Originally written on The GM's Perspective  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Picimg_tigers_0fb8
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 (2003-2007) Dontrelle Willis won a total of 68 games. Since then he has won a total of 4 games over 4 years.  Chalk it up to ineffectiveness, wildness, Steve Blass disease, or string of injuries for his plummet from grace. Whatever the case may be, after 2006 when his walks increased by 20%, 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 the 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, 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 have 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 & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here. **Devon is available for hire or freelance opportunities**
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Nigel Williams-Goss transferring to Gonzaga

Philly store offering Eagles 'jersey insurance'

Chris Paul listed as questionable for Game 1 vs. Rockets

Pacquiao had injured shoulder, considered postponing fight

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets

Falcons draft pick's house burned down during draft

Packers trade up to draft Brett Hundley

Greg Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

WATCH: Tony Allen walks through children performing, gets booed

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods have broken up

WATCH: Two games end with baserunners hit by batted balls

WATCH: Damian Lilliard delivers great graduation speech

Jets do not envision Bryce Petty starting in 2015

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

Cubs fans want Harry Caray video for seventh inning stretch

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

WATCH: A-Rod fights back tears

A-Rod hits 660th home run, ties Willie Mays

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Celebrities make their picks

Ryan Succop offers to arm-wrestle Marcus Mariota for No. 8

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.