SBD/Issue 232/Franchises

Willis' Agent Suggests Marketing Burden Is Derailing D-Train

Marketing Storm Around Willis
Tiring Out The Young Star

Marlins P Dontrelle Willis' S.F.-based agent Matt Sosnick "has asked the Marlins to calm down the marketing circus that surrounds their most bankable young star," according to Mike Berardino of the Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL. Sosnick "also expressed concern over the number of team-sponsored outings Willis" has made to "area schools, corporate sponsors and the like." Sosnick: "He's physically exhausted. Dontrelle does nothing else except give interviews and pitch and sleep." Sosnick voiced his concerns to Marlins Assistant GM Jim Fleming late last week. Sosnick added that Marlins Managing General Partner Jeffrey Loria "recently went to the club's marketing officials and asked that Willis be made exempt from the weekly schedule of player appearances." But Loria said, "I have not given any orders to do that. Whatever is good for Dontrelle is what we're going to do." Sosnick stressed that "neither he nor his client is dissatisfied with the way the Marlins have treated Willis." Sosnick: "Loria is an absolutely great guy and he and (wife) Sivia have treated us like gold. The guy has been a saint." As for the D-Train Flex Pack, a special ticket plan the team introduced around Willis' starts, which the player has voiced concerns over, Sosnick said, "What's in place is in place. The Marlins have a right to benefit from the fact he's pitched well" (SUN-SENTINEL, 8/26).

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