The D Train Is Off The Rails: Dontrelle Willis Goes AWOL From Orioles' AAA Team

Look at that tall left-handed man up there. Does he look happy to you? Or does he look like an irritated guest of that cartoon bird?

According to Jon Heyman, it's the latter. Willis ditched the Norfolk Tides last week after insisting that he should start, when the team wanted him to relieve.

When the Orioles signed Willis in March—after the Phillies released him—the plan was for him to become a lefty specialist. That's what he was supposed to do in Philly, too. At the time of his signing, he told MLB.com about his bullpen obligations, "I'm going to continue to do stuff like that and get used to my role over here." (These weren't the most enthusiastic words, but they were apparently enough for Baltimore.)

Time in Norfolk changes a man, though, and Willis's agent told Heyman that Dontrelle, who had been on the disabled list with forearm soreness, has scrammed and asked Baltimore for his release. He only pitched in three games. Yeah, Dan Duquette wants Willis back. But we have a feeling that the D Train's ditched the tracks for the foreseeable future.

Willis said to leave team w/o permission; Duquette still wants him for pen [CBS Sports]