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Dontrelle Willis is filing a grievance against the Orioles

Apr 24, 2012, 4:31 PM EDT

Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

Dontrelle Willis was placed on the restricted list by the Baltimore Orioles list after, according to them anyway, he went AWOL as the result of his unhappiness at being forced to work from the pen instead of starting.

Willis, through his agent Matt Sosnick, says that is hooey — they say he left the team with consent — and they are filing a grievance. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN Reports:

Pitcher Dontrelle Willis is filing a grievance against the Baltimore Orioles, alleging that the club placed him on the restricted list and is preventing him from signing with another organization even though he left the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate with the consent of a team official.

Willis received permission from Tripp Norton, Baltimore’s director of baseball administration, before leaving the Norfolk Tides last Wednesday, said agent Matt Sosnick.

Sosnick says that Norton said “we don’t want a player doing something he doesn’t want to do” and said he was thus free to leave.  There are a bunch of additional quotes from Sosnick and Willis which strongly suggests that, at least in the minds of Sosnick and Willis, Willis had full permission to leave. If it was an open question, I’m not sure they’d be so forthcoming and adamant about it.

Oh, and there is a sick, sick burn of Dan Duquette in the last paragraph, when Sosnick responds to speculation that Willis might have offers to play in Japan or Korea:

“I have not been contacted by any Asian team about Dontrelle,” Sosnick said. “But I know that Dan has closer ties to Korea than I do, so maybe he knows something that I don’t know.”

Dan Duquette’s Orioles, of course, have been banned from any activity in Korea due to scouting misdeeds there.  At least that’s what I hope Sosnick was referencing.

  1. darthicarus - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    As a Tigers fan I would like to file a grievance against Dontrelle Willis.

    • flaviusflav - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      I have no complaints. He helped bring Miggy to Detroit.

      • darthicarus - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        If by having an albatross of a contract that Mr. I was willing to absorb was helping, then I concur.

    • Detroit Michael - Apr 25, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      If Dontrelle Willis failed to give 100% effort when he was with the Tigers, I missed it.

  2. tomtravis76 - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Last stop for Dontrelle in MLB. The Orioles can’t even stand to put up with his nonsense. He got his ring and big contract, time to move on.

  3. rollinghighwayblues - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    “he went AWOL as the result of his unhappiness at being forced to work from the pen instead of starting.”

    Seriously? Talk about audacity.

    He should be thankful that an actual ML team is actually dumb enough to pay him for his services, no matter how small those services may be. This guy seems to have fell of a decade ago but still, somehow, by many miracles, is still able to suit up for a MLB team.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    This story is weird and getting weirder.

    • bigleagues - Apr 24, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      Actually, as far as I’m concerned, it’s beginning to sound somewhat more typical of most players . . . who’ve been with 3 teams in the last 12 months, can’t swallow some pride and continue to insist on performing a role that they haven’t exactly excelled at in recent memory.

      It’s just that in D-Train’s case, when Duquette assigns AWOL to Willis’ absence it, well, takes on added meaning.

      In case people have forgotten . . . before there was Bobby V in Boston . . . there was Dan Duquette – who has his own unique ability to understate subtle daggers and ruffle feathers.

      I’m quite sure that’s why Sostick responded in the manner he did.

      C’mon Dontrelle, I WANT to see you pitch, buddy!

  5. dowhatifeellike - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I’m not sure that “OK, you can leave” is an official way to terminate a contract.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      But I guess the upside is that if he DID ask to leave, he doesn’t get paid.

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    What the hell? Dan, don’t burn bridges, especially stupid ones like this. Get a PR executive to make a statement calling the whole thing a mishap they’re sorry for, and let him be about his way.

  7. mybrunoblog - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Any truth to the rumor that Dontrelle is getting his baseball advice from Jose Canseco?

    • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:08 AM

      You’re slightly mistaken. He’s getting it from Colby Rasmus’ father.

  8. rcali - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Isn’t this like jail birds complaining about bad food at the prison?

  9. randygnyc - Apr 24, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    After his comments, sosnick must now realize he will never be able to market a client to all 30 teams, right?

  10. fireinthedisco - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Willis is done. If the guy knew what was good for him, he’d accept a bullpen role since there’s no way he would get 10 wins as a starter. He would definitely be useful as a lefty-specialist, in my opinion.

  11. mikecubbie69 - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    I have trouble feeling any sympathy for this guy. Hes had how many chances to prove himself and now hes acting like a big baby because he cant get his way? And his agent has a lot of nerve making it personal against Duquette. Really class act that Sosnick! If this were the real world this Sosnick character would be laughed out of the office and escorted out by a hulking security guard named Bruno! Id say the Orioles are good to be rid of him and his loser of an agent.

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