As you’ve probably heard by now, Boston pitcher David Wells was called to the carpet by Commissioner Bud Selig, and has since apologized for calling Bud a do-nothing idiot. The AP’s report includes the following :
The boisterous lefty also claimed Selig withheld results of Rafael Palmeiro’s steroids test to avoid detracting from the Hall of Fame inductions. Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, called Wells’ version “pure fiction.”
In the latest issue of Baseball America, Peter Gammons claimed that Selig was discussing the Palmeiro case during the Hall of Fame inductions and efforts were made to keep the story out of the papers for another day. Presumably, Gammons, whose comments have been in print well over a week, will not be brought to MLB’s offices for a reprimand.
Though making fun of David Wells (above, right) is a common practice around here, he’s not not completely full of shit for a living, nor is this the first time he’s spoken his mind. The following quotes are culled from Howard Bryant’s terrific ‘Juicing The Game’ (Viking, 2005).
A left-handed control pitcher, Wells was one of the people most affected by the bigger-faster-stronger set. Yet he couldn’t understand why people wasted their breath trying to reform the game. Wells was no fool. He was another prominent player who believed that the very hiearchy of baseball encouraged offense, at the expense of his livelihood. “Why do you think the fucking DH exists in the first place? You think owners want to see a 1-0 game? You know the fans sure as hell don’t.”
Wells also knew that crossing the power in the game could be expensive. In the spring of 2003, Wells alleged in his autobiography that nearly half the players in the big leagues were using steroids. As the backlash intensified, Wells reduced his estimate to 20 percent. Instead of investigating the issue, the Yankees fined him $100,000 for conduct detrimental to the team. That told him all he need to know. You couldn’t reform from the outside, Wells believed, something that didn’t want to be reformed from within. Too much money was at stake. There was no way you could be a reformer when the sport’s lifeblood — the people who slapped down their $50 for a ticket — came to watch the pumped-up version of the game and didn’t care how these great feats were being achieved.