When I was in high school I wore 33 on my baseball jersey because of the numbers available in my size, that was the one I could pick to emulate a favorite player, David Wells.
I hated it when the Yankees traded Wells to the Blue Jays in the Roger Clemens deal — he was a guy that a young me had wanted in New York going back to when he was on the Blue Jays and Tigers, and when he finally got to the Bronx, he was awesome. He wore Babe Ruth’s hat in a game, pitched a perfect game on Beanie Baby Day at Yankee Stadium, and was part of the 1998 Bombers who were the best team ever.
And when I was a young journalist, on one of my early trips to the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium to write about the Red Sox in 2005, Wells provided an in-character memory that has stayed with me through the years: he walked by me in the middle of an interview, turned and said, “Hey, you wanna hear something else?” and then lifted his leg and let loose a truly impressive fart.
Which is also what he did Thursday on Fox News Radio, where he told Brian Kilmeade, a man who does not understand how phones work, that he’s no longer watching baseball as a result of MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia.
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Look, this isn’t a surprise. Wells attended the Republican National Convention last year, where he crowed about hanging out with Matt Gaetz and Kayleigh McEnany, and naturally none of his pictures included any sign of a mask.
Plus, Wells said just the other day on Twitter the same thing he said on Kilmeade’s show, that he’s ignoring baseball now because of “what a tool [Rob Manfred] is for pulling the All-Star game out of Atlanta he’s a Disgrace to Baseball now and when I played.”
Putting Wells’ issues with capitalization aside, he may have hit on something here. Regardless of how we feel about the All-Star decision, whether we support anti-democratic principles baked in racism or not, in big cities and small towns, from sea to shining sea, this country can still come together and rally around one clear, unifying principle: Rob Manfred sucks.