Perhaps the camera loves The Sultan Of Sloth. If so, he most assuredly does not love it back, as told to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
“Outside the ballpark, it was hard. You can’t go anywhere, especially if you’re not pitching well. You get the business from [fans]. You can’t enjoy your family time. Your alone time is gone because you’re subject to photographs nonstop. It was the worst. You go to a mall with your kids and you have people always wanting to take pictures. They should call it ‘Picturetown’ not ‘Beantown.’
“Listen, I know the people are Red Sox-friendly. They love the Red Sox. I understand that. They have to understand that when we’re not at the ballpark, we’re not subject to autographs and pictures and we need to be able to enjoy ourselves. I don’t think they see that and don’t get it.”
New York, where Wells spent four seasons, “is a cakewalk compared to Boston,” he said. “But you know what? Boston is a great town. When I was playing against them, it was great coming in. Great stuff in that town. Great restaurants and nightlife. Historical stuff.”
“But you have to be able to deal with it. That’s why Manny [RamÃrez] is always a little loopy — because he can’t do stuff. If you want to be subject to that kind of stuff, God bless you. But as you get older, you want to relax.”
What particularly upset Wells in Boston was the obscenity-laced heckling he — and his family — would be subject to when leaving the park.
“Once I heard that, with my family there, I just shut everybody down,” he said. “I ignored everybody. To me, fans aren’t going to make or break me. If they overstep the boundaries, then we’re going to have a situation. They can say all they want about me and it’s not going to reflect on the field how I do. It never has.”
The New York Times’ Murray Chass has a peculiar take on the rationale behind the opt-out clause in A-Rod’s monster deal.
As rich as the contract is, a record $252 million over all and salaries of $27 million in each of the final three years, there is no need for Rodriguez to walk away from the contract after its seventh season for economic reasons. But had Rodriguez stayed with Texas for the first seven years, the opt-out clause might have served as a way for him to go where he really wanted to go six years ago.
The Mets were Rodriguez™s first love, but Steve Phillips, then the Mets™ general manager, shattered that desire by recoiling at the initial asking price uttered by Scott Boras, Rodriguez™s agent, and running as fast as he could in the opposite direction.
By having the opt-out clause, Rodriguez, now 31, preserved his ability to go to the Mets while he was still young enough to make a difference and to give the Mets a chance to make up for the mistake they made in December 2000.
“Mistake they made”? The Rangers and Yankees have won as many World Series with Rodriguez on their payroll as the Mets have without him in the last 6 years. Given the emergence of David Wright and Jose Reyes, not to mention a Flushing clubhouse that seems the very picture of tranquility compared to that of their crosstown rivals, this “mistake” is surely a matter of Chass imagining Rodriguez and Boras’ point of view.