True he gets stronger as the regular season goes on, and he pitches well out of trouble. But he has been less than stellar in prior postseason appearances with Cleveland. I have avoided exploring these here. Let’s hope I don’t need to feel that need. He does seem to have filled-out his potential, paradoxically-speaking (I was so glad when, still in Cleveland, he told critics he was not going to focus on losing weight, just on aerobic conditioning. Funny how fellow big lefty David Wells addressed this issue differently! He is providing commentary on the TBS broadcast of this evening’s ALDS Game 1 vs Minnesota.)
…which means he’s wise and I don’t have to repeat myself to you.
Of course, he’s (at metsreport.com) talking about the Mets, having decided El Duque should retire after today, with 3 weeks left in the spring season. (As usual, I find Met fans too hasty with the eject button.)
Wish the YANKEES would bend an ear. Do I necessarily think we need a 5th starter, exactly? No. Do I necessarily think Wells has starter stuff all season? No. Could he warm up the season as long relief, lending some stability to the bullpen in case the young starters break down occasionally? WOULD he? Could he deal with a contract reflecting non-starter status? Or, maybe the question is whether the Yankees — or any team — could deal a contract that compensates a respected starter for stepping into an irregular schedule, with the understanding that — at the end of the season — he would have a place in the rotation unless his pitching is under an agreed-upon performance indicator. (A 6th starter?! Why not! We can afford it, especially with 3 young ‘uns. More than likely, however unfortunate, is the possibility that one of the 5 starters will be injured by then, or will at least need to be spelled.)
Wouldn’t it be nice to sigh at the start of postseason, which for him is like midnight to a nightowl, "Ahhh, all’s Wells."
It even goes beyond retiring as a Yankee. Did you know that Ron Guidry was his idol growing up! Uh, huh! Wait ’til you hear this — in his first MLB start, his opposing pitcher WAS Guidry. Take a look at the symmetry — closing out his career with Guidry as pitching coach?!
And, wasn’t David (David Wells, for those of you whose needs I have rudely ignored) undefeated as a Dodger until this week, when he took care to take LA out of contention himself, in plenty of time to sneak onto our roster?
You know he’ll pitch wherever he’s needed — as a starter, out of the bullpen, whatever. He and Clem could combine for a game. Now that’s symmetry.
Let’s make nice. OK? Please? So little is going well, even in my baseball social life. This bone would make so many dogs happy.
David Wells Loses His Win Again 6IP, 1ER. June 26, 2007
San Diego beat the Giants 2-1, but a blown save by, of all people, the very reliever whose retention he had championed offseason (Scott Linebrink) took away his W. A tightly-pitched game overall, though Wells gave up an unusually high number of walks (3), for him. Maybe it is more accurate to describe it as a tightly-managed pitching game, at least by the Padres, who used 6 pitchers to keep the Giants from scoring more than 1 run in 10 innings The 6th was Trevor Hoffman, who earned his 20th save. Only Zito — who went 8 innings — and Meredith pitched for the Giants, and they kept the Pads to 2 runs in 10. Not bad, eh?
Ever wonder what it’s like being Doug Balsley, the pitching coach for Padres’ manager Bud Black? As pitching coach for the Angels in his previous job, he looked intense and hands-on, if you know what I mean.
**SPECIAL NOTE** I have a bad feeling that Andy Pettitte is going to win the YEAH, YEAH, YEAH Award of the year. Today fit the bill, and I haven’t the heart to explain. If you can stand it, listen to the game, bad umpire calls and all. Calls that favored the Yankees, mind you.
Wow. What a Weekend. Well, at least it’s the Right Sox tonight. A breather, even if they do win, which is how it’s looking right now. Roger the Rocket looked pretty fat at Pinstripes on the Park last Thursday. Hate to but I must tell you that the audience — just like at the Stadium the Saturday prior — was definitely not swayed by his charms or promise. His promises, on the other hand, were inspiring. He said we’d take the Series this weekend, and we did. We could use a cheerleader from Texas. One who’s on OUR payroll.
I hear from Floraine Kay that we might take Runyldys Hernandez off the hands of the Red Sox. We might have saved some money and the risk of a double agent (ala Ramiro Mendoza working for us in in their clubhouse in 2003 — and then back with us in the minors last year — where is he now?) had someone LISTENED TO ME and bought him straight from Kansas City. It’s hardly a secret that I have a soft spot for oversized lefties like David Wells (San Diego — HELLO, anybody LISTENING?), CC Sabathia (Cleveland), and, yes, Runyldys, who definitely needed some guidance while he was with the Royals. It will be interesting to see where he is.
So we need a fielder who doesn’t have to hit, eh? Um, anybody look at our bench? MIGUEL CAIRO? And, does anyone remember that he makes things happen? Why hasn’t he been working? He worked in April during some shortages, then NOTHING. Even a DH needs SOME time on the field, and he is a good fielder when he gets a chance to play.
Besides Miggy, there’s Super Joe McEwing, former Met, beloved by fans in Kansas City, and now somewhere else, I will have to check. I loved watching him field. Like David Dellucci as a Yankee, Super Joe was everywhere before you knew where to look. Then, there’s Jeff Keppinger, another former Met, though he may have found a home, as I know Ty Wigginton has as a Devil Ray. Wiggington is a bat more than a fielder, anyway. I’ll always remember the story Floraine told me about how, when he was playing 3rd base for the Mets, knowing he was prone to errors, he wrote E-5 on the inside of his visor.
More on umpires, especially regarding this last weekend, to come.
We let Jeff Nelson retire in pinstripes. We had just re-hired him, again, and he retired before spring training. Could that have been pre-arranged?! Surely we can do something for a man who loves the Yankees more than he loves his beer and ego combined. He even has some good games left in him to boot, and we saw him pitch well into the postseason again last year as a Padre. WHO could this be???!!!!
It could only be….
BOOMER!!!! Denis Poroy / AP
San Diego sounds like they want him but can only go so far, and you know we can beat that number. We need another lefty, don’t we?! Wouldn’t it be cool? And, if there’s any chance we are going to fulfull Petitte’s wish for Clemens, can we show Wells some respect by hiring him back first? After all, we let him go the first time in exchange for Clemens, who took some time to fill Wells’ shoes. I know, I know about Boomer’s second time around with us, and his book and his back and how he wasn’t throwing off the mound, and how some that season’s disappointment on his untimely departure after a perfect first inning with back pain. Despite the debacle, there was no way he could accept the minor league contract for a couple hundred thousand that we offered him after that year.
Mr. Steinbrenner, PLEASE! Let Mr. Clemens go to the Red Sox, and let Boomer come back to us where he belongs. He can even pitch short starts, even out of the bullpen sometimes. Let him pitch as a Yankee one more year, and retire in pinstripes.
Surely Jeff Nelson would not mind the company, when the time comes.
SOMEBODY, go get Wells those burgers. He wasn’t kidding, you know, and he earned them, all right. We had another chance at him when Boston moved him on, and again we passed. David Wells, who brings luck, a chronic backache, and a special ulcer for Joe Torre when he is on our team, was welcomed back to his hometown Padres, and he returned the favor by clinching for them. He would be the Yankees’ #1 postseason starter, possibly #2 because of the gout he just pitched through, not to mention the back that threw him out of favor in 2003, when he pitched a great first inning and left us with tired relievers and an extra game to win, which, of course, we didn’t. Does that postseason-ending collision with Sheffield illuminate why loyal and senior AAA outfielder Bubba Crosby got picked to take the walk when someone had to go this year?
MORE from MLB.com
Wells talks -a lot- about pitching his hometown team into the postseason
Wells epitomizes Padres’ pitching
Closer extraordinaire Trevor Hoffman talks about clinching.
…yeah, yeah, yeah. We know.
This week’s Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Awards go to…
- David Wells (2-4, 4.71) Fri 9-14-06 5IP 2ER 1 BB
Wrap + Box Dodgers-3 Padres-2 Wells-L Maddux-W–19-19–4.22, Broxton-H-9-2.51, Saito-S-19-1.93
Wells pitched a beautiful game against the Dodgers, excepting the 4th inning, when he unravelled after surrendering an unheard-of — for him — walk. Unravelling — for him — nowadays means giving up 2 runs in 5 innings. Why just 5, I do not know. Fellow 40+ man Greg Maddux no-hit the Padres into the 7th, leaving Wells no offense to work with.
- Shawn Chacon (6-6, 6.49) Th 9-13-06 7IP 2ER 1BB
- Wrap + Box Milwaukee 2 @ Pittsburgh 1 Chacon-L Sheets-W–5-7–4.08, Cordero-S-18–3.61
Chacon drew a hand very similar to Wells’ when he lost 2-1 to the Brewers. Like Wells, his opposing pitcher — Ben Sheets in Chacon’s case — pitched a no-no deep into the game. Unlike Wells, he will receive less sympathy, despite his recent return from the DL for knee problems, like Wells, which, unlike Wells’, are unrepaired. Chacon is playing hurt — what he has is a publically-realeased diagnosis, better than he got from the Yankees, who gave him nothing but rumors, a demotion, and, in the end, a 1-way ticket to Pittsburgh.
Red Sox 9 Orioles 2
W Wells (1-2, 6.23, 7IP, 1ER)
Have you ever been on the receiving end of one of these? "Oh, don’t worry, it will be fine, I just don’t want to feel trapped into something so far ahead of time — but, definitely, I have every intention of marrying you/hiring you/granting you a credit line/sharing an apartment with you." Then, boom. They flake out on you, except that they are not flaking out at all, are they?
Mark Feinsand remembers. "At the beginning of Spring Training, Brian Cashman told Gary Sheffield that he didn’t see any reason why the Yankees would not pick up the outfielder’s $13 million option for 2007."
Know what he says now? This is what he told the Associated Press for Sports Illustrated about how he is going to squeeze back into the lineup once his wrist is healed, never mind the 2007 contract: "’I just think that those type discussions will come when we know he’s ready to go,’ he said. ‘But right now there’s no guarantee. I just don’t know when him and Hideki will be here, and so I think we just lined up some choices, insurance policies, whatever you want to call it.’"
How do you read "go," as in "when we know he’s ready to go"? For readers, he probably meant "ready to go," as in ready to go be a right fielder again. However, I think his word choice is pretty conspicuously ambiguous. It’s almost too conspicuous to be intentional, like a slip of the tongue. I don’t know. What do you think?
I do not know what will happen when Gary Sheffield’s contract expires at the end of this season. I do know that something smelled funny several months ago when the front office got him to quiet down when he started agitating publicly about being stonewalled on obtaining a commitment for one more year with the Yankees. It sounded like the reassurance came from the suits, not Daddy George, and that is what made me uncomfortable. I could have this all wrong, but my sense is that the troublemakers are Mr. Steinbrenner’s initiatives, and when he drops them, they are not long for the show, at least not for ours. When David Wells embarrassed the family with his book and subsequent public comments, and then let his weight get out of hand and strain his back, contributing to our loss in the World Series in 2004, he was offered a couple hundred thousand and a minor league contract, despite a quite successful year. Steinbrenner was done with him. Done, or else he wanted Wells to beg. I hope Steinbrenner is not done with Sheffield. I hope Torre wasn’t the official reassurance this time, because, if so, he’s dropped another tier. Plus, I never got the feeling he was one of Joe’s Boys.
Would you find this reassuring, spoken by Joe Torre?
"I told Sheff that, if this deal is done, it doesn’t say for sure that we’re not going to have him here or pick up his option," the manager said. "That doesn’t mean you’re making him any promises that you are, but it doesn’t mean that, because you get an outfielder, tell him that this is the way it’s going to be."
Oh, man. Sheffield, I really like you. I like you as a Yankee. You give EVERYTHING and you deserve a real shot at a ring.
Mr. Steinbrenner (and Mr. Cashman, if you are within hearing distance), please bring Gary Sheffield back for 2007. We all know he deserves it. We all know we have at least one too many adult outfielders now that we have acquired Abreau. Perhaps Abreu or Damon can be trade bait for a pitcher next year. After all, we have wonderful minor leaguers who have been hitting and fielding well under tremendous pressure, and you recall how magically well we did when our team was made mainly of our fine former farmhands, back in 1996-98, and we have helped new outfielders move along in to their futures before. So, please, consider another year of Sheffield’s salary, which pays for far more than his clutch hitting and his no-doubt fielding (don’t you miss that?) It buys the no-restraint energy that inspires the team and the fans who come to see the guy who is not afraid of anyone and who will do just about anything to win. We like the polite Yankees. But we need our Sheffield too. And, while you’re at it, if you feel like angering Boston, perhaps you could offer David Wells a uniform and a hamburger, no mayonaise.
Thank you. You are the closest thing we have to Santa Claus, you know. We count on you. That’s a lot of pressure. But, you love it, right?! Making us happy, making yourself happy?
With love and respect,
Fan of Aging Troublemakers