A long time ago, 1972 to be exact, Jim Croce taught us all a few valuable lessons.
1) You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
2) You don’t spit into the wind
3) You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
4) You don’t mess around with Jim
In 2005, David Wells added to that list of words to live by.
If you’re a Red Sox fan, you’ve gotta love Boomer. Plain and simple, the guy is a badass. On the field he’s the guy hitters don’t want to face and umps don’t want to blow a call on. Off the field he’s the guy you don’t want to meet in a dark alley or even a well-lit bar. He’s the guy you don’t want to sit at the next table over in a restaurant. And he’s definitely the guy you don’t want to cut off on the highway.
Everyone knows what David Wells can do on the field. But its his after-hours hijinks that make him “Boomer.” And, yes, I did just say “hijinks.”
After pitching a perfect game in ’97, Wells got a call from New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Rudy G wanted to bring Wells to city hall to give him a key to the city. Wells responded, “Do you think that’s a good idea?”
Also following the perfect game, Wells had to explain to the public his state of sobriety during the game: “I went out the night before and now it says I’m drunk that day. I wasn’t. I took some aspirin and had a headache, but what I read said I was drunk.”
When Wells was pitching in pinstripes, fans used to hang placards with beer steins on them in place of K’s to represent strikeouts.
Joe Torre has a few memories of Wells from his Yankee days. Torre recalled a game in 1997 that Wells started. He took the mound wearing an authentic Babe Ruth baseball cap he had purchased for $30,000. After an inning, he was told to remove it because it wasn’t standard issue.
He’s broken his pitching hand in a bar fight and had some teeth knocked out during a 5AM diner incident. He’s a walking photo album with three generations of his family inked on his body.
Despite his “hefty lefty” appearance, Wells is an athlete. He can supposedly dunk a basketball and throw a football 70 yards. True or not, I’d take him, Trot and Kapler in a brawl against any starting nine. Anytime, anywhere. How many really bad ideas do you think were born in shady barrooms with Wells throwing back a few cold ones and saying “You know what would be really funny…?”
Last night Boomer didn’t have his perfect game stuff, but he had enough to go 5 innings and get a win. Not a masterpiece, but we are talking about the Royals. And once the Sox had the requisite 5-run lead, Remy took over. His banter about his rental car was priceless.
The only other thing I want to say about last night – Bellhorn would have been covering first on the Berroa bunt.
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