The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Dontrelle Watch

I know that most bloggers and SABR types are not huge fans of Dontrelle Willis. Many have said that he wasn't deserving of last year's National League Rookie of the Year award and that Brandon Webb was certainly more deserving. Many more have said that Webb is surely the better pitcher and will have a better career than Willis.

I'm not going to try to argue that point. To date, Webb has produced better statistics than Willis. Willis just has the hardware - both in terms of the Rookie of the Year award and a World Series ring. The other thing that Willis has that Webb - and maybe no one else in baseball has - is an electric personality and shows the enthusiasm when playing the game that most of us would like to think we had when we were 8. In his first start of the year on Thursday night, Willis through 7 2/3 of shutout baseball - walking only one batter. He also contributed three hits and scored a run. Dontrelle also made a diving attempt at a foul ball that Marlins management surely hopes to never see replicated again. All in all an exciting performance. After witnessing Dontrelle in person on Thursday night, I vowed to myself that whenever possible, I will make it out to Pro Player for any of his starts that I possibly can. Dontrelle Willis cannot be fully appreciated in a box score or on television.

By the way, the Marlins are 4 - 0 so far this year in games I have attended. They are 0 - 1 in games I haven't attended. For those of you who are about to do the math, that extrapolates into a 162 - 0 pace if I was to attend every Marlins game this year and a 0 - 162 record if I attended zero Marlins games this year. Although, it looks like Beckett is on again today, so this trend may already be reversing (as I'm watching the game on tv - and if you're not, you may want to tune in - looks like it could be a special performance).


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