Dontrelle: I'm no recruiter
Dontrelle Willis is no Lane Kiffin. Or John Calipari. Or whichever college coach you want to use as an example.
Point is, though Johnny Damon mentioned calling his friend Willis for his take on the Tigers and how Damon would received, right before Damon agreed to terms on his one-year contract, Willis isn’t taking credit, especially since Damon called him, not the other way around.
“I don’t recruit,” Willis said. “We’re just good friends. Our wives are good friends. He just asked me how the organization was. I just gave him my honest opinion, especially in my situation, where I haven’t played well for the organization. I still spoke highly about the guys in the clubhouse, guys in the training room, the coaching staff and the front office, because that’s how I really feel. That was just friend to friend.
“I’m sure it was a hard decision for him. He had so many teams bidding for him, and I wished him all the best, regardless of what he did. I guess my words spoke volumes for him. He called me back within an hour and said he’d see me this spring. I really appreciate that he took my words to heart, because they were heartfelt. I was just being totally honest about everybody. … It wasn’t really the conversation that everybody thought it was.”
Still, he has given opinions about organizations before, including when he was with the Marlins.
“As goofy as I am, I do have an attention to detail,” he said. “I’ve always been somebody who tries to pay attention as best as I can and watch my surroundings, and I have a good idea of personalities.”
Said Willis: “I told Johnny, ‘I haven’t been playing well, and they still treat me with a lot of respect, from top to bottom.’”