Wells: 'Selig needs to resign'

Wells: 'Selig needs to resign'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In what will likely be his final season in the Major Leagues, Red Sox left-hander David Wells doesn't figure to tone down any of his opinions. For proof of that, look no further than Wednesday's edition of the Hartford Courant, where Wells continued his long-standing habit of taking on Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

"Bud Selig needs to resign," Wells told the Courant. "That's what he needs to do. He needs to resign and bring someone in who's capable of communicating with the [Major League Baseball Players Association] and the owners, as well as the players, because there's so much hatred against Bud right now. It's a joke. Nobody likes him."

What prompted Boomer's latest lambasting of Selig?

A recent story in The New York Times that cited Selig asking the Yankees to remove a sign at their Spring Training stadium in Tampa that apologized to fans because stars such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon were at the World Baseball Classic, and not present for exhibition games. The sign suggested that any complaints should be directed at Major League Baseball.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has been a harsh critic of the World Baseball Classic, which began on Monday.

Wells supported Steinbrenner, his former boss.

"He's entitled to that [opinion]. He pays a lot of money to these guys," Wells said. "If he needs to apologize to the fans, so be it. They get a lot of traffic down there in Tampa to see the Yankees. People want to see Derek Jeter. So if he wants to post a sign that says, 'I apologize for [him] not being here,' he owns the place. If Bud has a problem with it, tell him to go take it down himself. And then I'd re-post it again."

Selig, speaking to reporters before the start of Wednesday's Team USA-Team Canada World Baseball Classic game in Phoenix, said he had read Wells' comments, but that he had no reaction to them.

So Wells' war of words simply played out in his interview with the Courant.

"This is just something where Bud is bored. He has no clue. He's clueless," Wells said. "If you say something derogatory toward Bud, he wants an apology. My question is, why is he even wasting his time on something like that? What's the purpose? Does he have to let people know that he's there? Tell him to come talk to me. I've had issues with him the last few years. He said, 'Oh, we need to talk.' He said, 'I'll take you to dinner when I come to Boston.' Has he done it? [Heck] no. He's a piece of [expletive]. And you can quote me on that."

Wells also criticized Selig several times last year, particularly after he lost his appeal of a six-game suspension.

"I know Selig doesn't like me," Wells said on Aug. 29, 2005. "The guy reads everything and anything online about him every day, I'm pretty sure. He worries about what people say about him."

After that press conference last August, Wells was summoned to the offices of Major League Baseball to discuss his comments with baseball officials. However, Wells did not meet directly with Selig. Apparently, he would like the opportunity to do so.

"Bud has a hard time leaving Milwaukee, let alone going out and trying to do [anything]," Wells said in his Tuesday rant to the Courant. "It's almost a burden for him to have to go to New York or a city like that. If he has that much passion for the game of baseball, then why isn't he doing something good for it? Name one good thing he's done for the game of baseball.

"He worries about what people say about him and he Googles himself. I'm sure he's going to Google [his name] tomorrow and say, 'Oh, there's Dave talking about me.' You know what? Be a man of your words. He's ducked me for two years."

Wells hasn't pitched yet this spring as he recovers from offseason surgery on his right knee. He recently rescinded a request to be traded from the Red Sox.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.