David wells depressed after trade

Associated Press Published:

TAMPA, Fla. _ David Wells needed to get away. So after pacing around his Palm Harbor, Fla. home, Wells traveled to Miami for a weekend of golf.

"I've never seen him so down ... beyond depressed," New York Yankees pitcher David Cone said Friday, a day after Wells was dealt to Toronto along with Graeme Lloyd and Homer Bush for Roger Clemens. "I've never seen anybody so stunned by a trade ... confused and stunned."

Cone spent four hours at Wells' home on Thursday.

"He's (normally) so upbeat. He was pacing around and couldn't sit down," Cone said. "He was at a loss for words. He just had to get away. I don't think it has sunken in yet. He probably feels rejected and needs somebody to want him. He was very disappointed. He truly loved playing for the Yankees."

Wells became the toast of New York after pitching a perfect game against Minnesota last May. Fans loved him for his biker and beer image. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner became fond of Wells, even tolerating the pitcher's love of heavy metal music.

"I think our friendship will continue," Steinbrenner said. "It was tough yesterday. I think David knows how I feel about him."

Steinbrenner wasn't upset that some Yankees fans didn't like the trade.

"Fan reaction is important, but it's not the final grade," he said. "I learned a long time ago from (former Yankees general manager) Gabe Paul, who was one of the smartest men I ever met in baseball, you can not make a move and have it judged by the fan reaction. You let the results speak for themselves."

New York sportsradio was abuzz with negative reaction.

"People love him just because of the way he is," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Boomer is a character. The whole thing on and off the field, I think endeared him to the New York people."

Some in baseball said the trade was just another example of how baseball's rich get richer. The arrival of Clemens boosted the Yankees' payroll to $86.7 million.

"I really resent people making this a fiscal deal. I'm tired of hearing people saying, 'Oh, the Yankees can do this, the Yankees can do that,' " Steinbrenner said. "This was a trade ... people have seem to forgotten that. If our guys made a better trade than somebody else, so be it. Don't let them start saying we're doing all this because we've got the money. That didn't come to bear here."

The team was anticipating the arrival of Clemens on Saturday.

"He'll fit in the with group ... he's a Yankee now," Steinbrenner said. "He's bigger than life almost."

Cone wants to learn from his former rival.

"I'm anxious to see that legendary game-day preparation. It's very intense," Cone said. "I'd like to talk with him and compare notes on American League hitters."

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.