After saying being traded to the Blue Jays in 1999 was the worst day of his career, David Wells offered some clarification for fans on his Twitter account.
A couple of nights ago, a fan asked former Blue Jays pitcher David Wells what the worst day of his big league career was. To our disappointment, he said, “Getting traded to Toronto in 99”.
In his defence, Wells had just come off of a championship season with the New York Yankees in 1998, and the team was poised to defend their title the following year, just like they ended up doing without the big left-hander in their rotation. However, Wells’ dismay wasn’t just about moving from the championship Yankees back to a lesser contender in the Blue Jays. He had some history in Toronto, and he wasn’t looking forward to re-living it.
Wells went on to provide all kinds of interesting tweets over the next two days that followed his original burn of Toronto. In one, he clarified that it had nothing to do with the fans in Canada, but it was management that he had an issue with. In another, he said that it could have been any other team and he likely would have said the same thing. And in a very direct tweet, he simply answered, “Pat Gillick“, when asked why he hated Toronto so much, and in another said that the then-GM of the team treated players poorly (loosely translated, of course).
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Fortunately, “Boomer” went on to clarify things from his side of the story even more. He talked about how the Blue Jays were very strict about his weight during his first go-around with the team back from 1987-92. He described a situation with a daily weigh-in that included fines for being overweight. According to Wells, he was even fined $100 for every pound over whatever limit they were working toward, at a time in his career that he was only making $700-1000 a month.
Fortunately for the California native, if it was Gillick that received most of the blame for his sour departure in 1993, he didn’t have to worry about the General Manager by the time he returned in 1999. Gillick had resigned from the Blue Jays front office after the 1994 season, eventually going on to work with the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Philadelphia Phillies. Gord Ash was the GM in Toronto when Wells came back, and based on his size while pitching with the Blue Jays, I’d say the weekly weigh-ins became a thing of the past.
Of course, we’re just getting one side of the story here from Wells, but it’s definitely interesting to hear it, especially at a time when so many of us are starved for baseball content of any kind. Most importantly, Wells clarified that it wasn’t the fans that he had a problem with, and when you consider all of the variables in the equation back then, you can hardly blame him for the way he felt, or his honesty now.