journeyman, savvy enough to be effective without ever actually being particularly good. It seems pretty clear that Dontrelle Willis would have been happy to play out the next decade in similar mediocrity. (He was a little bit hostile to the idea of becoming a reliever, but we all have our vanities). It seems clear too, that he will seek another sort of baseball life going forward. He has said in the past that he would coach when he was done playing. It might work out. Coaches don’t have to throw strikes, and maybe all the years spent in confrontation with whatever dark and difficult realms of his psyche prevented him from pitching effectively taught him something useful. But I hope that whatever he does, he maintains the sincerity with which he approached the game and with which he is evidently leaving it. I hope we remember him for all the joy he exuded on the mound (and, for that matter, at the plate), and that if a day ever comes when he stops thinking of himself as a major league pitcher, that he still has access to the place where that joy came from.

Share |

Comments

Nice knowledge gaining article. This post is really the best on this valuable topic. Text Hair Extensions

Nice knowledge gaining article. This post is really the best on this valuable topic. Text Hair Extensions

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. buy instagram likes

This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. made in italy leather bags

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post. www.carpetsanjose.com

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post. Towelroot V5 Download

This is my first time visit to your blog and I am very interested in the articles that you serve. Provide enough knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful and don't forget, keep sharing useful info: italian sandals

I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed... Breast Implants Sydney

This kind of seems totally best. Every one of these little information are manufactured together with lots of backdrop information. I prefer that a whole lot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf907g4cZMo

When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. digital timing light

Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! GetApk Market download

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. Dallas roll off dumpster rental

This particular is usually apparently essential and moreover outstanding truth along with for sure fair-minded and moreover admittedly useful My business is looking to find in advance designed for this specific useful stuffs… Garden Glider

Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. versace 1969 handbags price

This particular is usually apparently essential and moreover outstanding truth along with for sure fair-minded and moreover admittedly useful My business is looking to find in advance designed for this specific useful stuffs… best flagship phones

I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. professional writing

There are various dissertation online websites on the internet are located discover not surprisingly noted on the webpages.  Best Drain Cleaner for Grease

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing… chat room

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing...Masters Degree

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. drug and alcohol rehab in Colorado

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post. CSR Racing 2 Cheats

Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. cheap italian leather handbags

I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? Provacyl

I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? Provacyl

Certification happens to be a sticky content. Still, 's still the contributing tips of our effort. voyance tel

دانلود قسمت چهارم فصل دوم شهرزاد 2, دانلود رایگان شهرزاد, دانلود سریال جدید شهرزاد ایرانی دانلود سریال شهرزاد با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیمدانلود قسمت چهارم شهرزاد دوم

I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories. nationaldebtreliefreviews.com

پنجره دوجداره یو پی وی سی, فروش پنجره دو سه جداره يو پي وي سي ويستابست, فروش تعویض پنجره قدیمی آهنی, فروش پنجره دوجداره ضد صرقت  پنجره

I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative.. Home inspector vancouver

دانلود قسمت هفدهم سریال عاشقانه, دانلود رایگان سریال عاشقانه, دانلود سریال جدید عاشقانه ایرانی دانلود سریال عاشقانه با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیمدانلود قسمت 17 عاشقانه

I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. mens designer laptop bags leather

Kaufen Sie einfach und bequem neue Facebook Fanpage Likes im HQlike Online Shop. Wir vermitteln Ihnen internationale High Quality Likes "Gefällt mir" für Ihre Facebook Fanpage im sozialen Netzwerk Facebook. Facebook Fanpage likes kaufen und neue Follower gewinnen durch erhöhte Beliebtheit und verbessertes Ranking. Sie erhalten hochwertige Fanpage Likes von echten Nutzern, wir vermitteln keine durch Bots generierte Likes. Facebook Fanpage Likes kaufen

Buy easy and convenient Facebook Fanpage likes at the HQlike online shop at a fair price. Facebook Fanpage likes buy increases the popularity and improves the ranking. All products are of the highest quality because we only work with genuine users. Buy Facebook Fanpage likes

I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. 1 Mb Games

Awesome article, it was exceptionally helpful! I simply began in this and I'm becoming more acquainted with it better! Cheers, keep doing awesome! Buy Soundcloud Plays

When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. Migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2

When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. Migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2

Takaful Medikal Kad Termurah di Pasaran, Di Jamin Semua Hospital Swasta Terima Medikal Kad AIA, Anda Dapat Rawatan Dengan Pantas dan Selesa. Dapatkan Perlindungan Sekeluarga. Dapatkan Konsultasi Percuma - Nasri Agent AIA Insuran 019 370 2629 - KL, Selangor, NS, Perak, Johor medikal takaful

When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. amazing selling machine

When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. Hoverboard Elettrico

Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks blogging guru

You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. Add Music to a Video on Android

You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. pharmacy dropship online

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. anuncios gratis

That's why it is best that you relevant researching previously penning. You're able to construct more desirable put up this way. Brawl Stars APK

This original shows entirely desirable. All of limited data files have decided by way of great number from past experiences efficient practical knowledge. So i am inclined it again ever again substantially. sonnenteleskop

You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. scalpingforexbrokers.com

There are plenty of dissertation web pages internet as you're get hold of of course revealed in the web-site. One Day Glass

Friend, this web site might be fabolous, i just like it. Clique aqui

Thank you very much for writing such an interesting article on this topic. This has really made me think and I hope to read more. Gossips