Who knew David Wells was such a savage?
Joe Torre may have led the Yankees to six American League pennants and four World Series titles, but David Wells absolutely hated that guy.
Appearing on The Post’s “Pinstripe Pod”, Wells did not sugarcoat his feelings about his former manager.
“I never liked Joe as a manager,” Wells said. “He did stuff to me that he shouldn’t have done to anybody. But, you know, we all knew he treated certain guys different ways. But it was alright, we didn’t care if he talked to us or not. Joe and I are friends now, I respect him. Just the playing days. You don’t want nobody telling you what you can and can’t do. That’s just how we work.”
Wells would eventually learn to stop tolerating certain behavior from Torre.
“I just said, ‘You know what, I’m doing it my way,’ ” Wells said. “I don’t care. I’m a grown man … You can’t tell me anything I don’t already know about there on the mound. I know how to do my job. Just don’t try to manage me. But they would try to manage me off the field, too. I’m like, ‘Do you want to win? Then leave me alone.’ That’s what I did. Joe Torre, he would always do that to me. He would always give me grief.
“I hated Torre. I really did.”
In one particular incident, Wells purchased an authentic Babe Ruth hat that he wore during a start against the Cleveland Indians. After that, Torre forced him to take it off, reasoning that it did not comply with uniform standards. Following the game, Torre fined Wells for the incident.
“He calls me in the office afterwards and he goes, ‘twenty-five hundred bucks,’ and I go, ‘That’s all?’ I’m like, ‘You’re shallow.’ Next day, I went and got a bunch of 1s, 5s and 10s and I threw it at him in the office. Money went flying. I was like, ‘Go buy some stuff for your car, a–hole.’ He never talked to me for the rest of the year.”
His issues weren’t just with Torre as he detailed an encounter with former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Wells pleaded with Steinbrenner to raise the height of the fences after a fan reached over the wall and precluded Paul O’Neill from attempting to make a catch.
“So George goes, ‘You ain’t the pitcher I signed,’ ” Wells said. “I said, ‘Excuse me?’ He said, ‘You ain’t the pitcher I signed.’ I said, ‘Well, if you don’t like the way I pitch, why don’t you trade me?’ He goes, ‘I tried to, nobody wants you.’
“Well, that pissed me off. So I got in George’s face and I started calling him every name in the book and he’s in my face as well and he goes, ‘I’m not afraid of you.’ And I said, ‘I’ll tell you what old man. I’m gonna go put some ice on and if I come back here and you’re still here I’m gonna beat the s–t out of you. That’s how it’s gonna be.’ And he goes, ‘I’m not afraid of you.’ I said, ‘We’ll see.’
“… I came out there and there was George sitting there. He looked at me, and I started ripping off that eye, and his eyes got bigger than the moon. And he ran out of there. He tore off running, I chased him. ‘Go back up in your suite, goddamnit and watch the game.’ I was all over him.”