By JOHN DELCOS
The (Westchester, N.Y.) Journal News
CLEARWATER, Fla. - He ran his mouth; then ran away. David Wells, who calls himself a stand-up guy, evidently doesn't plan to abide by the "Accountability" sign prominently posted inside the New York Yankees' clubhouse.
Wells, with no shortage of things to say for over 400 pages in his autobiography, Perfect I'm Not! Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball, - including rips of teammates Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina - was quite the clam Friday after his meeting with general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Torre.
Attempting to be cute, Wells responded to questions about the meeting with baseball cliches of how he pitched - two runs in two innings - in a washed-out exhibition against Philadelphia.
Wells walked away after three questions, which wasn't surprising, because everybody knew any clarification or apology, or backing down in any way would muffle the cash registers.
There was, however, no muffling the laughter in the Yankees' clubhouse earlier, especially from Clemens and Mussina, who, amused by it all, repeated the stock "Boomer is Boomer," line in the same tone a parent says about a spoiled child seeking attention.
"Now, who could've written a book here?" Clemens said. "We're quoting the book, is that what we're doing today? He said he pitched a game when he was hammered - and you're shocked?"
It was obvious Clemens was going to have fun with this, just as Mussina, who initially said he wasn't going to talk, then spent a half-hour reading excerpts and adding his commentary.
"I call him Ely," said Clemens, who with an exaggerated Texas drawl, added, "because if a story goes over 30 seconds, he's lying."
A reporter started reading to Clemens.
"And, of course, there's the Rocket. Once and for all, let me go on record as saying I don't have a problem with Roger Clemens," Wells wrote. "Was I happy when he came to town and I ended up north of the border? Of course not, but that doesn't mean I ever made him the focus of my anger."
The smirk on Clemens' face grew into a grin when Wells changed tone. Clemens knew the punch line was coming.
"And, 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."
Clemens just laughed; any other response would sell more books.
"That's Boomer," Clemens said, then after a pause added, "Boomer is fun, isn't he? That's a nice thought. I'll put that right behind when he was out there hammered."
What bothered Clemens was Wells' statement that up to 40 percent of the players are on steroids.
"It's hard to make those statements," Clemens said. "It's good we tried to clean it up, if that stuff is happening. I enjoy taking supplements. You have to take the right supplements. If you find out something is harmful, take something else."
Catcher Jorge Posada said he has "no reason to believe," Wells pitched his perfect game half-drunk.
Mussina, of whom Wells wrote they "don't always see eye to eye," just had fun. He flipped through the book and stopped at a picture of a bare-chested Wells on page 65 and read a passage about his training habits: "Surf, eat, party, sleep - repeat."
Mussina later found a picture of a rail-thin Wells pitching in a high school game and said, "that was before page 65."
Then there was the photo taken of Wells in New Zealand - standing naked in a field.
"Oh, geez," said Mussina. "Beautiful, just beautiful."
About 20 minutes later, after Clemens had his eyeful, Derek Jeter and Posada were thumbing through the copy when Mussina came around the corner and asked, "Who has the book? I have to show this to (Steve) Karsay."
BENGALS / NFL
Bengals land free agent DE Powell
Neal's gone, and Spikes could be
Titans interested in free-agent corner
It's Parcells and Glenn again - this time with Cowboys
REDS / BASEBALL
Reds ticket sale brisk
Reds look to the fans to get them to payoff
So far, so good: Griffey looking like his old self
Daugherty: Clubhouse gags
Injury will push back Wilson's debut 7-10 days
Yankees amused by Wells' book
New pitches could extend Leiter's career
Q&A with The Kid
COLLEGE BASKETBALL SATURDAY
Beating UC next step for Calipari's Tigers
Muskies come home, face struggling G.W.
BG offers opportunity for streaking Miami
Enquirer Tipoff page
Catching up with John Loyer
Five Questions with Saint Joseph's mascot Steve Klarich
Big 10: Underdogs?
NCAA mulls war contingencies
Harrick Jr. suspended after allegations
Louisville's Stone still eligible, attorney said
UC women roll over Memphis
Miami hires defensive coordinator
Panthers pounce on No. 1 Tigers
Crusaders' win streak reaches 13
Friday's Ohio games
Friday's Kentucky games
James unstoppable in sectional game
Hamilton track star becomes AD at Fairfield
CovCath, Scott strong in qualifying
Five locals advance to final round
Prep hoops tourney schedules
Big foe for Jones, big risk for Ruiz
Boxing proving cathartic for Harding
Woods rolls to Match Play quarters
Champali heads field for Turfway's Battaglia
Congaree heavy favorite in Santa Anita Handicap
Ducks slay Monsters
ANOTHER SPORTS OPINION
As The Sports World Turns
PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio
Return to Reds front page...