Just because a player is performing well and his team is winning doesn’t mean he likes his coach or manager. Just ask David Wells about Joe Torre.
In a recent appearance on the New York Post’s “Pinstripe Pod”, Wells said he “hated” playing for Torre during his days with the New York Yankees.
The burly lefthander had a pair of stints in the Bronx in 1997-98 and 2002-03.
“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 went 68-28 in 123 starts over his four seasons with the Yankees, throwing a perfect game and winning a World Series in 1998. A three-time All-Star, he finished 239-157 with a 4.19 ERA over a 21-year big league career.
Despite his success, Wells had a habit of clashing with management over, among other things, his weight. He said on the “Pinstripe Pod” that he resented when teams or managers tried to control him off the field during his career.
“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.”
Wells goes on to recount specific incidents he had with Torre and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Whatever their differences were, Torre and Wells’ relationship (or lack thereof) did not stand in the way of the Yankees winning big during his time in pinstripes.
Hey, you don’t have to like your manager or head coach. You just have to show up and handle your business, which Wells did, and the rest will take care of itself.
[ New York Post ]