THE 2004 EPIC Troy raked in some $133 million at the U.S. box office, thanks in part to Marlins ace Dontrelle Willis. "Saw it four times in the movie theater," says Willis, 23. But even that wasn't enough. The red-hot lefty--he's 7--1 with a 1.45 ERA--watches snatches of Brad Pitt portraying Achilles on a DVD player in his locker before each start. "I like the action, the spears flying through the air. It calms me down," Willis says. His teammates aren't surprised he doesn't give up the Homer. Pitcher Matt Perisho, who watched Varsity Blues (about a high school football team) to relax before starts in Triple A, says, "Troy's like Gladiator on steroids.... [Dontrelle's] taking a gladiator-style approach to his job. He's going out there and doing battle." Adds righthander A.J. Burnett, "With what Dontrelle's doing now, he should probably watch that movie the rest of his career."
MURRAY CLOSE/2003 WARNER BROS. ENT. (PITT)
TOM DIPACE (WILLIS)