03/01/2003 5:31 PM ET
Book 'em, David: Wells explains
TAMPA, Fla. -- One day after a copy of his upcoming autobiography made its way around the Yankees clubhouse, David Wells sought out a few people to talk about the book's contents.
|By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
One of those people was Mike Mussina, of whom Wells wrote, "The Moose and I have played on two squads now, and I have to admit, we don't always see eye to eye. We're not pals, we don't hang."
"I don't want it to be a distraction for this team or its individuals," Wells said. "The thing with me and Mike not seeing eye-to-eye, that was in 1996. We've grown up, we're different people than we were then, and that was my opinion then. We see eye-to-eye now, and he's a great guy."
Mussina, who laughed it up with reporters while thumbing through the book on Friday, said he had no problem with anything that Wells wrote.
"I don't feel any different toward Boomer now than I did two days ago. We don't hang out, so where's the false advertising? We didn't need to make peace. We're at the same place we always were," Mussina said. "He said something to me because he didn't want me to think that he wasn't pulling for me or that he wasn't as much a teammate as anyone else. He wanted to make sure that I didn't have any animosity, and I don't."
Wells also pulled general manager Brian Cashman into Joe Torre's office on Saturday morning to apologize to him for any distractions that the book has caused to the organization.
"From the word around here, there were some people who felt that the timing was a little off," Mussina said. "I think people have mentioned some things to him, so he's looking at things a little differently than he did originally."
Wells was not able to speak to Roger Clemens, who was pitching in the Yankees' road game at Kissimmee against Houston. In the book, Wells also questioned some of Clemens' on-field behavior., "The man is a fantastic pitcher, easily the best right-hander of our generation. While in the past I haven't always agreed with his behavior on the field (trust me, if I were Mike Piazza, that broken bat would still be shoved up Roger's [butt]), we are teammates. We are Yankees, and from this day forward, I'll have no trouble supporting the man wholeheartedly."
"I wanted to talk to him about that, but he was pitching," Wells said. "They asked me a question about the Clemens-Piazza ordeal, and I said if someone threw a bat at me, I'd shove it up their [butt]. That's just me, I wasn't taking a shot at Roger. Maybe it came out like that, but it wasn't."
After his start, Clemens told reporters that he hasn't been bothered by Wells' words, and he doesn't think it will be an issue in the future.
"I don't worry about small stuff in life, and that's all that is," Clemens said. "We have fun with one another, and I don't take it to heart. I have more important things to worry about than what Boomer's doing. He needs to live his life and leave the rest of us out of it."
After Wells' start on Friday, Torre said that he thought Wells had been distracted by the attention being given to the book. Wells confirmed that the issue was on his mind, but said that it didn't have much of an effect on his performance.
"It wasn't pleasant, but I have a job to do. I have to go out there and pitch. I've pitched under way worse circumstances than what went on yesterday," Wells said. "I'm all over the news, CNN, all that stuff. The world is bored and they have to focus on something. I happen to be what they're focusing on."
Wells said Saturday that he believes the press is putting a different spin on the contents of the book, focusing on comments he made about Mussina and Clemens, as well as the contention that Wells was "half-drunk" when he threw his perfect game in 1998.
"I know it's been written that I was drunk the day I pitched the perfect game, but I wasn't. 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," Wells said. "How would that look? It would look bad for the organization, it would look bad for me. I had a headache and was a little hung-over. That's all it was. Hopefully it will be written the way I said it instead of in your own words."
When Wells was told that the book itself contained the words "half-drunk," he backed off, saying that Chris Kreski, the book's co-writer, may have taken some of Wells' words out of context.
"I'm not going to rip the guy, because I'm accountable for everything I said in that book, but it's my fault for not going through it with a fine-tooth comb," Wells said. "What I said is what I said. Sometimes I'm too honest, I guess. That's probably my own fault."
"He knows he's responsible for what's in this book with his name on it," Torre said. "It's something we'll have to deal with, get through it and move on. My responsibility is to make sure that guys are playing baseball and thinking about baseball."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.