The story of Dontrelle Willis' fall from being Rookie of the Year to his current state is not that funny in spite of the catchy post title. The Tigers asked MLB for permission to remove Willis from their active roster and place him on the DL after he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
GM Dave Dombrowski said he's "fairly optimistic" that Willis will return to the team this season. One can hope for the best but there's no time frame on recovery from a mental disorder. This isn't some physical injury with an expected recovery period.
Willis sat at his locker Sunday morning and calmly answered questions from reporters for about 15 minutes. He said he wants to "live and play baseball" and seemed upbeat about his chances for a recovery."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. They (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."
Amateur shrinkology says it doesn't sound like Willis has his mind around what's going on. Someone might want to tell him that mental disorders aren't diagnosed by blood tests. Bill Frist would probably disagree and offer a video diagnosis as well. Maybe doctors found something else during blood tests but we only know about the anxiety disorder so far.
Hopefully his teammates are trying to put his mind at ease by letting him know he's not crazy. Tigers legend Willie Horton has his back. So that's what he's been up to since he helped George H.W. Bush scare people into voting for him in 1988. Oh wait. Wrong Willie Horton.
It's been obvious that something has been wrong with Willis since last year. Hopefully he'll be able to tackle his issues and get right with himself. Baseball is secondary but it would be great to see him return to his Rookie of the Year form. The Tigers could use him especially with Jeremy Bonderman struggling as well.