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Wells held back in book

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 13, 2003


NEW YORK -- Last month, David Wells didn't think he put much outlandish material in his autobiography.

The Yankees left-hander was fined $100,000 by the team this week for the book, which general manager Brian Cashman said "did tarnish the Yankee image" with its revelations of drinking, drug use and disparaging talk.

In an interview conducted in mid February with Publisher's Weekly, Wells said he kept material out of the book.

"I was advised by my lawyers not to do too much or it could come back to haunt me. So there's just a nibble," Wells said.

The interview, which appears in the March 17 edition, was released Wednesday by William Morrow, the publisher of Perfect I'm Not! Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball.

As part of the deal between Wells and the Yankees that included the fine, the pitcher agreed to do no further television or radio interviews promoting the book. He also can do store signings only with the team's consent.

Wells said he rejected previous offers for an autobiography.

"I really didn't want to do a book. Publishers were offering me three times the money to do one back in 1998 -- seven figures, man. But I was like, 'No,"' Wells said.

"Back then, I wasn't ready to write one. I just didn't want to exploit my life," he said. "But over the past couple years I had time to think and I said to myself, 'All right, do it.'

"I sort of went into writing it not knowing what to expect, and the feedback I've gotten so far has been positive. Who knows? A blind squirrel also finds a nut sometimes. If it became a best seller, I'd be honored and thrilled."

Wells said in the interview that baseball should not ban over-the-counter drugs. Earlier in spring training, he admitted using ephedra, the nutritional supplement linked by a Florida medical examiner to the death of Baltimore pitcher Steve Bechler.

"The owners should just stay out of it," Wells said. "I'm living proof of this kind of stuff, because I struggled with my weight for years. Toronto would fine me $100 a pound if I didn't make my weight quota. And it didn't matter how good I looked on the field -- they were more concerned with how I looked in the lobby.

"Hey, I weighed 275 pounds, and I still won 20 games! I should write another book, How Not to Lose Weight and Still Win 20 Games!"

CONTRERAS' FATHER BETTER: The father of pitcher Jose Contreras is scheduled to be released from a Cuban hospital today. Florentino Contreras, 80, had a stroke on Saturday, five days after surgery to clear an intestinal obstruction. Jose Contreras is scheduled to start Friday's spilt-squad game against the Devil Rays. The right-hander has struggled this spring, allowing 15 runs over eight innings in three appearances.

KARSAY ON TARGET: Reliever Steve Karsay threw in a bullpen and wasn't bothered by his right shoulder, which had been sore. Karsay threw only fastballs and intends to pitch again off a bullpen mound Friday, when he plans to throw all of his pitches. He might pitch in a game Sunday or Monday. "From the stretch, from the windup, no problems," he said. "The biggest concern was letting go, and it was fine."

Former NBA player tries to make Jays

LAKELAND -- Former NBA player Mark Hendrickson, competing for a spot in the Blue Jays' rotation, allowed one run and four hits in four innings in the Tigers' 5-3 win over Toronto.

"I'm still not throwing the ball where I want to consistently," Hendrickson said.

Bobby Higginson hit an RBI grounder in the first that ended a 20-inning scoreless streak by Blue Jays pitchers.

For Toronto, Mike Moriarity hit a two-run homer in the seventh.

BACK IN THE LINEUP?: Outfielder Frank Catalanotto, who has been out with a sore lower back, might play today for the first time since March 4.

HONORING LITTLE LEAGUE: The Blue Jays will hold Little League Day when they play host to the Reds at 1:05 p.m. March 22. Little League players who attend in uniform will be admitted free. They also can participate in a post-game clinic with players and coaches. Advance registration is required for both events. For more information and registration forms, call 727-733-9302 or go to www.dunedinbluejays.com.

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