While appearing on a recent podcast for Y! Sports Blogs’ “Why Is This News?” David Wells called his former Yankee manager Joe Torre a “coward” and a “liar.”
“I had [Yankees pitching coach] Mel Stottlemyre come up to me in ’97 and tell me they were going to sit me out in the first round against Cleveland,” Wells told us. “I said, ‘If you’re going to sit me out the first round, you might as well just send me home.’ That pissed me off because I won like 15, 16 games for them. […] That’s pretty degrading when you have your manager tell your pitching coach to tell you, ‘Hey, you’re going to sit out,’ rather than telling you himself. That’s what Joe Torre is to me, a coward.
“I don’t like him at all. As a manager, I think he’s terrible. He wasn’t a fair manager. He didn’t treat people the same. He definitely didn’t treat me the same. […] If he tells you anything else, he’s a liar.”
Joe Torre isn’t immune to criticism for some of his managerial decisions and trust me, I’ve questioned some of the moves he’s made over the years. But he’s won four World Series titles in his career and is a two-time AL Manager of the Year. He may have had some great times while in New York, but they won under his direction.
Wells has the right to his opinion and hey, maybe everything he’s saying is true. That said, I find his complaints about the Stottlemyre-Torre situation in ’97 a little childish. After all, Wells was a pitcher and Stottlemyre was the pitching coach. Maybe Torre should have told Wells himself after making a big decision like that, but I’m sure managers have done much, much worse than tell their pitching coach to deliver a message to one of their pitchers.
Besides, isn’t Wells the same clown who left Game 5 of the 2003 World Series after just one inning because of a bad backache and stuck Torre with having to use his bullpen for the rest of the game? (A game the Yankees eventually lost in a Series they eventually lost.)
Again, Wells has the right to his opinion but people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. He comes off looking like a baby here.