May 19, 2005

G40: Athletics 13, Red Sox 6

I don't like David Wells. Never have, never will. The media's image of him as some kind of metal-head, rebel biker is laughable. These are the same clowns who go on and on about how wild it is that Johnny Damon has long hair, or that Barry Zito meditates. Whenever I hear how Wells "marches to a different drummer" or "shoots from the hip," I remember his comments after a playoff start in Cleveland where he was very upset because while he was warming up, the Jacobs Field fans were -- cue whiny voice -- making fun of his mommy.

I didn't like Theo signing him for two years, even though it was largely an incentive-based contract. And so far this season, Wells has given me little reason to even consider changing my opinion.

Making his first start since April 25 yesterday afternoon in Oakland, Wells lasted 1.1 innings, allowing seven runs and nine hits on only 49 pitches. While several of the hits were grounders that just found their way through the infield, it was clear that Wells was fooling no one. The A's did not swing and miss on any of his 49 pitches.

Jeremi Gonzalez, who had been scheduled to start the game before Wells came off the disabled list, then allowed four of his first five batters to reach base, putting Boston in a 9-0 hole after two innings. Oakland was hitting .706 (12-for-17) after two trips through the order. (By the way, the A's swung and missed at only one of Gonzalez's 75 pitches.)

Wells will eat a lot of innings -- and anything else in his path, it seems -- but he's also been only league average in six of his last nine seasons. There is no reason to expect him to be anything other than a decent place holder at the back of the rotation, who will occasionally throw a good game. In six starts, he's has two non-shitty outings. His ERA is 6.75 and he has an opponents batting average of .346.

After the rout, the media wanted to know if Wells thought he should have made a rehab start? "I'm not going to answer any questions like that because obviously you guys think I should have. I know what I'm capable of doing. Because the game looked bad today, you guys are going to decide I needed one."

Seth Etherton held the Red Sox to four hits (including two solo homers) in seven innings. Boston rallied for four runs in the eighth, making the final score of 13-6 sound way closer than it really was. It was the first time Oakland had scored at least 10 runs in a game this season, making them the last team to do so.

Since his hitting streak ended at 18 games, Damon has gone 2-for-22. ... Cla Meredith was sent to Pawtucket to make room for Wells. ... Red Sox batters walked 11 times Tuesday. The team record is 15 against Washington July 7, 1949 and the White Sox May 7, 1992. ... Manny Ramirez is putting his 400th HR ball on eBay -- with the proceeds going to charity.

In Seattle, Jason Giambi took strike three with the bases loaded in the ninth inning as the Yankees lost 7-6, their first defeat in 11 games. Baltimore beat the Royals again, so Boston is still in second, though now 3.5 games behind. ... Day off today.

Probable Atlanta match-ups:
Friday: Wade Miller / Mike Hampton
Saturday: Tim Wakefield / Tim Hudson
Sunday: Matt Clement / John Smoltz
After that, it's back out on the road, first to Toronto, then to New York, where the Yankees are considering tweaking their rotation to throw Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Mike Mussina at the Sox. Bring it on.


Earl said...

Okay, I generally agree with you on Wells, but your "making fun of his mommy" comment is just unfair. Try "making jokes about his late mother, who had passed away the previous year". There's a difference there. I seriously hope you don't think he was being a baby for being upset at that.

redsock said...

Running out and making this quick:

Yes, he was being a baby. That's what I meant. He can be upset, but don't go crying to the media about how mean those big bad Cleveland fans were.

Did he think they'd wanna discuss politcs with him in the bullpen? It's the playoffs, of course they're gonna try to get under his skin.

Wells portrays himself -- and gets portrayed -- as a big tough guy who likes his music loud and his beer cold. And his mother hung out with bikers (Hell's Angels?).

At the time (1997?) I said that if his mother was still alive and heard how thin-skinned her son was acting, she'd have slapped him silly.

Paige said...

I'm right there with you. Don't want us to make fun of your mom? There's an easy way to fix that: Don't be such a douchebag and we won't have any reason to question her abilities, Dave.

L-girl said...

"I seriously hope you don't think he was being a baby for being upset at that."

I think he was being a huge baby to be upset at that! Fans are ragging on him and he whines to the media, this big tough-guy rebel.

If Wells can't handle fans yelling "yo mama" insults at him, his skin is a tad thin for professional sports.

Earl said...

All I said is he was upset, and had the right to be. It was almost 7 years ago, so maybe my memory's wrong, but I certainly don't remember him "whining" and "crying to the media" as you say. Instead he said, "There was a lot of negative stuff out there...people talking about your mom. I don't appreciate stuff like that." I'm pretty sure that was all he said (okay, later he called Cleveland fans "idiots", but that's a statement of fact, not an opinion).

As for L-girl's saying he was unable "to handle fans yelling 'yo mama' insults at him": sorry, he won the game. 7.1IP, 3ER, 11K, 1BB.

You are all blowing this way out of proportion: he made a couple offhanded comments after a very well-pitched game, and you call him out for whining to the media.

Look, as I said in my initial post, I don't like the guy either. I can't even believe I'm spending time defending him. And I totally agree that his whole "biker" persona is just an act, swallowed whole by the sports media. But you can't just embellish old stories to prove your point.

J COLOMBO said...

Wells is a selfish baby with a rubber arm. IF he stays healthy he will win big games for you, if not he can be a cancer.

L-girl said...

I wasn't implying that he didn't pitch well that day. (And I was a Yankees fan at the time - as I was for nearly 30 years - so I wasn't just being anti-Yankee.)

I do remember Wells making quite a public stink about the Cleveland fans, on post-game interviews, pre-game before his next start, etc.

He's a big crybaby with a bad back (which maybe wouldn't be so bad if he dropped 30 or 50 lbs). It's hard to respect an athlete who takes such little care of himself.

He's been washed up for several seasons. He hasn't stayed healthy in years, so I don't know why he would now.